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Introduction and Schooling Questions

Last post 11-26-2009 9:22 PM by aspiringbabycatcher. 21 replies.
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  • 06-16-2009 9:14 AM

    Introduction and Schooling Questions

    Hello, I'm Melissa and I'm 26. I've always wanted to be a midwife, but got it in my head it would be too hard to find a job. Today, I realized how miserable I am in my data processing job. It's just not where I want to be and I've come to realize no amount of money will ever make it bearable. So now, now I'm willing to fight as hard as it takes to become a midwife in the traditional sense. I want to be someone who cares for and educates pregnant women, will take the time to calm them and just talk with them, who is there to help when the time comes to give birth and even after. My main problem is I don't know where to start. I'm not sure where I would go to school, what programs I would need. Now that I have my direction in life I'm completely clueless how to get there.

    That's why I've joined this forum. I'm hoping someone here might have an idea of what my first steps might be. I live in upstate new york in a little town called Ancramdale. I'm married so I would prefer not to have to travel out of state for my schooling if at all possible. Can anyone give me a hand? Thanks in advance!

  • 06-16-2009 9:52 AM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

    Hi, Melissa, and welcome to the Midwifery Today Forums!  Glad you found us.  You might want to check out the book  Paths to Becoming a Midwife.  You can find this and other great things for beginning the journey by clicking either "Shop" tab above or "Main Site".  Under "Beginning Midwives" you'll find several great things to read and peruse which you can order through Midwifery Today.  There are some great little things available including a discourse on what it's really like to be a midwife, the nitty gritty of it all. If you have midwives in your area, you might want to join their networking organization and start "hanging" with the midwives to get some of your questions answered on the local level.  Hope that helps a bit.

    Susan
    Moderator

    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 06-16-2009 10:38 AM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

    I did end up buying that book. I did a lot of unearthing on the internet and found a few ways to become a midwife. Now I'm wrestling with which way is best for me. I'd like to keep the one on one way of a certified nurse midwife. I'm a little impatient because I'm starting this later than some which leaves me thinking maybe I'll take the Direct Entry route. On the other hand, the experience I'd get going from RN to certified midwife would be endlessly useful. I keep going back and forth on "fast" route or "slow but more experienced" route. It's a hard choice, but I have time to think. No need rushing, right? Wink

  • 06-17-2009 7:05 AM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

    You're starting late?  My dear friend is just about finished with her journey to become a CNM and we are the same age: 56.  It's never too late. Unless you're dead.

    Susan
    Moderator

    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 06-17-2009 8:58 AM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

     I'm 42 and will be starting an ADN program in the fall on the way to becoming a CNM. So if all goes according to plan, which in my experience RARELY happens, I'll be 48 or older when I'm finished Big Smile

     

    Good luck to you on whatever path you choose, Shelley

  • 06-17-2009 11:25 AM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

    Hi Melissa-

    I'm just starting my path to becoming a midwife as well.  Here are a couple of things you might want to think about.  Do you want to practice a medical model of birth or a traditional midwifery model?  Where would you like to practice - in a hospital, birth center, or homes?  What are the laws in your state, and do they make it easy or difficult for a CM to get clients?  Is the investment in a CNM program (both financial and emotional) a better one for you than and investment in a CM program?

     

    I originally wanted to go the CNM route, (after 3 hospital births with a CNM that I love) but changed my mind after attending hospital births as a doula.  I love my experiences attending all of my clients, but I decided that I would prefer to practice primarily in a home or birth center setting. (It's hard to practice in a setting where you might find yourself at odds with hospital policy etc.)  What it boiled down to for me is that I don't want my initial training to be in nursing.  I want my training to be based in traditional midwifery that does not consider pregnancy a pathology, but a normal life event.  

    There are some online programs available for the CM route (and I think the CNM route too.)  I'm looking at Midwives College of Utah because I can complete a BS through them and they have a MS program as well.  If a degree isn't important to you and you decide on being CM, you can always go the PEP route in which you work in an apprenticeship model demonstrating skills and knowledge specific to NARM and then sit your NARM certification exams.

     

    Good Luck.

     

    ps- 26 is not old.  I didn't even know that I wanted to do this at age 26. I'm planning on gaining my certification and licensure (my state offers one for CMs) when I turn 40.

     

    Endre

     

  • 06-26-2009 8:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

     

    Welcome Melissa. 

     I just admitted to myself that I wanted to be a midwife about 41/2 years ago.  I will soon be 37.  I wanted to "be there" by 40 but that won't happen.  I am taking the CNM route for legal reasons and to have my own clinic later.  My desire was shapped by a clinic birth with a DEM in Alaska.  I would say though, don't discount the experiences you have along the way.  The thing that got me to admitt my desire, to myself and a few people close to me, was working in a federal prison here where I live.  I thought if I could handle those guys(and it was tough), then I could handle becoming a midwife.  I sometimes want to get in a hurry to get through all the education but my current situation only allows me to take two classes a semester.  I have finally realized that all my time spent working and in education will still be beneficial when I finally am a midwife. 

    I hope this helps and wish you a clear mind and a peaceful heart; whatever you decide.

