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Menopause and several things like it

Oct 10th, 2011 Paths

Next week I will be presenting a workshop on menopause. This is to be my very time-consuming project at the end of my midwifery training. Except it isn’t the end, I still have a ways to go (combining degrees and all).

It is interesting to think about how I got to this point.  Ten years ago I would never have guessed I would want to present on menopause, I was still very birth focused.  But as I learned more about women’s health, my interests widened.  I never would have thought I’d like working with women to treat and prevent STIs, but I do.  Dealing with menstrual irregularities, love it. Birth, it is still there.  But it is only a piece of the whole woman, and I’ve always been about the whole woman.

I share this because as you consider your path to midwifery, I think it is important to think about all the aspects of working with women and families that appeal to you.  If I had chosen a path into midwifery with a more narrow scope, I know I would have longed for more and burnt out quickly.  For other women, having such a broad range of practice would only make them wish they could spend more time at births.  Who are you, and in what ways do you want to work with women?

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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