Midwifery Today Community

A home for friends of birth
Attend the Midwifery Today conference in Harrisburg

How do you pay for it all?

Last post 03-14-2009 7:20 PM by RobsGirl. 7 replies.
Page 1 of 1 (8 items)
Sort Posts: Previous Next
  • 03-01-2009 11:09 AM

    How do you pay for it all?

    Hey everyone,

    I'm new to the forums, so hi to all! Ive been working as a labor and postpartum doula for the past year and am hoping to start my midwifery education next year.  While I don't have any kids yet, I don't make enough money it seems to live the apprentice midwife life.  It worries me that I will never be able to fulfill my dream since it is what Ive always wanted to do.  I am totally committed, no worries there.  Its just all the expenses! 


    I'm hoping to go through the National College and work with a preceptor.  Id have to move since here in Chicago there arent many options. To be licensed in the states I want to be, you need either an associates or bachelors degree, which is so expensive!  I'm just curious how all of you are doing it/have done it.  As an apprentice, do you also have a pretty steady job?  If I move, I know I will need to work and be an apprentice at the same time.  Is this impossible? While my boyfriend works at least 40 hours a week and I do as well, it just doesnt seem to be enough.  I'm wondering if its possible to be an apprentice (which from what I heard is a pretty full time job as it is) and have another job to actually live and afford rent etc.  


    I'm worried.  Help!  Some stories of how all of you are making it through would help me.  Thanks so much!  

  • 03-02-2009 11:07 AM In reply to

    Re: How do you pay for it all?

    I worked full time before I started apprenticing and was taking doula clients as well to build a little financial cushion for myself.  I paid for my midwifery program in full before apprenticing so I wouldn't have to worry about that financial burden while on a limited income.  I quit my job when I started apprenticing but continued taking a limited number of doula clients and did some postpartum doula work.  I relied on my savings and the kindness of my family to help when finances got tight.  Near the end of my apprenticeship things got especially tight and I had to go back to work so I took a full time job (45-50 hrs/wk) on top of apprenticing so I was working or in the office doing prenatals seven days a week and doing births on top of that.  I know that my job, my apprenticeship, and my relationships suffered from me overextending myself.  I know many women who have worked part time while apprenticing and it seemed to work pretty well especially if you apprentice in a practice that has more than one apprentice and you can trade off call or you have an employer that is very flexible about you leaving to attend births. 

  • 03-02-2009 11:27 AM In reply to

    Re: How do you pay for it all?

     I will become a CPM through the PEP pathway. I won't be attending an MEAC colleges. Right now I'm a SAHM and PT nursing student. The *ONLY* reason I'm a nursing student is because my GI Bill (military education benefits) wont pay any midwifery programs, except Frontier. If I don't use it I loose $20,000. After I complete the nursing program I plan to work PT while my boys are still young. I have a 3.5yr old and almost a 1yr old.

    By the time I grad from nursing school my eldest will be in school. I'm only planning to work PT while I work on my apprenticeship, I've already found a preceptor. From what shes said it will take 3-5yrs to complete my apprenticeship because I have small children. I'm fortunate that I have a husband that works a FT & PT job and we have virtually no debt.

    So that's that :o)

    ~ Cindy
    Mama to Reed and Jonas, wife to Rodney, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, Midwife-to-be, working on LLL Leader Accreditation, professionally trained baker, coffee addict, lactavist, birth junkie, born and raised in the San Francisco bay area, born-again Christian and attachment parenting mama!
  • 03-02-2009 11:50 AM In reply to

    Re: How do you pay for it all?

    Thanks for the responses ladies, it helps put things into perspective for me :)


    I live in Chicago right now and work as both a postpartum and birth doula.  Im planning to save some money while still in Chicago and hopefully start my apprenticeship in NJ next year.  Im meeting with a preceptor soon. Ideally I would love to do the midwives college of utah since I need a BA in midwifery to practice in NY, but I cant rationalize 15000 and well, I dont have it and have a student loan from college.  My boyfriend will be living with me and working full time, but hes an artist and musician so doesnt have some high profile job.  I just want this more than anything and am worried I will jeopardize everything I have sometimes by going through with it.  If Im being practical, I will NEVER have the money to do it.  But if its my dream, should I just go for it? 

