Midwives or Apprentices, Question from DH - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 04-25-2010, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He wants to know why I need to enroll in AAMI. What do I actually get from it that an apprenticeship won't give me? He says it doesn't make sense to him since it's not a certification, degree, or something like that. I KNOW this is important for me to do, but I don't know how to explain it to him!

Wife to Jesse, Mom to Ayden 12/01, Kailey 07/03, Ashlyn 6/05, Dylan 9/07, & Riley 12/09

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#2 of 17 Old 04-26-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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I think it is much more thorough (book learning-wise) than most would ever get out of just working with a preceptor/experience only.

Missionary, birth-worker, midwifery student
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#3 of 17 Old 04-26-2010, 04:51 AM
 
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Honestly, I enrolled in a school but didn't go through a tenth of the material. If you can self study, get all the books, read like crazy and perhaps be part of a study group you'll be fine in an apprenticeship. Sometimes I kick myself for spending that kind of money. I agree that book knowledge is a huge part of midwifery but you get it from BOOKS.

Maybe that's not what you wanted to hear.... Just saying that there are a lot of really great midwives out there that didn't go to school for it. Hopefully you can find a preceptor that will give you little assignments or you can do some research for yourself.

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#4 of 17 Old 04-26-2010, 10:04 AM
 
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I didn't go to a midwifery school, but I took a lot of the pre-nursing classes that you probably have taken, like anatomy, nutrition, pathophysiology, etc. I found those very helpful when I was trying to read my midwifery/obstetrics textbooks while self-studying. It is a lot of work, though, and if you don't have a framework like AAMI you have to be either really disciplined or think that reading OB textbooks is fun.

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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#5 of 17 Old 04-26-2010, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Something that worries me is that AAMI isn't MEAC accredited. With Michigan Midwives pushing for liscensure, should I look at an MEAC accedited school *if* I go that route? Currently I'm doing my required reading for toLabor, so while I'm doing that, I'm keeping notes and plan on setting up modules for midwifery self study. And AAMI is offering a skills lab here in MI and I can attend without being enrolled. I guess now I'm not sure if I should enroll with them.

Stacia, I have taken some, but I need to retake some science courses to refresh. I haven't taken a science class since 10th grade. I'll start that back up in the fall.

And WOW did you and Christa call it at Melissa's birth...should have put money on it! LOL ;-)

Wife to Jesse, Mom to Ayden 12/01, Kailey 07/03, Ashlyn 6/05, Dylan 9/07, & Riley 12/09

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#6 of 17 Old 04-26-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ~Kristina~ View Post
Something that worries me is that AAMI isn't MEAC accredited. With Michigan Midwives pushing for liscensure, should I look at an MEAC accedited school *if* I go that route? Currently I'm doing my required reading for toLabor, so while I'm doing that, I'm keeping notes and plan on setting up modules for midwifery self study. And AAMI is offering a skills lab here in MI and I can attend without being enrolled. I guess now I'm not sure if I should enroll with them.
I think this depends on what MI Midwives are trying to push through as the licensing requirements. I think most states that have licensure have it based just on the NARM standards, which covers those of us who went PEP as well, a few do have specific requirements about the schools one must attend though.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#7 of 17 Old 04-26-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ~Kristina~ View Post
He wants to know why I need to enroll in AAMI. What do I actually get from it that an apprenticeship won't give me? He says it doesn't make sense to him since it's not a certification, degree, or something like that. I KNOW this is important for me to do, but I don't know how to explain it to him!
You can't count on your preceptor to provide you with all the knowledge you'll need. She can provide you with experience, but you will still need knowledge based on theory. Whether you obtain that knowledge through dedicated self study OR a school, that's up to you. I think about going back to school constantly still.

