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Exploring the field of midwifery

Last post 03-14-2009 10:42 PM by KindRiver. 17 replies.
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  • 01-30-2009 1:44 PM

    Exploring the field of midwifery

    Hello, all. My name is Michelle and I am exploring the field of midwifery and other birthwork. Though I have no children of my own (by choice) and have never witnessed a birth (except kittens!), I feel drawn to this field for some reason. I am almost finished reading Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth and I am about to start reading the Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers (basically, I'm finding books from the DONA list that are in my local stores. I thought it would be a good place to start.) Anyhow, I do have questions about the "practical" side of being a midwife/doula. I do need to support myself to some degree, and I'm wondering how other birthworkers balance their practice with another job--especially during training or apprenticeship.

    I look forward to discussing this and other midwifery topics, especially with workers in my local area (Dallas, TX).

  • 02-04-2009 4:04 PM In reply to

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    Hi :)

    I just typed out a long post and lost it *grr*

    but anyway, I was saying that it's difficult to balance working and birthwork, since you need to be on call. You need to find a job and employer that is okay with you disappearing to a birth with little or no notice.

    Many women find doing a work at home job fits this, or supporting yourself through post-partum doula work. This is a good option because it's still working in the realm of birth, but you can set your hours, and the mamas are generally very understanding if you have to postpone for a birth.

    Myself I work as a freelance writer, and cleaned apartments for a while too. And I'm extremely blessed to have a partner who works full time and is happy to support me through this journey (I guess at some point he will retire early and we'll live off what I make midwifing)

    Jesus was born unassisted!
  • 02-04-2009 5:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    For me, it is helpful to have good and consistent doula partners / sisters to help with clients. If you do not have children and you have a good back-up it should be no problem to take as many doula clients as you want.

     

    Mary

  • 02-04-2009 5:35 PM In reply to

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    I can definitely do some freelance writing (and I'm currently a copy editor/writer at a local alt weekly), and I have a small ebay biz, so maybe I could build that up to help support money brought in through doula (and maybe, eventually, midwife) work.

    I also have a wonderful husband who makes a good living, but I think it would be difficult for us to make it on his salary alone, so I just want to try to be cautious as I explore this new possible career.

    I'm also thinking of add-on services for a doula practice, to help round out the income.

    Thanks for your ideas!

     

     

  • 02-04-2009 5:48 PM In reply to

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    I know many doulas that have children and who also work part-time of full time in another career, it is very do-able.

     

    Good Luck!

     

    Mary

  • 02-05-2009 1:37 AM In reply to

    • Jenni
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-05-2009
    • Baltimore, MD
    • Posts 22

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    Nice to meet you, Michelle. I'm like you: an aspiring birth practitioner with no kids of my own (yet). I live in Baltimore, MD.

    I'm working toward DONA birth doula certification. So far I've read Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn, Gentle Birth Choices, and The Doula Book. Right now I'm reading The Birth Partner. I attended the workshop in June and did my first birth in September. It was great. I've done two more births since then, and they've both been challenging (read: long and tiring). I should be attending my first out-of-hospital birth this month. Yes I'm hoping to do a Midwifery Assistant workshop this summer. My ultimate goal is to become a DEM/CPM.

    I won't lie to you; it's been tough so far. I left my job in May to become a doula. Since then I've been without income, relying on my partner and parents for support. I hope to get my first paying client soon, though.

    Good luck on your journey!

     

    doula-in-training, aspiring midwife
  • 02-05-2009 10:44 AM In reply to

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    Jenni,

    Are you going to do the midwifery assistant workshop at The Farm? I haven't looked into any assistant programs except for that one, and I'd be curious to hear what other programs are out there.

    Any particular reason you are choosing DEM over CNM? I'm still weighing those two options...

  • 02-05-2009 5:46 PM In reply to

    • Jenni
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-05-2009
    • Baltimore, MD
    • Posts 22

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    The Farm, yes. Florida School of Traditional Midwifery has a Midwifery Assistant program. So does International School of Midwifery. I'm sure there are others, too.

