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midwife/doula training

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
This is a question for the midvives/doulas out there.
I am thinking of trying to make a career switch.
I would love to become a midwife, but I am not sure of the best route to take.
I live in Georgia, which is very limited. The only training available is a nurse-midwifery program at Emory University, which I am told (by my own midwife) is in "transition."
It would require me to take a year of pre-requisite courses BEFORE even being accepted! I wouldn't mind doing it if they'd accept me provisionally, contingent on my finishing the classes.. but to put in a whole year with no guarantee of acceptance is ludicrous for someone in my position (39 years old, married, new baby on the way etc etc)
They have some other ridiculous requirements that are very off-putting as well.. such as needing two of three recommendations from college professors.. well, I haven't been in college in a LOT of years!
I don't mind paying my dues to do this.. and I understand that a degree in anthropology and years in the news business aren't exactly a standard background. But Emory seems to want to discourage non-traditional applicants.
I would be willing to move to do this.. but there are so many programs, schools out there.. I don't know where to start.
I thought being a Doula might be a great path as well. but there doesn't seem to be anything going in Atlanta.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 7
You have a few choices. Yes it will take time to know if you would be accepted to the midwifery courses, but you have to have your pre-reqs before you will know that. You can take those pre-reqs in evening or weekend classes. I am expecting in May, and I plan to do two evenings a week for a 2-3 hours, to get two classes out of the wayin the coming fall semester. I dont think I could handle being away much longer!! Some universities have some of the classes you will need online, which is a great alternative if it is available. You can work a few hours a week while the new one sleeps next to your chair. I will be taking advantage of online courses while my little one sleeps and my toddler naps!
Also, I do believe there is an active group of doulas in your area. They can help you get started with doula work if you like, it will give you a small taste of the dedication required to do midwifery full-time, and ease you into the lifestyle while your new one is young. The good thing about doula work is that if you dont want to spend a lot of time away, you dont take many clients. The bad thing is that one client can mean 24 hours straight away from your family, plus the time you spend in prenatal and postpartum meetings.
Try checking www.dona.com, www. cappa.com and www.doulanetwork.com for doulas in your area. If you don't find any, let me know and I will give you a list of other places to try, or will have names of doulas in your area for you.
Good luck!
<edited to add: Try http://www.nurturingarms.com/ They are located in Atlanta and should be able to help you out.>
post #3 of 7
You can also check out www.alace.org. I plan on going through them for certification to become a doula. Good Luck!
post #4 of 7
There is no way Id be able to do any of the clinics while mothering a baby or toddler(thats why Im still not a midwife-but thats ok But like you are probably figuring, the pre reqs would be perfect for you to get started on!!! If I remember correctly- GA doesnt have DEM(direct entry level) midwives, so I assume the midwife certification you would be persuing is a certified nurse midwife(CNM)-There are some inherent differences- like...in GA (now I could be really wrong- I hope I am and request that you correctly asap if so)home births are illegal and CNMs practice under a physician(OB/gyn)and do hospital and birth center deliveries only-(not that there isnt a demand and underground market for births at home- just that they are illegal to manage)
you probably already know all this tho-
anyways- thought Id mention it-
blessings on your career! and your sweet babe on the way!!

seasons greetings! mary
post #5 of 7
I am an currently apprenticing to be a direct entry midwife in Georgia. I, too, looked into the CNM route and ran into the same roadblocks as you. Having no science background, I would first have had to do the prerequisites, then apply to nursing school. Additionally, before being accepted into a master's program for midwifery, I would have had to acquire 1-2 years of childbirth experience as a labor and delivery nurse. So,you do the math: 4 years of nursing school, 1-2 years of work experience, and 2 years for the master's program. I began to think med school would be just as attractive at this point! All throughout my information gathering, I knew that what I was really interested in was homebirth. It began to seem really silly to go through nursing school (with probably only a quarter's worth of exposure to birth)just to get into position to be able to be around birth as a labor/delivery nurse. Plus, in Georgia, CNM's can not attend homebirths legally. That is where people probably get the idea that it is illegal to have a homebirth in Georgia. So, I began to look into direct entry midwifery and what all that involved. Currently, I apprentice with a primary midwife who has been attending homebirths for 14 years. Over time, I've been given more responsibilities, and I am now getting ready to attend my first birth as a "primary" midwife, under my midwife's supervision. Academically, I am enrolled in a distance learning program called Ancient Art Midwifery Institute. It is an incredibly flexible, yet amazingly rigorous course that is a bargain! I am very happy with my decision and feel that it is right for me. I would be happy to answer any more of your questions. just let me know.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have a gazillion questions. I didn't think there was any way to do direct entry midwifery legally in Georgia.
How did you find the midwife you're apprenticing with?
How long have you been with her?
How do mothers wanting homebirths find you/her?
I am going to send you a private message but please answer here too if you see this.

post #7 of 7
I happened to find my midwife by happenstance. I was working as a teacher when my love of midwifery was borne and I happened to mention to another teacher my hopes and dreams. She said that she knew a midwife who went to her church and she gave me her number. I called her up, we arranged a visit, and she just happened to be in a place to take on an apprentice. I have been working with her for about 2 1/2 years.
For the most part, women who are interested in homebirth get their contacts through word of mouth sources. Some know friends who had homebirths and they learn of us through them, others get contacts through La Leche League leaders, etc. Because homebirth practices are on a much smaller scale than ob/gyn practices, the need for a steady flow of moms isn't as great.
If you've done any research about midwives on a national scale you may have come across the name of one midwife, Debby Pulley. She is currently in a leadership position with MANA (Midwife Alliance of North America). She also happens to live in Atlanta and is the midwife that my midwife apprenticed under. She is also the president of GMA (Georgia Midwife Association), which meets quarterly in the Atlanta area. If you go the MANA website, they most likely have Debby Pulley's email listed and you could contact her. She still takes on apprentices and would also be a good link to other midwives in the area.
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