Christa
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#8 of 17 Old 04-28-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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I think that if you're the kind who needs some sort of framework, a school is a good idea. AAMI, however, is pricey, has what I consider and unethical payment plan, is difficult to complete and promotes a type of radical midwifery that few of us will ever have the luxury of practicing, even if we want to. This is probably not a popular opinion here, but there, I said it.

I did the Association of Texas Midwives training program (www.texasmidwives.com), which allowed me to not have to do the skills exam required for the PEP process of becoming a CPM. I think if I were going to PEP, though, I would just get the NARM candidate bulletin and some textbooks and go to town with them, being sure that I covered all of the information in the NARM study guide (which is, admittedly, very general). If you don't love midwifery and pregnancy enough to diligently self-study, then do you love it enough to devote your life to it? (rhetorical question)

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#9 of 17 Old 04-28-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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I agree with the radicalness of AAMI(or more exact a good amount of the people who study there). A few local midwives came back from the Trust Birth Conference with the hugest chip on their shoulders. They were the only true midwives for the area and everyone else was abusive because they ever did cervical exams. Now it may have been their personalities anyways but it didn't help the situation. I chose not to do AAMI after talking to a lot of people about the program. I am doing self study plus an apprenticeship with multiple midwives plus probably some out of country work at the end. AAMI is overwhelmingly popular here on MDC it is hard to not get swept up in it.

.
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#10 of 17 Old 04-29-2010, 01:33 PM
 
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Dangit, I just wrote a long post here and somehow it got lost. Arg. Anyhow, AAMI is not expensive for the education you get. I have talked with numerous people who would have paid 4x the amount. The first 6 months are pretty boring and you are doing small petty assignments to get you organized and developing how you're going to study. Once you get into the cirriculum, it is self-directed. You get all the assignments you need to complete, a time frame (which can be extended) and then you are in charge. The founder is the most compassionate person I have ever met and she wants to keep the cost down for aspiring midwives. I don't think it is unethical to have an interest free payment plan. It's just someone actually helping others out WITHOUT trying to make a profit (interest). AAMI is not MEAC accredited for many reasons, including that she would have to then charge more because of the MEAC price. You can get your CPM (thru NARM) w/AAMI as many do.
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Originally Posted by Charmie981 View Post
I think that if you're the kind who needs some sort of framework, a school is a good idea. AAMI, however, is pricey, has what I consider and unethical payment plan, is difficult to complete and promotes a type of radical midwifery that few of us will ever have the luxury of practicing, even if we want to. This is probably not a popular opinion here, but there, I said it.

I did the Association of Texas Midwives training program (www.texasmidwives.com), which allowed me to not have to do the skills exam required for the PEP process of becoming a CPM. I think if I were going to PEP, though, I would just get the NARM candidate bulletin and some textbooks and go to town with them, being sure that I covered all of the information in the NARM study guide (which is, admittedly, very general). If you don't love midwifery and pregnancy enough to diligently self-study, then do you love it enough to devote your life to it? (rhetorical question)
I am sorry certain MW's returned from the conference having an attitude as that is not right. I attended the Trust Birth Conference and learned MANY MANY reasons physiologically and psychologically why to do and not do certain things (backed by studies & experiences), but that's for everyone's individual practice. I have talked with many women who have taken other courses and then attended AAMI, where AAMI's education was much more thorough and they learned sooo much more. Even practicing MW's take the course because of how much knowledge you know. There is no guessing and every single student has passed NARM the first time, where I've heard of students failing NARM first or second time w/other institutions. I do agree that AAMI is not for everyone and you need to figure what philosophy you have on learning, what kind of education you want, and the philosophy you have for birth. AAMI is radical in a sense that it sends the message of giving the birth back to the mother, her being in charge, extremely researching any intervention before practicing it, and being hands-off. You take what you want and leave the rest, as how every education is.
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I agree with the radicalness of AAMI(or more exact a good amount of the people who study there). A few local midwives came back from the Trust Birth Conference with the hugest chip on their shoulders. They were the only true midwives for the area and everyone else was abusive because they ever did cervical exams. Now it may have been their personalities anyways but it didn't help the situation. I chose not to do AAMI after talking to a lot of people about the program. I am doing self study plus an apprenticeship with multiple midwives plus probably some out of country work at the end. AAMI is overwhelmingly popular here on MDC it is hard to not get swept up in it.
Oh and I wanted to tell you that you will understand more of what AAMI is like once attending the MSL. The instructor is way more hands-off than even AAMI teaches, but again that's for you to figure out through learning how you want to practice. There are many people who attend the MSL's who are not enrolled and decide to enroll or not. Take from it what you will.

