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Midwifery Students 2010!

post #1 of 516
Thread Starter 
Happy New Year!

I don't post on here much, but I lurk a lot. I do have something that I need help with. I am a new apprentice, and I am kind of shy and quiet by nature. I think sometimes my quietness can come off as coldness, which I'm really not a cold person, but I can see how I may come off that way. Well, I've already had two of my perceptor's clients request I not come to their births. I know both of these couples are very private, so maybe they would say no to any apprentice, but it makes me wonder if it's just me.

So, does anyone else have this problem? Any advice on how to move past my quietness? I feel like this is kind of important, you know?

Thanks!
post #2 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ak Mom View Post
So, does anyone else have this problem? Any advice on how to move past my quietness? I feel like this is kind of important, you know?
I'm not a quite person, but I have a very quiet daughter. :-) What about taking a moment the first time you meet a couple to explain that you are a quiet person and not to take it personally? I have a rather bold personality and it can put people off, but I've found sometimes that if I tell someone the first time I meet them about it in a joking manner then they get it and we get along fine. So maybe tell them and give them a big smile? Maybe that will help you open up too?

Just a thought. :-) Good luck!
post #3 of 516
Mistee- I am not an apprentice yet but I feel for you. I am very shy and quiet too. I can very well see this happening to me. In fact, I know that people I interact with now sometimes think this. It is hard and I have no answers for you. I like jessica_anne010's suggestion though...
post #4 of 516
thanks for starting this year's thread

while i am not a shy type, i used to be relatively quiet at prenatals sometimes, bc my preceptor does a lot of talking . anyways, i tried to show i was engaged by making eye contact for a second or two here and there, head nodding, and just using my body language to show that i am engaged and interested in their pregnancy. i also have tried to just ask a question or make a statement not necessarily related to the pregnancy per se (off the top of my head: last week, i told a client i thought an outfit her child had on was adorable- i genuinely thought it was). most clients are quite receptive to a little small talk and it seems to make my future interaction with them a bit easier.
post #5 of 516
I think shyness was an area of growth for me... I have personally had to overcome a lot. I tend to be very quiet until I get to know people (after which they see the real me who is a little more vivacious) but when meeting clients I try to work very hard to let them see the 'real me' right away. I wouldn't want them to be shocked by the real me at the 2nd or 3rd prenatal! Think about the future when you are hiring clients- how do you think you will approach the issue, and go from there. I do realize while apprenticing that you have to fit into your preceptor's practice, but use what room you do have to be personal with clients so they are comfortable with you.

Small talk is still an area I have to work on... I don't tend to read mainstream news and I forget to check the weather 90% of the time so I have reach for other topics.

I had an apprentice at both of my births, and I have to say I was more comfortable with the one who was brand new... she wasn't even taking BPs just yet but she was a little more outgoing and made me comfortable. The apprentice at my 2nd homebirth was nice, but a lot more quiet. Even though she had a lot more experience than the apprentice I had the time before, it felt more awkward and I know I wasn't the only client who felt that way.
post #6 of 516
I really like the idea of telling the client that you are shy but maybe do it in a more positive way like "I'm a very quite person because <insert reason, I'm listening and learning, I'm taking prenatal notes, observing my preceptor, etc> so I might not say much but I'm very honored and happy to be here at *your* appointment and look forward to getting to know you better through your pregnancy." It might take a couple prenatals for them to see your sincerity, but they'll see it!

I am painfully shy, it such a hard thing to work past, but you can do it. I've found the more confiednce I gain in myself and my knowledge the less shy I feel. Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it and turn bright red when you're talking to someone and once its over with you feel better and the next time it gets easier.

It might be easier to try at an LLL meeting(this has helped me!), or organizing a mother's lunch/pot luck with your preceptor's previous and current clients and families. When it's not all business it's easier to show your warm side and so they can see you're not aloof you're just what many shy people are; observant, kind, and loving.
post #7 of 516
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. It's nice to know I'm not the only quiet one. I think first just being aware of it and acknowledging I need to work on it will help. I think I will take the advice of telling clients that I am quiet for xyz reason, and really work on the small talk!
post #8 of 516
If you are a new apprentice, it may not be your shyness that led the clients to request that you not be there. When I first started my apprenticeship, there were 2 clients right away that didn't feel like they had enough time to get to know me before their births. Then there was another one who did get to know me but that had very strong feelings about having a small intimate birth with just the one midwife that also requested I not come. It may just be that they didn't want to change their visions of who would be at the birth.

