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Would you take this chance? (Midwife Assistant question)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello!

I've just enrolled in a correspondence course, have plans to take a couple of Workshops next year, and have somewhat of an idea of what I want my path to Midwifery to look like. I had planned to take these Workshops, get farther along in my studies, and start looking for Midwives to assist (not apprentice with) at the end of next year so that I have a good foundation to work with.

 

Well, I recently came into an opportunity to assist a Midwife in Tennessee (which isn't far from where I am), and met up with her last week. I'm not sure what to make of the meeting, to be honest. We didn't seem to get along, disagreed about a few things that I didn't understand her reason for bringing up in the first place, and just seemed to clash. The window to work with her is still open, but I'm not sure if I should stick to my original plan or work with someone I'm incompatible with. What would you ladies suggest? What would be more important, the experience, or being able to work well with someone?

post #2 of 9

Maybe you could do a trial period with her? See how it goes and if you are able to work together, but set it up so that you both have an "out" if things aren't working well.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

I had thought of that. She's on a bit of a time crunch, though. The woman who is currently her assistant is about to stop practicing early next year, so she wants to have her work with whoever the next assistant will be (she doesn't want to teach, which is why she's looking for an assistant and not an apprentice). I'm really leaning toward not working with her and sticking to my original plan. A lot of things that were said even just within the first 5 minutes into the meeting really turned me off of being around this woman, let alone working with her in such an intimate environment. I have another couple of weeks to think about it before I am to contact her again. I'd love to hear more opinions, there may be some factors I'm missing in making this decision.

 

Thank you!

post #4 of 9

In a perfect world, I'd go with your gut feeling and not think twice about working with someone you don't get along with. But I know opportunities can be far and few in between, so if you think you might have any troubles finding a midwife to assist when you're done with your education, I'd take the opportunity. I've turned down apprenticeships because they weren't a "perfect" fit, and I sort of regret doing so because it's so hard to find something in my area and I know I could have made it work, even if only for a while. Some experience is better than not being able to find any experience, and who knows, you might learn something about relationships.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you, WildDoula, that is a great point. Opportunities like this aren't very likely to happen often here. I've actually received a very nice email from her, and it seems we were both just having an off day the day we met. She's still keen to work with me so I think I'm going to jump at this opportunity smile.gif

post #6 of 9

I would hope that aspiring midwives would have enough self-esteem to not place themselves in potentially abusive situations with a preceptor.

 

I understand the reality that apprenticeships are few and far between, but apprentices and student midwives should not be entering arrangements with preceptors that are not clear and respectful just because they don't think another opportunity will come along.

 

I'm only saying this as one who has been in apprenticeship arrangements where I was not treated kindly or fairly. And I know many other apprentices who've found themselves in the same position. Too often they stick it out because they fear that they will not be able to acquire their experiences elsewhere.

 

Find out how long an apprentice or an assistant works with a  potential preceptor - if there is a lot of turnover, and these apprenticeships only last weeks or months - take that as a sign.

 

Don't be afraid to leave a situation that is abusive, where your personal space is not being respected, or where there are unclear expectations of how the apprentice gains her skills and progresses through the training.
 

If there are personality friction points at the outset, that sure doesn't seem like a good situation to enter.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I haven't updated on the situation since my last post, but I have actually decided not to work with her. We got together again to discuss more details, and it became VERY clear that we just aren't compatible enough to work together in such an important environment as homebirth. Right from the beginning of this second meeting things felt awkward and tense, and once again the conversation took uncomfortable turns (that I still don't understand!). I tried to tell myself that this would pass and that it would be worth it for the experience, but had to honestly ask myself how I could possibly work with/for this woman if I didn't even like being around her. I got my answer; I couldn't.

post #8 of 9

So sorry to hear it didn't work out, but it sounds like it was the best decision. Hoping some other opportunities come your way. FWIW - I know the midwife that I work with is much more open to having someone as an assistant that taking on the responsibility of an apprentice (at least that's where she is right now). Maybe you can make some other connections that will work out in a similar way. Good luck!

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doulola View Post

I haven't updated on the situation since my last post, but I have actually decided not to work with her. We got together again to discuss more details, and it became VERY clear that we just aren't compatible enough to work together in such an important environment as homebirth. Right from the beginning of this second meeting things felt awkward and tense, and once again the conversation took uncomfortable turns (that I still don't understand!). I tried to tell myself that this would pass and that it would be worth it for the experience, but had to honestly ask myself how I could possibly work with/for this woman if I didn't even like being around her. I got my answer; I couldn't.


Thanks for making a wise decision. I have seen first hand midwife assistant relationships that were rocky and it just wasn't good for ANY ONE.

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