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New here, looking for tips on starting midwifery education: schools/self study/PEP/etc!

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

Hello!

I am so glad I found this section. I checked out the forums at Midwifery Today but they don't seem very active, so hopefully yall can help me out.

I am wanting to start midwifery training very soon and have decided that a distance program along with an apprenticeship is the best route for me. I want to be a homebirth midwife here and also where we do mission work in Africa and Central America. I don't care to do an MEAC school so I am looking into schools that are inexpensive and have a self directed approach to studying. I want a school that provides a solid academic foundation without a lot of busy work or requirements other than completeing modules. I have looked into Midwife To Be, and while almost everything about that school is appealing, I don't think I like being required to do all the projects, like one was showing a video about birth at a local library. I'm not against education and doing things like that, I just don't want to be REQUIRED to do those kinds of things before I can move on and learn about other midwife things. Another school I am looking at is the Midwifery Institute of America. This one seems a lot better to me, has anyone heard of it? I have spoken to the director and she seems great, but I can't seem to find very many testimonials on the school. I also have looked into AAMI, but I have seen lot of mixed reviews and I'd hate to start that and then not like it and be out the $4000ish tuition.

 

I am also thinking about self study. Is this difficult? Would a structured school prepare me better to take the NARM test? If you are doing or did self study, do you have any recommendations about how to do that in an organized way that prepares for the NARM test? If I do self study, how does that tie into PEP?

 

I have a midwife here who I am probably going to start an apprenticeship with soon. So do I need to order some kind of check list or sign off sheet? I guess I'm a little confused about how to get started with the PEP and tie it into my schooling and apprenticing.

 

If someone wants to lay all this out for me and give me some school recommendations that would be great! Thanks!

 

post #2 of 52

Welcome!  I am doing self study and will apply via PEP.  Narm.org has the forms to check-off skills, etc.  Start with the Candidate Information Bulletin I linked to below.  Two other schools you might want to look into are Institute of Holistic Midwifery and the National College of Midwifery, just to see if either might be a good fit.

 

 

http://www.narm.org/pdffiles/cib.pdf

 

 

post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I'm not sure those are as self directed as I'm looking for, but I'll read some more about them this evening. Can you tell me how you are going about your self study?

post #4 of 52

I decided to go with PEP because I want to be able to mold my own education.  I have always been a good student, earned my bachelor's degree at a young age, etc. so I am comfortable with accepting the responsibility for learning content from the texts.  Furthermore, I didn't want to sign up for a program where I would be asked to write paper after paper, when I know I work better with bullet lists and short blurbs on issues as they come up in my studying or apprenticeship.

 

My kids will be 2 and 4 this summer, so most of my reading is done during naptime and at night.  For the past year, I have been working my way through some of the texts on the primary and secondary reference lists in the CIB, along with some others.  Heart and Hands is a good place to start, and I go back and re-read it after finishing each other book (especially something huge like Varney's) because it is such a great, succinct resource.  I am reading Myles Textbook for Midwives this summer and will start on all of Anne Frye's books in the fall, which will take a while.  After I have those under my belt, I plan to start typing notes - probably in a one-page-per-topic fashion.  That will be a massive, ongoing project that will be added to constantly as I finish other books and research further.  Mercy in Action has a NARM study retreat that I might consider for preparation before the exam.  http://www.mercyinaction.com/narm-study-retreat/

 

In addition to the reading, I want to take A&P at a community college at some point.  It isn't a requirement, but I know it would be helpful for me.  There are also other great online resources out there full of info (blogs, free online courses, http://www.brooksidepress.org/Products/OBGYN_Skills_Lab/index.htm, etc.) so I want to glean all that I can.  Also, as long as it works out with everything else going on in our lives, I will attend a 6-day skills workshop this December through Mercy in Action.  This is really important to me because I am not taking part in a curriculum that regularly offers meetings and skills training.

 

Fortunately, apprenticeships are not terribly hard to come by where I live.  I am working with a CPM for the first time over the next 3 months, and I know my experiences with her will help me retain more information as I read and study.  To be honest, I'm not really concerned with getting skills checked off or credit for attending births over the summer.  I want to focus on observing and asking the millions of questions that will come up during the clinical experience.  Then I will be back to my studies in the fall and will try to get into a full-time apprenticeship next year (unless we decide to have another kiddo).

