One thing that has always amazed me about working in the birth world, and life in general, is how much more I learn every year.  I have had the unique privilege of watching my knowledge expand through my website; as I understood more, I put more information up for others.

I’m doing another set of updates to the website.  I have anticipated this for a while; after all, I do have four years of nursing classes worth of knowledge to integrate.  So here I am, updating the website–not even to the nursing school parts yet–and I have so much I want to add. I know more complementary and alternative therapies. I’ve learned more tools to use during labor.  I even know more about the questions women have when they are pregnant for the first time.

Not that this surprises me, I knew there would be a lot of non-book learning–how could I work with so many women and families and not learn new things.  It was just that I don’t tend to think about these things.  I don’t get tested on them, they simply become background information for the way I work with women. The only reason I am getting a glimpse of how much I have grown is because my website acts like a journal, making an interactive representation of everything I know about birth.  The way I approach subjects, the things I link them to and even the subjects I address are all recorded for me. Which means this week, as I work to further improve the section on techniques for natural birth, I am able to see how much I’ve grown.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the 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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