Midwife Assistant questions - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-23-2012, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello ladies!

I am new here, this is my first post, so I'm sorry if you all are tired of hearing this question, but I was wondering if there are professional Midwifery Assistants? What I mean is, are there MAs who do not ever plan to be full-fledged Midwives in the future and solely assist?


My other question is about the range of preferences Midwives have when it comes to MAs. I'm currently a Doula, and I plan to assist midwives in conjunction with my Doula work. I do hope to be a Midwife one day, one step at a time, though! I've read that some midwives prefer for their assistants to be a blank slate; someone they can train from the ground up. And then I've heard the opposite, where Midwives prefer someone who has some training and has completed CPR and NRT. I'm wanting to know how the majority of Midwives think (especially the ones here in this online community!), and why?


I plan on taking the MA workshop at The Farm, along with the Midwife-to-be program, so excited! If anyone has started or completed the Midwife-to-be program, I would love to hear what you think about it!!!


Thanks in advance,

- Cher

-Cherry Blanch


Mom to Charles and Eli...fencing.gif...who are always fighting!

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#2 of 6 Old 06-25-2012, 05:16 PM
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Welcome to Mothering! We are always happy to have birth professionals join our community! love.gif

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#3 of 6 Old 08-02-2012, 04:25 PM
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Bumping because I'm curious as well. Looking into MA for similar reasons. Thanks for posting this!

Beth - blissfully married to Doug. DS - Liam (5/10) nocirc.gif &  Darcy (2/13). homebirth.jpg waterbirth.jpgNew SAHM & Labor Doula.


babygirl.gif Welcome baby girl! Born at home, in the water, in the caul, and caught by daddy. February 24, 2013!  babygirl.gif


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#4 of 6 Old 11-23-2013, 07:42 PM
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My impression is that a lot of midwives prefer to work with assistants rather than apprentices because 1) there is less to teach them, 2) they may be less likely to become competition down the road, and 3) they might stick around longer.  But of course some take apprentices and may prefer it.


I know this is an old thread but thought it might help others with the same question.


I'm a CPM, recently moved to Colorado Springs and in process of setting up a home birth practice.




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#5 of 6 Old 11-25-2013, 07:25 PM
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I started with a green apprentice and feel like that was a mistake.  I prefer advanced students and/or nurses.  I don't always like having 3 people at a birth and I want to know that after a few observes that my student will be able to confidently draw up pit, take a BP accurately and help with NRP.  My new requirement is that my assistant be able to start an IV.  I am currently working with a new assistant who is fairly new but recently graduated from nursing school.  She also has been a doula for 10ish births.  That's a good start and I am not scared that if I end up at a birth with her alone that she won't be able to help.  In our community there is not a big difference between assistants and apprentices, oddly.  I keep thinking I will hire an assistant but end up with another asst./apprentice hybrid. 

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#6 of 6 Old 02-07-2014, 07:42 AM
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Yes, there are women who ONLY assist.  And I'm fine with that.  Do I want that assistant to have NNR training and CPR training?  ABSOLUTELY.  If you plan to attend ANY birth, doula, friend, midwife, assistant, you should know how to assist in resuscitation.  That extra set of hands knowing what to do can be essential.  I strongly recommend traveling, if necessary, and attending the Karen Strange NRP workshop at the location nearest you.  She trains specifically for an out of hospital setting, which is really wonderful if, well, you're planning to be attending births in an out of hospital setting.  And the fact that you're already a doula so have had some on call experience is fabulous, too.  

As far as green vs having assisted before?  Meh.  If you're smart, willing to step outside of your comfort zone, quick on your feet?  Birth experience isn't a bad thing.  Not having to explain to an assistant how to make the cotton root bark ready for me to dose or how to hand me an open sterile gauze pack when I am in sterile gloves, etc. is helpful.  I don't have so much hubris that I need to train them up from the ground floor if they're understanding of differences between care providers and are quick learners.  We do what we call training a "chart girl"... she just charts for the first several months, so that she gets a sense of our ebb and flow and routine...and even at an uneventful birth, it's fabulous to be able to call out "full crown, 12:41; head, 12:43; baby born 12:44!" and have it charted for you automatically, even if they don't know how to do anything else.  And then after several births, they have seen our set up, our tear down, our post partum routine, enough that we can have them start helping out with simple stuff there as well.

I guess my point is, everybody works differently and has different needs, preferences, and expectations.  Talk to people in your area, ask what they want, and go from there. ;)  You have the added benefit of having networked.

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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