My name is Jenny, and like most of us here , I have long wanted to pursue midwifery. I started thinking about it when I was 17, but didn't it was age appropriate for me at the time. Now I am 28, have had 2 homebirths, I have doula training, been to births... etc.......
My my husband/ families support, I have been researching paths to becoming a CPM..... I live near a school, but feel with my style and personality I might be better suited for self study. I have been trying to get into touch with local midwives/ doulas and other birth professionals to try to get to know them, ask questions, just find out more to help me decide which program to go with, what skills I should have under my belt to be attractive for an apprenticeship.
I have gotten one reply, but it was basically to tell me that I lived too far away to consider letting me apprentice her. This was ok, as I wasn't planning on uprooting my family, but I really just wanted to ask her questions about what her education process was like, since I really respect her practice. I know these are busy women... It just seems like out of the maybe 15 practices that maybe someone would have been willing to sit down for a cup of coffee with me and maybe just talk for a bit.... Is that wrong of me to expect?
I wouldn't say I'm angry or discouraged really, more at a loss at what to do next....
Anyone else have this problem???? Maye someone might have some advice for me?
Thank you for reading this and have a great day!
I don't think you are doing anything wrong, it is just that as midwives we get TONS of these requests for coffee and a chat or direction about what school paths to take. I mean, like several a month. I try to answer people back, but have work and a family and all of that normal stuff (girl scout meetings, 4H meetings, play groups, kid concerts, etc, etc, etc) and so I can't respond to everyone or meet with everyone. If I have had a week where I was gone for 60+ hours at a birth and then had all my normal prenatals and postpartum visits to keep up with, the last thing I want to do when I am done is meet with someone to talk about midwifery. Instead, I would like to play with playdough with my daughter and read my son a book.... oh, and sleep ;) I have a feeling that is just the sort of thing you are running into. It isn't anything you are doing wrong, it is just that these women may be super busy and drained in many other ways and they need to recharge their batteries at home.
Are there any active student groups/study groups in your area? What about the midwifery organizations? Can you start going to the meetings? This is a great way to begin to get to know midwives without it having to be a coffee date that requires the midwife to take another evening away from her family. I think once you are active and involved in the community, it becomes easier to get the time with these women to get all your questions answered. And there are always forums like this one to post on and ask these questions too!! :)
Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.
I hear you. I am also a midwife-in-waiting, peppering the birth professionals I know with questions and concerns. Currently, I'm quite stalled as my husband finished his undergrad. He is also supportive - we just have to get out of Georgia so I can start with a school. All that I can do in the present is glean knowledge however I am able to get it through various different experiences. I too have found that the women I love who are actually doing what I am called to do are very busy trying to walk out their calling and be around as moms and wives. It's been frustrating for me to find someone who will mentor me, because as Erika said, the midwives get these requests all the time. Senior midwives who have any availability are probably already preceptors or mentors to their students and assistants.
Something I've learned in my experience is that everyone's path to midwifery is so unique to them and their family, even unique to their specific goals. Sometimes having no perspective is hard, because we want to make sure we'll pick the right school, get the right mentorship or apprenticeship, have a great looking resume or CV if we ever need it, etc. We really want to make sure we do a good job, because we want to make sure we become midwives of integrity. Making those choices are hard, for sure, and it can feel isolating. But what I've made a point to do, when choosing the right school and all of that, is to sit down and take an honest, critical look at myself, what I want to offer in my own practice. This makes a person ask a lot of questions about yourself, and what you as a woman and a birth professional want to be able to offer to mamas. For instance, I'm really passionate about families, local and whole foods, and preventative health. I want to integrate nutrition, herbalism and midwifery into a practice so I can serve the whole family. But that may not interest you. You might be passionate about lactation and education!
It's good to recognize the prestige of another excellent midwife and to notice that her practice is respectable. But you may not be able to do what she did. You might not even really want to. Try to sit down and think and search out those things in yourself as you're picking a school and charting your course. There are some questions that, truly, only you can answer.
While you're doing that, READ. Read, read, read. Books, articles, forums. Building your knowledge base is important. And network. Part of building that practice is the marriage of skill sets and relationships in the community. Like Erika said, find birth meetings and go to them. I'd suggest looking into AAMI's Introduction to Midwifery, a weeklong intensive at the Farm, attending a conference, even. There are regional midwifery conferences from a group of faith-based midwives who are super sweet, deeply committed, and well respected. Christian Midwives International has a facebook page. Shonda Parker is an herbalist who is very well connected. Friend the midwives on Facebook that you know and watch their posts. See what they are up to. Check out midwifery college's required book lists or borrow them from folks you meet at meetings.
I don't know if this is helpful or an eye-roller, but hang in there, sister. The calling to midwifery is one that stretches even us.
It took me two years to find an apprenticeship. I did alot of calling and emailing. But I am so glad it worked out the way it did in the end. I absolutely love my preceptor, she is awesome. In the two years I was looking, I started with my education. I was already a doula, CBE. So I had that under my belt. I found already being enrolled in a midwifery program made it much easier to talk with the local midwives that had opening for apprentices. They take you more seriously, because like the PP said, they get calls all the time.
Have you joined the Oregon Midwives Council as a student? You could start going to OMC workshops and classes and start making friends with the midwives and apprentices that way.
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds 10yo dd 8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds
Hello Jenny I see you are local to me. I would love to chat with you some time in regards to education and apprenticeships. I actually mentor student midwives who are doing self study and the NARM PEP process for their education. Feel free to contact me if you want to chat
Tia Rich LDM, CPM
Tia Rich LDM, CPM
You know what , I emailed you a couple of weeks ago about that mentor study group, and you invited me to come to one. I don't remember when you said the next one coming up was, but I was getting ready to email you back this evening, when I saw that you has responded to this post I made forever ago!
I'll email you in a bit and we can chat a little more.
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