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Internship Information



RBP Main

The Russian Birth Project is an internship program in St. Petersburg,  Russia, for American and Canadian students of midwifery. The RBP has conducted intensive internships in Russian roddoms (maternity hospitals) since 1992. Living as Russians do, interns are immersed in a multi-level experience: assisting Russian women to have more satisfying births; witnessing the transformation of Russian society; and glimpsing unseen parts of themselves in the process of becoming a midwife.

Russia is unique as a testing ground for personal transformation and offers endless opportunities and, sometimes, horrendous challenges. Under the supervision of RBP Director Molly Rybak, DHom, CPM, and Russian roddom doctors and midwives, interns delve hands-on into all aspects of maternity care. 

Molly and Intern

Molly Rybak, right, supervises intern Dana Snyder during the summer 2000 internship.

Interns work under the responsibility of roddom doctors who demonstrate the techniques of "classical midwifery". Classical midwifery was developed in Europe at the end of the 18th century as the first lying-in hospitals were being built. It represented the first concerted effort in many centuries to seriously study and examine the process of childbirth with the purpose of lowering the morbidity and mortality rates for mothers and babies. The theoretical and practical foundations of classical midwifery have gradually been erased or simply disappeared as more and more countries began following the technological model of obstetrics. What was gained in technology however, was lost in art, and numerous hands-on skills were simply forgotten by the first third of this century. Russia, however, stands alone in continuing to use this foundational framework in its purest form. In addition, Russian obstetricians have contributed greatly to this classical art. Despite western propaganda to the contrary, Russian childbirth practices produce outcomes far exceeding our own yet in an environment with far greater economic and social limitations.


Lorraine Nagy, left, and Bonnie Martin, right, admire a baby born during the course of their summer 2000 internship.                                


The RBP is unique in specializing in classical midwifery in combination with the philosophies toward health derived from homeopathic medicine and Russian folk medicine. Interns complete the program with a new and useful body of knowledge which will ultimately make for more well-rounded practitioners.

Interns live as Russians do, in apartments shared with other interns. Russian food stores contain a variety of foods, most of which are unprocessed and organic. Interns learn to get around on the extensive public transportation system within the city and excursions are easily arranged for out-of-town trips. It is highly recommended that interns acquaint themselves with the Russian language through cassettes before coming, although a knowledge of Russian is not required.

Experience gained through the RBP can be used toward earning the Certified Professional Midwife credential, after all other criteria have been met.

Maya, Kris & Lorraine

Kristina Chamberlain, left, and Lorraine Nagy, right, support a Russian woman having her first baby.

For more detailed information and an application, click below:


RBP Application

RBP Main