On the other hand I also had a client request that I not come who was very specific about not wanting me there. I attended two prenatals before the request and we had months to get acquainted but she was very uncomfortable with me. I could feel that she was uncomfortable and my only regret is not bringing it up. While I totally understood and respected her request, I would have preferred to talk about it in person.

Try not to take it personally. If someone is uncomfortable with you and you believe that you are acting in a friendly, respectful way (even if quiet and shy) then the discomfort surely has more to do with them and their past than with you.

I don't say much in appointments either. I wouldn't call myself shy now [I used to be VERY shy], but I have a hard time inserting myself into conversations [especially since my preceptor likes to talk :-)] and it's harder for me to put myself out there when I'm not 100% sure of my information. Also, I do better when I don't feel "watched" and so just the presence of my preceptor makes me nervous. It's something I'm slowly working through and I do find myself much more personable and interactive during appointments when we are seeing them frequently near the end and we've had a while to get to know each other. I sympathize with your discomfort. It feels really awkward to sit there for an hour nodding your head and smiling and not saying much if anything. I start to wonder what they are thinking about this strange person sitting there staring at them

Anyway, my advice would be to just take it easy on yourself and and put yourself out there as much as you can. Even just at the beginning and the end saying hello and goodbye or interacting with their kids during appointments. Another idea is to ask your preceptor if you can make follow-up calls when needed. That will give you another point of contact. And I've noticed that when I have a client as a friend on facebook or I see them in another context [like LLL, AP groups or homeschooling] I feel so much more comfortable interacting during appointments.
post #9 of 516
i can relate. though i am not shy, just very reserved. i have trained myself to make lots of eye contact, nod, look for opportunities to say something sincere and relevant and to not take things personally. i am very sensitive to people's energy/aura/attitude (whatever you want to call it), and so making sure that i stay involved, even peripherally, has always made a great impression.

i like right of passage's suggestion to go to a lll meeting. something else that could be great is to put on a free community natural childbirth education class and build confidence (and clients) from there.

eta: I am *terrible* at small talk! i feel it is almost lying, because it often feels forced and fake. i have always felt that if you can't have a meaningful conversation, why speak at all? so this has become a big hurdle for me. i try to really observe a person, their belongings, even the car they drive, what they talk about, and look for something that is interesting to me/something i know about/want to learn more about, so i can start a conversation that is meaningful/fun to remember and can go somewhere on a common ground.
post #10 of 516
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for all you support ladies.

Scarlet-I am right there with you on the small talk. It is something I am really going to have to work at as well.

On another note-how are you guys who are also in an apprenticeship working out your study time. I am having a hard time with deciding how to study. I have my schoolwork, and then the questions that come up on prenatals, and then the reading materials my preceptor gives me. I feel like I could totally satisfy my time with the questions that come up in prenatals and the reading material my preceptor gives me. I have very little time to do the actual schoolwork. Does anyone else have that problem too? I really only have a couple hours at night, though sometimes I can get some stuff done here and there when my husband is home (he works on a boat) but that is not often.
post #11 of 516
Do people want to share cheap ways to find midwifery related books?

I was very elated to find: Wise Woman Herbal for the childbearing years for 50cents in library book sale. + dorland's medical dictionary for 50 cents.
I'd like holistic midwifery and some basic physiology&anatomy books.

What are some ways to get copy of books other than library book sale?
post #12 of 516
Thrift stores are great. Sometimes you can get really good deals on the yahoo swap groups for midwives/doulas/CBEs. That's where I bought my copy of HM1. I also shop off of the used book sites fairly often. They aren't as cheap as a thrift store or library sale, but they're usually cheaper than buying it new.
post #13 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonyoungi View Post
Do people want to share cheap ways to find midwifery related books?

I was very elated to find: Wise Woman Herbal for the childbearing years for 50cents in library book sale. + dorland's medical dictionary for 50 cents.
I'd like holistic midwifery and some basic physiology&anatomy books.

