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What is the status of midwifery education in FL?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I went looking around yesterday trying to find info out and discovered some older threads (2007 or so) about the limitations of midwifery education here in Florida and was wondering what the current status is. From what I found, is it true I cannot do any of the distance education/correspondence courses offered in the US? I know there was something in the works for a 4 month class to be offered for out of state midwives?... does anyone know what the currect correct info is? With the possibility opening up of getting to go the direct entry route, I'm trying to find out what my options would be. I had such high hopes of actually being able to afford it until seeing all the problems with Florida. I sent an email requesting information from the Commonsense Childbirth School, but haven't heard back, and basically the only thing I DID see listed was tuition, at almost $20,000, with no financial aid available, and no mention as to whether books and such were included. That's a steep price for a SAHM.
post #2 of 11
http://midwiferyschool.org/

The Florida School of Traditional Midwifery seems to have several financial aid options.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
At three + hours away from me, it's not really a feasible option at this time unfortunately.
post #4 of 11
post #5 of 11
Faerieshadow, most of the students at FSTM live 3+ hours away. Classes (for your first year) are schedule on two consecutive weekdays. Most students carpool and then stay somewhere together in Gainesville the first night, then go home after school ends the second day. Once you're in your second year of school, you no longer stay the night.

You are correct in that you will not be able to do any distance courses to become licensed in the state of Florida; and that four month program is not being offered right now. If you were thinking of doing a distance course and then moving out of Florida when you finish, that will not work either because preceptors are not allowed to take on students who are not going through a Florida-approved school (of which there are only three right now: FSTM in Gainesville, Commonsense in Orlando, and International School of Midwifery in Miami)...so you'd be able to get the academic portion done, but you would have to move out of state to actually start attending births as a student.

Have you thought of moving to another state? The "midwife-friendly" state of Florida is not so midwife-friendly, anyway (and even less friendly to pregnant mamas). Licensing is strict, and midwives are severely limited in autonomous practice. They are not allowed to care for women who go to 42 weeks, no breeches, no twins. I'd say get the heck out of Florida, become a midwife, and serve women as they deserve to be served. Either that or become a midwife in Florida and work your ass off to try to change some of the many rules and regulations that act more as limitations.

Good luck and many blessings to you on your path!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
wombjuice, that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for, thanks. My husband is a fire medic and works 24 hr shifts. There's just no way with two young children that kind of schedule (staying overnight) would be feasible for me. Otherwise the drive itself wouldn't be such a problem - I drove it weekly to come back home when I was going to UF and actually enjoyed the thinking time lol....

Commonsense really would be perfect for me, it's about an hour away, I'm still waiting on info from them though.

And although moving out of state is something DH and I would both love to do, it would be very hard to find a job in his field that held up to the one he has now, so I don't think we'll be going anywhere anytime soon. So stay and fight it is.
post #7 of 11
I know for me, that I had to wait until my kids were older to start doula-ing, and I'm planning to wait until my youngest is old enough to be home alone before I start down the midwife path. If it doesn't fit into your life right now, it may have to be put off. Because if you can't fit in school, fitting in the weird work hours of a birth person will be even more difficult.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Fitting school in isn't a problem (I've been a student my daughter's entire life (she's 20 months)) but being away for two whole days at a time, is, for right now - and probably for the next year, until dd is able to get through a night without nursing/needing me. I think there's a BIG difference between fitting in a day of classes at this age, in preparation for when she's older and I CAN work/attend births/deal with a crazy schedule, and fitting in 2 days/1 night of being gone right now. As a birth person I wouldn't be traveling three hours away from my family, anyway.

If I don't start midwifery school I'll be starting the BSN program in Jan and be gone Mon - Fri all day anyway. I NEED to be working toward whatever is going to be helping me bring an income into our house. I would prefer it to be what I love, and not just something that I "do". There IS a school within an hour from me that I could attend if I could get the info, and that's doable. Expensive, but doable. I think I'm actually lucky in that 2/3 of the time my DH is able to be home, so 2 out of three days as a midwife I wouldn't even have to worry about an on call sitter.

I would never *work* as a midwife while my daughter was this young, but I can prepare so that I'm able to when she's old enough to handle me being gone.
post #9 of 11
Faerie,
you say "but being away for two whole days at a time, is, for right now - and probably for the next year,"
The realities of being a midwife, and even of being a midwifery student is that there are times you may be away from your family even longer than that for a birth. I have had births with primips that have taken 4 days; and then there are back to back births (5 in 4 days) etc. Once you are a student and you take a preceptor - which happens your first semester in most FL programs you are committed to being on call and showing up when you have to be at a birth no excuses for car trouble, sick kids etc. I am not saying this to be mean, just to let you know the reality. Can it be done? yes, I did it with 3 young children and I had classmates with just as many or more. but it was a HUGE sacrifice, missed birthdays, missed anniversaries with the spouse, etc.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
That's why, when researching my options if I don't get into nursing school (my DH prefers that I go the CNM route), I was highly interested in the distance programs. It was definitely a bummer to find out they weren't an option.

In any case, the grueling schedule is one I'm willing to deal with but not located across the state necessarily if that makes sense. It's a shame that our economy tanked over here, because if we could sell our house we could move two hours closer to Gainesville and DH would still be within an hour of his job, just in the opposite direction. There are a lot of things to think about but at the moment I'm just trying to assimilate all the info so I know every option available to me. Chances are I'll be in nursing school and then find a graduate program for midwifery anyway, I've got an excellent GPA and all prerequisites done. You'd think I'd be more excited but my heart is with direct entry midwifery.
post #11 of 11
Jenni Joseph has talked about trying to get distant learning set up eventually. It's something you can ask them about at Common Sense Midwifery School in Winter Garden. Remember, it's not the 1-2 days of school that will kill you. It's the birth and clinicals. Once you make it through the 3 years of school, you can make your own schedule. : )
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