    A Woman Journying On The Path To Midwifery
  • 07-18-2009 9:28 PM In reply to

    • Naimah
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 07-19-2009
    • Posts 1

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

     Hi Melissa!

    My name is Naimah. Reading your post, and the responses was such a blessing for me. I, too am starting out. I've have long known that childbirthing was my calling, just wasn't sure in what capacity I would accomplish it. I actually decided 6 years ago that midwifery is my birth right and what I am here to do.

    I am so happy to have found this community. Lately I have been feeling really frustrated with my journey. The frustration of knowing what I want to do, and being so passionate about getting there (someday), but feeling like that goal is so far out of reach. I obtained my BA 8 years ago. Most of my close undergrad friends are now doctors. I'm 31 now. Prior to reading all the wonderful post from other aspiring midwives, I too felt I was entering the field kinda late. I recently have been having this rushed feeling like I need to hurry and get in a program and get it done. But I now understand that the true nature of a midwife is not just a profession, but a calling. I now look forward to my journey with great optimisim.

    Thank you again for sharing! I really needed to read some of your posts!

    Blessings,

    Naimah

  • 07-22-2009 4:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

    I joined just so that I could laugh with joy at someone who thinks 26 is "late".

    I did self study for a little bit (Ina May was my hero, this was the early 70's) when I was in my early 20's.  It was not to be at that time but when I was 30 and 32 I had homebirth babies (my first was almost a freebirth).  

    I am now 55 and have just begun studying to be a doula while I figure out if 55 is "too late" to be an apprentice.

    Whatever happens, I love birth and families.  I am enjoying the process, staying strong and healthy, and loving my life.

     

     

     

  • 07-22-2009 5:52 PM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

    Ah!  A spring chicken!! I'm 56.  You go, woman!!!

    Susan
    Moderator

    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 07-26-2009 12:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

     Hello,

    I am a mother of a very young 22year old daughter who is desiring to be  a midwife.  My daughter wants to deliver out of hospitals and is looking into a program in Taos.  We have absolutely no money for schooling.  Are there any scholarships for Midwives who will not be nurse midwives?  I am so lost in helping her and so want her to be happy.  She is a nurturer and a Big hearted woman who is absolutely brilliant.  I am supporting her 100%.  I don't even no where to begin to help her look for funding to help her achieve her dream.  She has been studying the last year as a Doula in training.  She has finally decided to play the Midwife role and is determined that is what she wants to do.  Please help me with some ideas.  What is PEP training .  Can you actually get a degree as a midwife without being a nurse?  Is the  program in Utah a good one.  How long is it?  The name of it?

    Help

    Debbie RN

  • 07-26-2009 3:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

    Yes, you can get certified as a midwife without a nursing degree.  You can check on our main site by clicking in the above faded lavendar banner.  Then go to books or resources and you will find a great gem, Paths to Becoming a Midwife.  I would suggest, however, that your daughter do the majority of the digging for funding, etc. since she will know what she wants and I believe she will value her training better than if someone simply points her in the direction.  Please take that in the spirit in which it was intended.  If she is interested in a program in UT, then she needs to check it out.  One of many decisions she'll need to make on the journey. Yes

    Susan
    Moderator

    I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult. --E.B. White
  • 07-26-2009 10:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

    The Utah program is called Midwives College of Utah.  They offer a BS in Midwifery and have a graduate program as well.  They also offer distance learning.  There is also a school called Birthingway College of Midwifery in Portland OR.  They do not offer distance education and accept 15 or 16 applicants a year.  I did my doula training through them and loved it.  The draw back to Birthingway is the cost.  It is on the high end, but you can earn a BS through them.  You can get federal financial aid for Birthingway through FAFSA.  

    PEP stands for Portfolio Evaluation Process.  Basically you work with a preceptor (there are qualifications that she must meet) to fulfill a list of skills and care requirements.  As I understand it, you can then sit the NARM exam and earn your CPM although there is a skills test that you must take that you are exempt from if you complete an MEAC program.  You can download the entire PEP application online.  Also, all of the midwifery colleges have great websites that detail their programs.

    Good Luck-

    Endre

  • 08-09-2009 2:59 PM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

     You're not starting late, back in the days midwives were menopausal women.  Women whos children were already grown up so they could give their full attention to clients and not have to worry about leaving little babies at home in the middle of night when a woman goes into labor.  It is good to go into this profession later, rather than sooner.

  • 10-05-2009 12:42 PM In reply to

    Re: Introduction and Schooling Questions

    I have been consciously hovering on the edge of the midwife's call far a few years now and I recently realized that one reason I hold back is that I feel TOO OLD (now 39) to be a such a beginner, to start so fresh...... I so appreciate the spirit of this board, the sinking into woman's wisdom, the knowing that birth is about much more than learning the particularities of the craft, but also the holism, the bringing one's (my) own self into one's work...... all the years past, my studies of philosophy, my world travels, my personal healing, my family, my home, making art, making dinner...... it all rolls into, crescendos like a wave, into this next elemental cycle of life.... this next layer of my work in the world........ and just in time for meopause...... cool. I'm right on time!

    You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. - Mary Oliver
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