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

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#1 of 52 Old 05-19-2011, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

 


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#2 of 52 Old 05-19-2011, 03:03 PM
 
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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

 

 


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#3 of 52 Old 05-19-2011, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?


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#4 of 52 Old 05-20-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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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.


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#5 of 52 Old 05-20-2011, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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! :)


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#6 of 52 Old 05-20-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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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!


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#7 of 52 Old 05-20-2011, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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. :)


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#8 of 52 Old 05-21-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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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.


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#9 of 52 Old 05-21-2011, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

 


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#10 of 52 Old 05-21-2011, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is the AAIC course?


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#11 of 52 Old 05-21-2011, 12:28 PM
 
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I am sorry...  I mistyped.  The AAMI.


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#12 of 52 Old 05-21-2011, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!


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#13 of 52 Old 05-21-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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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. :)


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#14 of 52 Old 05-22-2011, 04:04 PM
 
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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

 


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#15 of 52 Old 05-22-2011, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?


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#16 of 52 Old 05-23-2011, 08:47 PM
 
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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!


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#17 of 52 Old 05-28-2011, 09:14 PM
 
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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! :)

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#18 of 52 Old 05-28-2011, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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. :)


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#19 of 52 Old 06-18-2011, 08:19 PM
 
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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! :)

 

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#20 of 52 Old 06-19-2011, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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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#21 of 52 Old 06-19-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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I am an AAMI student and I love it. It's only book work(minus the required skills lab), you have to get the apprenticeship and experiential learning yourself. The school is not for everyone, Carla has very strong opinions as do most of the staff and students. It's a lot about critical thinking and learning, there are guidleines in your study and of course an actually cirriculum with assignments you must complete. It is far from "a joke" it's the most thorough course available, and the oldest school in the states. I'm really sad to see so much AAMI bashing. To call the work that many student midwives are doing a joke, when in fact many of us are working our butts off and learning and seeking information from every source imagineable is like calling all our efforts, time spent away from our families, our commitment to midwifery a joke.

 

If you want to know more about the school then you should contact Carla yourself, and see if she can put you in touch with current students, past students, and grads. Like I said, the school is not for everyone, just like NCM isn't for everyone, and MCU isn't for everyone. Doesn't mean it needs to be bashed if it doesn't fit your needs. It's scary to jump in when you don't know what you're going to get, and knowing you can't get a refund, but just in the little time I"ve been enrolled what I've learned has paid for the course. It's worth far more than it costs.  

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#22 of 52 Old 06-19-2011, 11:59 AM
 
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The Michigan school of traditional midwifery www.traditionalmidwife.org is the only course were you get a state endorsed diploma in traditional midwifery that really prepares you for narm or starting your own practice.


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#23 of 52 Old 06-23-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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This is very interesting to me as well, as I am looking into all this now. I looked at that National college of Midwifery website and they talked about just using the modules as a guide to use with your "preceptor". Does that mean a Midwife who's certified who's willing to train you? And if so, do you then have to pay for the stuff on the website, or how does that work?
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#24 of 52 Old 06-24-2011, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is very interesting to me as well, as I am looking into all this now. I looked at that National college of Midwifery website and they talked about just using the modules as a guide to use with your "preceptor". Does that mean a Midwife who's certified who's willing to train you? And if so, do you then have to pay for the stuff on the website, or how does that work?


Preceptor is your midwife who apprentices you. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think what they mean there is that you can use their curriculum as a guide for self study and to getting skills checked off with your preceptor. They have all of their courses listed with learning objectives, books to read, skills to check off, and questions to test your knowledge. If thats the way it works, then you wouldn't pay anything or get a degree from them. I guess they are just saying that you are free to use their stuff. But if you did it that way, you would have to do the PEP. If you pay for the program, you'll probably get more materials and then you'll check off skills through them and avoid PEP.
 

 


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#25 of 52 Old 06-27-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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All these replies have been super helpful! Thanks for sharing what your path is and what has worked for you. Since I am doing doula training just now, midwifery education is a little ways off, but I want to be thinking about it and preparing for it now. I have bookmarked this thread and will come back to it often, I'm sure!

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#26 of 52 Old 06-28-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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One course you might want to consider is Elizabeth Davis' Heart and Hands: http://elizabethdavis.com/classes/

 

The course is only $1075 for the basic course and $425 for the advanced modules.


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#27 of 52 Old 07-12-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

One course you might want to consider is Elizabeth Davis' Heart and Hands: http://elizabethdavis.com/classes/

 

The course is only $1075 for the basic course and $425 for the advanced modules.

I bookmarked that, it looks wonderful. :)
 

 

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#28 of 52 Old 07-22-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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I am leaning towards the Living Tree International College of Midwifery. It is work at your own pace and they are a non profit program. They base your tuition on your income and expenses and your ability to pay.

 

http://www.birthandwellness.com/school/index.php


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#29 of 52 Old 08-10-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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Hi Cheap Sunglasses...I'm in the process of going through the PEP track with NARM.  I have a preceptor all lined up and am eagerly/nervously awaiting the journey that lies ahead. I've been reading through these forums and they've definitely inspired me.  You mentioned you were going through the self-study route.  Are you still doing so?  How's it been going?  Any advice or suggestions of how to get started? What books have you found to be the most useful?

 

I look forward to any feedback you may be willing/able to share...

 

MissBird80

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#30 of 52 Old 08-10-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by MissBird80 View Post

Hi Cheap Sunglasses...I'm in the process of going through the PEP track with NARM.  I have a preceptor all lined up and am eagerly/nervously awaiting the journey that lies ahead. I've been reading through these forums and they've definitely inspired me.  You mentioned you were going through the self-study route.  Are you still doing so?  How's it been going?  Any advice or suggestions of how to get started? What books have you found to be the most useful?

 

I look forward to any feedback you may be willing/able to share...

 

MissBird80



Hello!  I'm still here, fighting the good fight :)  I am going to PM you what I have shared via email with another hopeful midwife regarding my study plan.  Honestly, ALL of the books from the NARM reference list have been helpful.  I would suggest starting with something brief like Heart & Hands for an overview, and then on to Myles Textbook for Midwives for an in-depth and well-organized next step.

 


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