 

So that's my drawn-out story.  I am in the very beginning of my training, but I try to set timetables for myself to keep my studies moving along.  That being said, I never hesitate to stop and spend a week delving into a certain topic that I feel I need a better understanding of... the latest was infant hypoglycemia, and so on.

post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 

Thank you for sharing, you sound a lot like me in some ways!

 

My hesitation in beginning a program is that it could possibly require a way of learning that doesn't work for me. Thats why self study is appealing, because I can learn MY way and I can focus on what I need to instead of being on someone else's time and curriculum. But then I'm afraid I'll just make a mess of self study and will have a better time with a structured program. Decisions, decisions! I guess I can always start one or the other and switch if it doesn't work out. But which one to start first!? lol

 

My kids are 4 months and 20 months so nap time will be my study time too! I plan on homeschooling them, so maybe self study will be a good preparation for that.

 

I was considering doing an A&P class, I took one semester of it a couple years ago. But the Midwifery School of America has the full scope of it, not just pertaining to pregnancy/child birth, so that makes the school appealing since I wouldn't have to pay for a college class. I do want to take the EMT class though, my local CC offers a basic semester long course. I think the skills learned there would be very important.

 

Thanks for all the tips, you have helped a lot! :)

post #6 of 52

Ooh, the EMT class is a great idea!  My boys are 22 mos. apart, and we also want to homeschool.  We will have to stay in touch!

post #7 of 52
Thread Starter 

Yes, we should definitely stay in touch! Feel free to PM me your email if facebook sometime if you want to ever chat about midwife and school stuff. :)

post #8 of 52

I have heard from some CPM's out here that the AAIC course is a joke.  She can be off base in her teaching and does not adequately prepare you.  Just thought I would throw that out there for those who were looking at it.

post #9 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannon84 View Post

I have heard from some CPM's out here that the AAIC course is a joke.  She can be off base in her teaching and does not adequately prepare you.  Just thought I would throw that out there for those who were looking at it.



What is the AAIC course?

 

post #10 of 52
Thread Starter 

What is the AAIC course?

post #11 of 52

I am sorry...  I mistyped.  The AAMI.

post #12 of 52
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I saw a lot of similar reviews on it, but I have also seen some positive ones. I have definitely decided against that one though, mostly because of the price factor. I have found 4 schools that are cheaper. If I go with a school, I have pretty much decided on Midwifery Institute of America. It seems to match up with everything I'm looking for. The director sent me and outline of the program and it looks very well rounded, with more focus on A&P and nutrition than other courses I have seen. It is a Christian course so there are scripture modules also, which I am very happy about. The price is wonderful. I'm hoping someone here has heard of it and can give me some feed back on it, or a similar course!

post #13 of 52

hello--

 

     i am a trained doula and aspiring midwife, but am just doing a lot of independent study for right now. 

 

     i have, however, looked into a lot of programs, and have found my favorite and number one pick to be birthwise midwifery school in bridgton, maine. it is about  hour or so from portland, maine. they have a (mostly) distance program that starts on a two year cycle- the next one will be starting in june 2012. this program aims to work with women in far-off places, that will have an opportunity to travel 10 times in 2 years- for two week periods. that may or may not work for you. the rest of the education is dependent on an apprenticeship, which i believe is the best model for learning. the real kicker that makes this the school for me is that it is eligible for federal financial aid!! the eligibility comes from not being a purely distance program. if it sounds like it could be a fit, i highly encourage you check it out. like i said, the next time the community/distance program starts up is june 2012, and application deadlines are a ways before that.

 

    sorry this is super short, but i have a lot going on right this minute. i will check back in. :)

post #14 of 52

I am super happy with Institute of Holistic Midwifery!

Almost done with my first year, and I have learned so much:)

Wish you all the best on your midwifery journey

 

post #15 of 52
Thread Starter 

I checked out BirthWise, but the traveling like that is definitely not possible. It also appeared to be a little too structured for me, mostly time wise, as did IHM. I want something that I can go at my own pace and not be pressured to finish by someone else's deadline. They both look like great schools though, just not for me :)

 

I found another school today called Via Vita that looks interesting. Anyone doing this program?

post #16 of 52

I would look into the Midwife To Be program.  I'm using it and it's run by a local midwife in SC.  I love it.  I'll be doing the NARM PEP Process as well!

post #17 of 52

2littlebirds I'm SO glad to see this topic posted by you. I stumbled upon this thread in my online research of the various methods, routes and requirements to become a CPM. Since I'm also the mother of a little one (15 months), I need something that is self-paced and local. There aren't a lot of MEAC schools that fit what I need--so far I was leaning towards the National College of Midwifery and hadn't even thought about looking at non MEAC schools-- but now I can't wait to check out Midwife To Be and Midwifery Institute of America! I hope that one of those may be more suited for me.