What are some ways to get copy of books other than library book sale?
PaperBackSwap.com!!!! I haven't found any of the more expensive text books there yet, but all of the peripheral books that I've needed I did. I did find my Med Term book there though. You never know what you are going to find there! :-) I love that place.
post #14 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonyoungi View Post
Do people want to share cheap ways to find midwifery related books?
I am sure it's not news, but childbirth swappers yahoo group http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group...hSuppliesSwap/

I also find a tremendous amount of pregnancy related books at consignment sales (like these http://www.jbfsale.com/) and craisglist... you do have to keep your eyes open, they're usually a lot of copies of WTEWYE
post #15 of 516
Mistee, I just want to add that there may be some benefit to your quiet-ness. Personally I feel like I'm too loud and outgoing for some of my preceptor's clients! I have to remind myself to listen and pay close attention and let them talk.

So, there is a fine balance!
post #16 of 516
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoomaYula View Post
Mistee, I just want to add that there may be some benefit to your quiet-ness. Personally I feel like I'm too loud and outgoing for some of my preceptor's clients! I have to remind myself to listen and pay close attention and let them talk.

So, there is a fine balance!
Yes, actually I just had a talk with my preceptor this morning and she was comparing me to her last apprentice, who was totally opposite of me. She thinks my quietness is actually a plus, and said that I am doing just fine. I guess I'm just kind of sensitive and took it a bit personally .
post #17 of 516
Hi ladies, I always enjoy reading this thread. I have just started AAMI, and working on my cbe cert. I have just moved to an area where there are no independent cbe and only one doula. But there is a birth center that has just opened up so Im very hopful!!

Im so glad to read the comments about being shy and reserved. That has been my problem my entire life. I have even had a lot of anxiety over it, but I am working hard on at least not having panic attacks when I go to the library!

I hope every one has a wonderful year!
post #18 of 516
Greetings from the mountains!

I'm in an apprenticeship which is really wonderful.

My preceptor (a CNM) and I attended our first birth together on Christmas morning. It was a beautiful birth and also the birth of her home birth practice- truly auspicious! Was so nice to hear her say that she's found my presence invaluable. ( I can't even begin to tell you what that means to me.)

My story (if you know me, you know it) is long (I'm 51), and begins with an ill-timed, ill-fitting initial apprenticeship (with tiny children) from which I withdrew...through more than two and a half decades of life and various family-related jobs/roles... to recent years when I've mainly been doing doula work locally, working a part time job, doing distance learning and biding my time till I could attract harmonious alignment with a midwife.

And here I am!

We have clients due in the next couple months with some possible clients on the horizon. So it's a slow start-up for both midwife and myself, which suits both just fine. However "slow" also includes all the busy days for postpartum visits, prenatals and so on... we also will be making some regular dates to get together so she can teach me new hands-on skills. It's so exciting!

My motto is "Learn it all, so I can do nothing." (unless I HAVE to do something... of course)

I'm keeping my part time job as parenting support worker for a faith-based non-profit in my community as long as I possibly can and it is extremely flexible schedule-wise. My bosses know that babies come first for me. My job not only helps me afford books and equipment and gas, but it's also a great way to stay connected with local women and their families, some of whom I've known since they were kids. It's a great job.

I love my life.
Happy New Year!
The best is yet to come!
post #19 of 516
Happy New Year everyone!!

Finally found this thread and so excited to see what 2010 will be like for the student midwives.

I'm still in Indonesia for another 4 days. I got to catch baby #500 here for the year, and then I got to catch the first two babies of this year. So sweet!!!

And Jan 11 back to Thailand to catch up on sleep! I think I'll take a couple weeks to unwind and then get into the groove of studying a bit.
post #20 of 516
Just read my phase 2 and I'm just so and about all of it.

I wrote a thread a couple weeks ago about doing massage therapy. I'm still undecided but I'm leaning toward yes. I could really use extra income to aide in midwifery studies(possibly fund a trip to casa?), I'd probably take a 1 year extension to do it so that I could focus on massage and not harm my midwifery studies or massage by only doing either half way. I'll have to wait until next year but that'll have me solidly in phase 4.

It was mentioned on the other thread what our goals are for this year, my midwifery goals are:

Complete phase 2
Complete phase 3
Start on Phase 4
Work on my book collection

Overall I just want to enjoy every moment spent learning and discovering my midwife self.
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