    I'm choosing DEM because I feel that midwifery and nursing are two separate fields. I have no interest in nursing. Also, I want to attend homebirths and/or birth center births, and most CNMs end up working for doctors or hospitals and attending hospital births.

     

    doula-in-training, aspiring midwife
  • 02-07-2009 10:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    I am also not a mom yet but I am drawn to midwifery.  I just applied to a CNM program though so we're on a different path but I wanted to say hello!

    ~ Lamaze CBE ~ CNM student ~
  • 02-08-2009 4:41 PM In reply to

    • Jenni
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-05-2009
    • Baltimore, MD
    • Posts 22

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    Hello! Good luck with your program. I want to be a CPM, but I think we need good, progressive CNMs to help change the way things are done in hospitals. I'd like to see homebirth and birth centers become the norm for women with low-risk pregnancies, but there will always be women with high-risk pregnancies and those who just prefer the hospital. And I have real respect for those CNMs who are able to attend homebirths or work in birth centers.

     

     

     

    doula-in-training, aspiring midwife
  • 02-09-2009 3:04 PM In reply to

    • CTaymor
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-09-2009
    • SF Bay Area
    • Posts 11

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    Hey, I'm Caroline. I'm new here, and also an aspiring midwife.

    I agree that CNMs have a definite place in things, for women who are too high risk to birth at home, and right now, for women who are too scared of birth to give birth at home. I would like to see (and work towards) teaching women and the country that home is just as safer or safer than a hospital for low-risk women.

    I too am leaning more towards becoming a DEM/CPM. However, I'd like to do clinic work in developing countries at some point, and well-woman care, which it seems like I need to be a CNM to do. (I've also thought about someday trying to start a program which sends midwives into areas that are lacking in pre-natal, peri-partum and post-partum care, places far away from clinics, and either teach local midwives adaptive techniques from western medicine that will help them better serve their communities within the best of their ability given their circumstances, or training local women to be midwives. I haven't done much research into it, but if there is a need, I would love to do that. Clinics are wonderful, but not everyone has access to them, and i would think training midwives in a village, who could then train women from their neighbooring villages or areas, and so on, would also serve a need.)  I think I'll likely go the DEM route, however, as a matter of philosophy.

    ~Aspiring Midwife~Looking into training options and learning like a sponge~
  • 02-09-2009 3:15 PM In reply to

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    CTaymor:
    I've also thought about someday trying to start a program which sends midwives into areas that are lacking in pre-natal, peri-partum and post-partum care, places far away from clinics,

    This sort of work interests me too, though I haven't checked into it either. Does anyone else know of a program (e.g. Doctors Without Borders, Peace Corps, etc.) that has a midwifery training component?

     

  • 02-09-2009 5:36 PM In reply to

    • Jenni
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-05-2009
    • Baltimore, MD
    • Posts 22

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    I've done some research into overseas programs. It looks like one does not have to be a CNM. :)

    Here are some websites to check out:

    1) Midwives on Missions of Service (MOMS): www.globalmidwives.org

    This program is run by a CPM. It involves training local midwives in Sierra Leone. You have to be a trained midwife and/or have teaching/training skills to participate, though.

    2) Mercy in Action: www.mercyinaction.com

    This program sends midwifery and doula students to work with local midwives in the Philippines.

    3) Midwives for Midwives: midwivesformidwives.org

    This program sends midwifery and other students to live and work with traditional midwives in Guatemala.

    Cool, huh?

     

    doula-in-training, aspiring midwife
  • 02-09-2009 5:46 PM In reply to

    • Jenni
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-05-2009
    • Baltimore, MD
    • Posts 22

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    There's also Projects Abroad, which has volunteer opportunities/internships in many fields. They send midwifery interns to Bolivia, China, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Mongolia, and Morocco!

    www.projects-abroad.org  

    doula-in-training, aspiring midwife
  • 02-22-2009 5:54 AM In reply to

    Re: Exploring the field of midwifery

    wow those look cool. thanks for the links :)

    Jesus was born unassisted!
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