 

I was also wondering about the self-study method--though it seems a little scarier. Like you, I don't know if I'd be organized enough in my studying to be prepared for the NARM exam, but it sure sounds more appealing than spending thousands of dollars on something that may or may not work for me.

 

Also, thank you Cheap Sunglasses for you input. I want to check out Institute of Holistic Midwifery as well. I hadn't thought yet about taking an a college A&P class or EMT class. What good suggestions. I've benefited greatly from "eves dropping" on this dialogue.

 

I think next week i'll talk with the midwife who assisted me with my daughter's birth, but wanted to be as informed as possible first. There are two birth centers very close to where I live, so I'm hoping that finding a willing preceptor won't be difficult when the time comes.

 

Seriously ladies, I really didn't have a clue where to start on self study or non MEAC routes, so thanks so much for this input! I would love to stay in discussion with you as we continue down the road to midwifery! :)

post #18 of 52
Thread Starter 

Hey eristabarista!

So glad you were able to benefit from this thread. I have decided to begin with self study. NARM gives a lists of books and things to know for the test so I figured I might as well follow that and see how it goes. I am still waiting on books to come in the mail so I can't tell you how it it going, but I have really high hopes. I was afraid of being organized, but after looking through NARM suggestions and other school's curriculums, it didn't seem that difficult to do it myself. The price factor also influenced me. I have already spend a considerable amount on books and school supplies. I'd rather try to make this work before I dish out hundreds of dollars for a program, on top of books and supplies. Cheap Sunglasses and I are both doing self study and are keeping in contact through email for tips and encouragement. If you want to join us, PM us your email address. :)

post #19 of 52


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2littlebirds View Post

Hey eristabarista!

So glad you were able to benefit from this thread. I have decided to begin with self study. NARM gives a lists of books and things to know for the test so I figured I might as well follow that and see how it goes. I am still waiting on books to come in the mail so I can't tell you how it it going, but I have really high hopes. I was afraid of being organized, but after looking through NARM suggestions and other school's curriculums, it didn't seem that difficult to do it myself. The price factor also influenced me. I have already spend a considerable amount on books and school supplies. I'd rather try to make this work before I dish out hundreds of dollars for a program, on top of books and supplies. Cheap Sunglasses and I are both doing self study and are keeping in contact through email for tips and encouragement. If you want to join us, PM us your email address. :)


Hi! I am currently working towards my doula/breastfeeding counselor certification, but my eventual goal is midwifery. This is the first time I've really talked to anyone doing self-study, which is probably where I will begin -- could you share more about the books/process/resources you have or have used? Thanks for starting such a helpful thread! :)

 

post #20 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by poetgoddess813 View Post


 


Hi! I am currently working towards my doula/breastfeeding counselor certification, but my eventual goal is midwifery. This is the first time I've really talked to anyone doing self-study, which is probably where I will begin -- could you share more about the books/process/resources you have or have used? Thanks for starting such a helpful thread! :)

 


.

Hi! Well...after a week or 2 of self study, I decided I needed a little more structure and am going with Midwifery Institute of America. I have a possible apprenticeship coming up so I decided it would be best to have something more straight forward for that. I think if things weren't happening so quickly with my apprenticeship I would have continued with self study.

 

What I did though was print out NARM's CIB and they have a list of reference books and what you should know for the test. So I ordered a lot of those books and also printed off some curriculums that some other schools posted online and I planned on following it that way. Another good resource I found was on NCM's website. You can actually look at each of their modules and there are activities, learning goals, and test questions listed for each one. The Birthsong Midwifery Workbook is also a great tool to help guide and gives you activities. For my studies each day, I would read, take notes, and answer questions in the workbook and from the NCM page to help me retain the information. Then I would type my notes and put them in a notebook so I could reference them later. Hope this helps!

http://www.midwiferycollege.org/AcademicProgram/ASM_academics.htm 

 

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