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Considering Midwifery School and need advice about my life

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

Like the title says, I'm considering midwifery school. I've been a doula and cbe for going on two years now and while i've always said I didn't have the call to midwifery, I think I got called the other night. Something hit me and I realized that the only way I'd ever be able to achieve what I'm trying to do, which is help women truly have the birth that they want, would be to study midwifery. I have gained so much and helped many as a doula and cbe and I'm proud of what i have done but I also feel limited and frustrated with the medical model of maternity care, especially since my HBAC in July.

I already have seven years of college under my belt including an accounting degree and required coursework to take the CPA exam, which I never did but am qualified to do. i have a $50,000 student loan debt left over from that. It's not causing us financial hardship and we are lucky enough to be in a situation to pay cash for midwifery school if i do it but still, it kind of feels like one career and education that's been wasted. That said, even if i don't go into midwifery, I will still be a SAHM and not practice accounting. The good news is that it appears that I can transfer credits over and receive a Bachelors in Midwifery though, so that's nice.

The other considerations are that I have are two small children. Actually, a newborn and a toddler. We'd like to have one more but time wise it will be tricky. My husband is active duty military. We are currently in Korea but moving to the US in April for a two year tour in CO (which would be great for some apprentice work, right??). During that two years, he will be in Afghanistan for a year. The kids will be one and 3.5 when he leaves so i figured I'd have down time in the evenings to study while he's gone. But that puts up planning for #3 when he gets back which is a bigger spacing than I'd like to have. After he gets back we will move again and he will be a full time student working on a Master's degree for two years. That works really well with midwifery school because I would be about two years into at that point and would have him around and fairly available for two years while I worked on the clinical part of my training and for me to knock out the rest of the academics.

That said, we are military and we move every two years or so. Is it even feasible for me to work as a midwife? By the time people start to learn about me, I'd be leaving again. Are there any other military wife midwives out there? How does it work out?

Do I have the lifestyle for this? Small kids, military, big student loan debts. Is this doable or am I crazy?
post #2 of 7
Honestly, if you are planning as a family to remain in the military for an extended number of years, then it will be hard to practice as a homebirth midwife. Like you said, just when you start becoming known, you may well be moving on again. I do know one military mom who became a Certified Nurse Midwife; now she is able to find employment through the military--at the military hospitals where enlisted women, and the wives of enlisted men seek care. Her practice is mainly 'medical model' just because the population she works with is inclined in that direction--but sometimes she gets to work with more natural minded moms. You didn't say if you wanted to do homebirth or hospital birth, or both--so this is what I can offer with the info you provided.
post #3 of 7
My midwife for my second was a CNM and did homebirths. They were also a military family. While there were touring she worked in hospitals and not that they are out she did homebirths for a while and then opened a birth center.
I think it would be very difficult as a homebirth midwife to move every two years. That is essentially only 2 1/2 pregnancies (length wise). Good luck!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice.

We have about 11 years left before retirement and we are planning to stay in. I have absolutely no desire to work in a hospital, home birth is what's for me. I figure I can take my time with school, about five years, and then do what births I can for the remaining six years we'd have in the Army, then focus on building a practice when we settle in one place. I just wonder if I'll be able to get any clients during that six year time span to at least keep my skills. i'd be happy with 6-12 births per year while I still have little ones anyway. And my husband just informed me that we will have three year tours the last six years most likely so that helps. I'll only be 41 by the time my husband retires and my youngest kids would be in elementary school so I feel good about that.

I guess rationally I could just not start school until closer to retirement but I'm motivated now and i'm the kind of person that has to act once I make a decision.

I guess if I do it I have to do it with the expectation that I'm not going to attend a whole lot of births until my husband retires. I could always work at a birth center in the mean time though, right?
post #5 of 7
What about joining the military and being a midwife in a military hospital? My mother still remembers the Army midwife who caught my youngest sister and always says how much more she liked the midwife than the doctors who caught me and my sister. If you do that, the military might also pay for you to go to nursing school and get the CNM credential, but I guess this is only an option if you want to work in a hospital setting for awhile.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcparker View Post
What about joining the military and being a midwife in a military hospital? My mother still remembers the Army midwife who caught my youngest sister and always says how much more she liked the midwife than the doctors who caught me and my sister. If you do that, the military might also pay for you to go to nursing school and get the CNM credential, but I guess this is only an option if you want to work in a hospital setting for awhile.
Thanks for your thoughts but I nearly shot my drink out of my nose when I read this. I am a great Army spouse but not so much the Army type and besides the last thing this family needs is two active duty military parents and potentially two active duty parents deploying at the same time. I can not be away from my children. My husband, yes but not my kids. I'm interested in becoming a hb mw but not interested at all in putting any stress on my family at the moment. That's why I would take midwifery school slowly, like the five year plan.
post #7 of 7
I can't answer all of your questions, but did want to address the whole "did you waste your education" comment that you made. I am not going to school for midwifery, but am in school for nursing. For me I have a bachelors and masters degree in education, and I was actually asked that very same question by one of my instructors the other day. She asked me if I felt that I wasted my time and money getting an education that I am not actually using right now and my immediate answer is "absolutely not" because to me my education is part of who I am. Those experiences help to round me into the person I am. Helped me to grow and change in positive ways.

For me, going to school and obtaining both of those degrees helped to boost my confidence (before my bachelors degree and my husband pushing me to go I had no confidence in myself). I am now outspoken, stand up for myself, and am a completely different person then I was before my education. I also believe that every choice I have made in life has brought me to where I am at now and without those choices I wouldn't be here.

Good luck with your decision, but please try and remember - no matter what an education is never a waste or wasted.
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