You should have two lists in front of you.  One list is the investment it will take to train with each program you are interested in.  The other list is the return you will get for each investment you make. How you evaluate these returns on investment will be unique to you.  Only you know which aspects of the program will best fit your needs.  However, there is one aspect that you cannot ignore, even if it is not your main focus in making a decision.  That is the money. Because you will complete the training before you can work in your chosen role, youRead More →

I realize yesterday’s assignment may have been a bit more than you could complete in one day.  That is OK.  Continue to work on it as long as it takes, and when you are ready, begin this second part. You now have a list of training programs that includes their cost and a pretty accurate estimation of how long it will take you to complete the program. This is important, because this is your investment list.  The time and money you put into your training are an investment into the business you are planning to start.  To determine which of these is your best investment,Read More →

So you know you have been called to work with expectant families, you know the role you want to perform.  The next step is deciding on a training for that role. Very few of the women I have spoken to thoroughly researched their training program before paying for the training materials.  I often hear the decision was made because it was the closest training or that someone they knew went through the organization.  Other common reasons are the amount of time it takes to be trained or the cost of the training.  While these may be factors you want to consider, I would never recommend these beRead More →

A common question among those interested in working with expectant families is whether they should start as a birth doula or a childbirth educator. There are a few ways to approach this question, and they will basically depend on your goals and the circumstances of your life at this moment. Both childbirth educator and doula trainings will help you learn more about the birth process. Both will get you working with families.  But they are not the same. A birth doula is hired for her presence in labor. As part of her services she may provide some education and information, but for the most part her preparationsRead More →

It is Saturday Morning, time to sleep in and spend too much time catching up on some reading.  Since I’ve been talking about prenatal care I wanted to find some interesting things about caring for families before the baby is born. The Mantra is early prenantal care and the best care of course begins before you are pregnant.  Even ACOG insists a woman begin prenatal care as soon as she knows she is pregnant. So this makes a new study showing that obstetrician offices themselves do not schedule a first prenatal visit until the woman is in or almost in the second trimester rather interesting.  What isRead More →

I had contacted Flory to ask about the safety of the midwives and the women in Nayngezi and Uvira, and to begin discussion about having him speak at a conference on public health in armed conflict happening at my school.  I received a reply from him this afternoon.  Here is his letter: Greetings in Jesus Name, Thank you for continuing to be ambassador of women and children of our country. It is a nice topic to discuss and would really like to be there. Rape and violence have been used as weapons of war and Conflicts in DR Congo since 1996. Women and children are the targetedRead More →

Moving from the idea of centering pregnancy, we explore another concept in prenatal care – home nurse visits. In one study, home visits were associated with decreased risk of preterm delivery for African-American women. These results were similar to the results of another study. In other studies, prenatal nurse visits demonstrate health effects beyond childbirth. These benefits include decreasing the risk of infant death. It is possible that the best prenatal care needs to fit the specific needs of the family.  Some families may like the structure of traditional private prenatal visits.  Other families may thrive with the social support of centering pregnancy. Those withRead More →

My heart broke last night when I read this report: It seems the rapes of women, young girls and boys in the Congo by the armies present there are not limited to North Kivu.  Uvira, a town in South Kivu was specifically mentioned.  Some of our women are from Uvira.  And Nayngezi lies between Uvira and North Kivu. I am waiting to hear from anyone about the extent of the damages, to ensure my friends are all safe. I want to know the midwives are actively helping the women. But I must wait patiently for Flory or Georgette to have access to the internet.Read More →

There is another way to think about prenatal care, centering pregnancy. In this model of care, women meet in groups to discuss their concerns and celebrate together.  The women take charge of their prenatal care, performing much of the prenatal assessment themselves. The best part, this model seems to work. What This Means to You If this is a new concept for you, take some time to explore the website and become familiar with the basic idea. Can you think of other ways prenatal care might be improved?Read More →

One of the first prenatal questions to face a woman, when was the first day of your last menstrual period. This is asked to help estimate the date of birth. Sigh…I received my own personal gestational wheel in class last week.  The lovely plastic double disks are a gift from Bayer Pharmaceuticals advertising a type of intra-uterine contraception I will no doubt be learning how to administer in a few weeks. Thanks Bayer, because why should I take 20 seconds to do the math in my head (add 7 days, subtract 3 months) when I can spend 10 digging your disk out of my pocket, 20 fiddling to getRead More →