It is tax time here in the US, and for many families that means making decisions about how to spend their tax refund. If you were thinking of using yours to start your training or your business, I want to encouarge you to do two things. First, be sure you know how much you will be borrowing from your family and make sure you have a plan to pay it back. Remember, this is an investment in your business.  As your business begins to make money you must first cover any expenses before you make a profit.  By keeping track of every penny you spend,Read More →

I am always amazed at how many readers are not aware of the wide amounts of information available on the main website.  It isn’t a terribly big deal to me, but I do want you to know what you have access to. Today I want to focus your attention to the Natural Childbirth Directory. If your childbirth educator, doula or midwife website is listed there – fantastic.  I update it about once a month, so if you are not listed be sure to submit your site and I’ll get you in on the next update. The part I really want you to notice is under theRead More →

I wish that all my readers could meet me personally, because I think sometimes you have given me more credit than I deserve.  Case in point, readers often think I exude confidence.  I don’t.  I have confidence in the data, in the facts, in the things I know that are true.  But to be confident in myself, that is another story. It isn’t that I think I am incompetent. Instead it is because I have such high expectations of myself, I never meet them. Perhaps you have had the good fortune to meet a perfectionist?  Perhaps you are a perfectionist? I am not sharing this because IRead More →

Today we had our class on the management of the normal labor. We talked about the cardinal movements, the natural progression and stages of labor, how to know when to do cervical checks and how to determine if a woman was actually in labor. We even talked about how to “catch” a baby. In our case studies I noticed the only hesitation was the case that was obviously not in labor.  I instantly sent the woman home, but some classmates wondered if there were reasons you might keep this hypothetical woman.  There was similar concern about the woman with ruptured membranes and no contractions –Read More →

I’ve updated the Childbirth Conferences Calendar. It has all the pregnancy and birth related conferences I could remember and find during the update. This time I got a bit more tech-savvy.  I made it a Google Calendar so you can search by the calendar view and if you find a conference that appeals to you it is easy to add it to your personal Google Calendar.  If you want, you can add the whole calendar to your Google Calendar and always know what conference is going on. I’ll be at the ACNM conference in Texas this year, and am considering Reframing Birth and Breastfeeding: MovingRead More →

As you probably know, my midwifery program is housed through a University. This means my classes follow the standard schedule of the semester. It takes me about three days to get fully organized so I feel ready to begin studying and learning.  I want to share with you what I do to organize because these steps could be helpful if you attend a formal program, and can help you stay on track if you are doing a self-directed or distance study program. 1.  Gather all syllabus – I need to know all the information about the classes to be organized.  I print these out toRead More →

Today is the first day of classes for the semester, and in the process of course orientation I learned the clinical experience is intended to provide me with a specific number of a handful of tasks.  I should have figured this out last semester since the instructor keeps saying we need to think in terms of experiences rather than in hours of clinical.  So I spent the last half hour reviewing my files and counting experiences. I was surprised.  I’ve met my graduation requirement for antepartum visits, but need to get more initial obstetric visits and a lot more well-woman visits.  I was glad IRead More →

Clinical (also called apprenticeship or mentoring) is the way a midwife learns her skills. It is where you interact with families, practicing the hands on task you have been taught to do and learning how to think like a midwife.  This is all done under the guidance of a well-experienced midwife. I love my clinical placement.  I am training in a birth center with three midwives I adore. They push me and stretch me and give me plenty of room to grow.  I returned to clinical today after a month away (school break), and was excited to realize just how much I am thinking like aRead More →

It’s that time of year again. Time to roll out your income and expense sheets and start getting your tax information ready. This year will be a new experience for me.  I’ll be filing in a new state and as a different business entity.  I’m not sure about all the issues I’ll need to understand, but that’s what accountants are for. It is important to keep information about the income you earn from your birth business, but most birth professionals seem to be better equipped to manage the emotional needs of labor than tax forms.  Here are some rules I follow, use them as aRead More →

Second semester of midwifery school has begun, but not really.  The ice in Atlanta has made travel dangerous so the city is effectively closed. Gives me a few days to finish preparing myself for the work of a semester. I underestimated the amount of work it would be to complete the MPH and the MSN together.  This next semester is going to be my most difficult in terms of balancing classes, family and clinical.  20 credits! But I remember the purpose and I remember my women who are waiting for me to return. As part of the midwifery program, we “practice” our skills with experiencedRead More →