Grace: Student Midwife Christ Follower, : to 3 busy babes and to #4
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#11 of 17 Old 04-29-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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I want to restate that I am not against AAMI. All I have are the experiences of the midwives and student I have talked with. Any way that we can educate more midwives is a good thing for me. It just wasn't a good fit for me (and I am one of the most hands off midwives/apprentices I know) because I felt like I needed more discussion about what I was learning. Many of the women I have talked with said they were disappointed in the amount of feedback they got for their work done with AAMI. I just decided for me it wasn't a good fit. I can put similar money into another program that is MEAC accredited and have more one on one time with that counselor. There are so many women who love AAMI so if it is what you are drawn to and can sacrifice the money do it.

.
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#12 of 17 Old 04-29-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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I'd like to comment on the unethical payment plan comment. I am speaking for myself here and not Charme981 but I agree with her statement. I believe the payment plan is unethical because you are required to pay in full before ever seeing the course work and never have the option to discontinue enrollment. I am also university student and the way it works there is that tuition for the semester is due and there is a certain date by which you are allowed to withdrawal from classes and receive at least a partial refund. I think that there is a lot of secrecy about what is actually in the course before you enroll with AAMI. By the time you actually get your curriculum, you have paid thousands of dollars and ave no option to back out. To be fair to AAMI, this is made clear from the beginning. But I know that all I heard was how incredibly thorough AAMI is and how it's the best education around. When I received my curriculum, I was in shock that I paid thousands of dollars for that binder. I don't feel that it is the best education around. If I had been enrolled in AAMI through my university, I would have dropped the course and had my money refunded. I think there should be more transparency surrounding what is actually in the coursework or options to discontinue enrollment before you have paid in full. Just my two cents.
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#13 of 17 Old 04-29-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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There is no guessing and every single student has passed NARM the first time, where I've heard of students failing NARM first or second time w/other institutions.
I am sorry, that is simply not true. Perhaps with the students who have reported back there has been a 100% first-time pass rate, but there is no way for them to track all students of AAMI or how many times they take the exam since the exam is not required for graduation.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#14 of 17 Old 04-29-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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I completely understand and yes I agree, AAMI is not for everyone. It's wonderful that you figured what's works best for your learning style. I do know that AAMI is adding/editing the cirriculum continually, trying to make it better. Each person now has a mentor, online study groups (some are more active than others), and hopefully you can find a local study group for all student midwives (not just AAMI).
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I want to restate that I am not against AAMI. All I have are the experiences of the midwives and student I have talked with. Any way that we can educate more midwives is a good thing for me. It just wasn't a good fit for me (and I am one of the most hands off midwives/apprentices I know) because I felt like I needed more discussion about what I was learning. Many of the women I have talked with said they were disappointed in the amount of feedback they got for their work done with AAMI. I just decided for me it wasn't a good fit. I can put similar money into another program that is MEAC accredited and have more one on one time with that counselor. There are so many women who love AAMI so if it is what you are drawn to and can sacrifice the money do it.
The reason for this is because when the cirriculum was written, copywrited, and printed, students signed up, quit, then kept and used the cirric. and even is in some other institutions cirric. now as well (stealing is not obviously not okay and has been done so many times) thus the reason for paying before seeing. I do agree that it is hard to make decisions without seeing samples, ect. but sadly it's the world we live in now.
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I'd like to comment on the unethical payment plan comment. I am speaking for myself here and not Charme981 but I agree with her statement. I believe the payment plan is unethical because you are required to pay in full before ever seeing the course work and never have the option to discontinue enrollment. I am also university student and the way it works there is that tuition for the semester is due and there is a certain date by which you are allowed to withdrawal from classes and receive at least a partial refund. I think that there is a lot of secrecy about what is actually in the course before you enroll with AAMI. By the time you actually get your curriculum, you have paid thousands of dollars and ave no option to back out. To be fair to AAMI, this is made clear from the beginning. But I know that all I heard was how incredibly thorough AAMI is and how it's the best education around. When I received my curriculum, I was in shock that I paid thousands of dollars for that binder. I don't feel that it is the best education around. If I had been enrolled in AAMI through my university, I would have dropped the course and had my money refunded. I think there should be more transparency surrounding what is actually in the coursework or options to discontinue enrollment before you have paid in full. Just my two cents.
Yes, you are correct. Not every person takes the NARM and not everyone reports back. I apologize, I shouldn't have stated everyone, that is my mistake. I will say that everyone who has reported back and many who haven't reported w/AAMI but still with other fellow students/midwives/birthing circle have passed the 1st time. Anyone can look up who passed, but it doesn't show those who didn't. I'm sure there have been some who haven't passed, but everyone is different in how they study, how motivated they are, how trained, ect.
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I am sorry, that is simply not true. Perhaps with the students who have reported back there has been a 100% first-time pass rate, but there is no way for them to track all students of AAMI or how many times they take the exam since the exam is not required for graduation.