    Again, thanks for your kind responses :)

  • 03-02-2009 8:07 PM In reply to

    Re: How do you pay for it all?

     Finding a preceptor is a huge step in the right direction.  It's important to know the state midwifery laws if you're planning to practice in a certain state.  I was under the impression that NY was a CNM/CM only state but I could definitely be wrong.  Another thing I would take into consideration is long term education goals.  Many midwifery schools offer degree programs that don't really translate into the academic world so even if you have a bachelor's from one of these schools you cannot apply to graduate school at a university.  This whole process would probably be easier if there were one "right" way to become a midwife but that is part of the beauty of midwifery, that there are as many different paths to midwifery as there are midwives and we all bring those unique experiences into our practices.

  • 03-07-2009 4:06 PM In reply to

    • CTaymor
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-09-2009
    • SF Bay Area
    • Posts 11

    Re: How do you pay for it all?

    for those of you who worked pt or ft while apprenticing, how did you find a job that this would work with? I'm thinking about becoming a doula, practicing as a doula for awhile, and then apprenticing (if I can find a preceptor at that point.) I just am not sure that I would be able to support myself working as a doula, and I think I would probably need another job, but I can't figure out how I would get a job that would be the least bit compatible with on call work. What type of jobs did you do?

    ~Aspiring Midwife~Looking into training options and learning like a sponge~
  • 03-13-2009 7:01 AM In reply to

    Re: How do you pay for it all?

     Although I don't have any advice for you, I'd like you to hear my story.  At age 25 I decided to become a midwife.  At age 39 I finally reached my goal.  Do you know why it took that long?  I kept waiting for the perfect time and kept waiting to have the money to do this.  Did the perfect time and money come at age 39?  No.  I went bankrupt and lost my house to foreclosure, but in 1999 I became a midwife and I wondered why I put this off for 14 years!?!  What finally lit a fire under me was the craziness of working as an OB nurse in  a  hospital all those years in an attempt to save money.  It never happened (surely not on a nurse's salary).  I got fed up one day, quit my job (in June) and started school in September and didn't work a day during that time.  16 months later I had my Master's degree and passed the Certification exam.  Maxed out my credit cards, took loans from everyone who could help me and 10 years down the line I'm still paying off my student loans and I would do it again--just sooner.  Now,  (I'm 50 y.o.) I am financially stable and just bought a house and I make about $70,000 a year.

  • 03-14-2009 7:20 PM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: How do you pay for it all?

    Hi Strawberry,

    If you don't mind, could you PM me and let me know where in NJ you'll be and which midwife you're meeting with?  I'm the area too, in NY, and might be able to give you some more names of possible preceptors.  It is my understanding that to become licenced in NY you either have to become a CNM, OR have a bachelor's degree (in anything, doesn't have to be midwifery), have completed an "approved" (I'm a little fuzzy on what that means) course of study in midwifery, and then take the boards to become a CM. 

    National College of Midwifery has a BSM for practicing midwives, or midwives who have completed their associates degree program.  So you could become a CPM by whichever means you find best, and then go on to do the BSM.  I believe right now that program is $5000.  If you did their associates program, and then the BSM, it would be an additional $5000 (maybe I'm missing something, so don't quote me on that).  My midwife did their program.  She was a CPM first and just a couple years ago sat for her boards.  I know another midwife in the area who is doing this program right now while doing an apprenticeship with a NJ midwife.

    So if you're set on getting licensed, here's another option.

    Here is where I got that info on the NY laws.

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.

Page 1 of 1 (8 items)
Subscribe to Midwifery Today magazine
Contact UsTerms of UsePrivacy PolicyAbout Us
© 2014 Midwifery Today, Inc.