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did you contact other midwives in your area? I attended the birth of my BFF at a fsbc w/ a CNM. The assistant at her birth and I had a good chat about my path toward becoming a mw. She mentioned to me that I should talk with other midwives, both CPMs and CMNs about their path. If you did discuss the different paths with mws, what did you ask? I'm very torn about which path I will take. I'm currently a nursing student, and really enjoy health care and nursing as a path, but realize that midwifery can be separate from that. I have been meaning to contact several local CNMs and CPMs and just interview them, but I'm really at a loss about what to say. on one hand, I feel that being a CNM will give me more leeway, but on the other hand I feel like they are more tightly regulated and being CPM may allow me to have more lenient guidelines to practice under. Then there is the aspect that CPMs are not legal in each state, but CNMs are with various restrictions.

Insight and guidance appreciated.
 

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My guess is you have to decide where your heart is and where you want to practice. My understanding is that a CPM, at least in Florida, is an independant practitioner. While a CNM can work in any state, they are not independent and have to have a backup physician. From my limited experience, CNM tend to be more medically oriented. No judgment here on whether that is good or bad. I wouldn't worry about the questions specifically. Talk to both CNM and CPM and see what feels more comfortable to you.
Good luck
 

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If you decide to become a CNM, you always have the option to not practice under that certification if the laws are not favorable in the state you are working in.

It may or may not be difficult to find out of hospital training in the CNM program that you choose, if you decide to go that route. Talking to the women in the program closest to me, they would have to travel to another state to get OOH experience. Other programs make it a lot easier and if you have CNM-attended FSBCs near you then it might not be hard at all. (We have some in our state, but as far as I know none of them are practice sites for my local CNM program -- they might be for other schools)

I don't believe that the training makes the midwife necessarily, as long as that midwife stays open to new learning over the course of her career.

I did start out my training to be a CNM. I am now a traditional homebirth midwife. Part of why I switched was talking to the CNMs and the CPM/traditional midwives in my area about their experiences, looking at the job opportunities and business opportunities in the area, and looking at what I thought were trends in legalization and practice climate. The trend I saw was that a lot of hospitals were forcing out their CNMs and that CPMs were being legalized in more and more states. When I started this work, I think they were legal in 10 or 15 states, now it is over 20. The hospitals' attitudes toward CNMs wouldn't have affected a homebirth practice much, but I have a family that was living paycheck to paycheck and I knew that I would need some source of income while preparing for an OOH practice and paying off what would have been about $70k in loans. My original plan was to work a few years and pay off loans, then invest in my own FSBC.

So, yes, the short version is, I do recommend talking to people. I don't think I would have regretted going the other way, but I am glad that I had the information I did. My practice is thriving now and I love my work.
 

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Have you read Paths to Becoming a Midwife from Midwifery Today? Really helped me decide which way to go. And I did talk with a CNM and CPM to get their perspectives.
 

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I haven't really discussed it with any midwives locally, but I did research the laws and requirements in my state. We have no intention of leaving the state anytime soon, and if we did we'd be going to a MW-friendly state anyway. In this state, CNMs don't get to attend homebirths. Because of the required OB backup, they are restricted to hospital and BC settings. Since the entire point of becoming a MW for me is to attend women in homebirths, becoming a CNM is not an option. So CPM it is.
 
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