Grace: Student Midwife Christ Follower, : to 3 busy babes and to #4
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#15 of 17 Old 05-09-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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IMO it is such a personal decision how to train/study and where. Not every path is right for every person. I have been apprenticing for about 2 years, have been to many many births both as an apprentice and a doula, participated in a study group and I came to the realization of a couple of things that are true for me. I am going to start NMI in the fall, though I could probably be "ready" to take the NARM before I might finish. There are several reasons for this. First, the way my brain works it needs an outline and a deadline, paying someone helps keep me on track, this is just the way I learn and I don't think I could be well educated by self-study alone, but that is me. Second, I came to decide that if I were to pay for a program, it wouldn't be worth it to me if weren't MEAC accredited, that gives me a streamlined and cheaper certification process and portability should another state I move to sometime in the future require MEAC grad as well as CPM. Third, I wanted a well rounded education that did not just focus on regional perspectives and practices, to a certain extent I felt that if I only learned within my community I would only get that perspective, not all midwives practice the same way around the country. Lastly, I have been able to work out with a local community university that this program will be my coursework for a self-designed major and I will be able to get a bachelors at the same time. Oh and use financial aid to pay for it all. But really these are my reasons, you have to be sure of your own and then you will find the right path for yourself

Apprentice midwife, partner, mother to two boys 5 and 2 1/2 :::
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#16 of 17 Old 05-11-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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My DH had a similar question. I actually was enrolled in AAMI back in 1995 - 1997 ish.... I was studying hard and completed a lot of correspondence work and started doing births, but ended up putting it on 'hold' to go to college, then grad school, then have my own babies... but I want to go back now and I think that the book work I learned there helped me a lot. I'm not sure of all the NARM requirements now and I'm currently reviewing what I need for a portfolio evaluation but I think I'm going to take more "classes" at one of the local midwifery schools here mainly for the community support. I think that is SO important.
Good luck!!
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#17 of 17 Old 05-11-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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Lastly, I have been able to work out with a local community university that this program will be my coursework for a self-designed major and I will be able to get a bachelors at the same time. Oh and use financial aid to pay for it all.
This is pure genius! Seriously, this is super smart. I love this idea and would love to hear more about it sometime.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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