When your job is basically to write, you have to let other people read what you write. This is the worst, and best, part of writing.  This week I had to submit my draft dissertation proposal to two professors and the entire grant mock review committee. I have feedback from the two professors, and I have to admit I’m really happy with the comments.  I think this speaks to the benefit of working through to a third version with three members of my committee before sharing the draft. Those of you not in the academic community may wonder why so many eyes are helpful forRead More →

The Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health published an article about a program utilizing student nurse-midwives as volunteer doulas.  I’ve seen programs similar to this, using nursing students or midwifery students.  The program in the article combined the use of community doulas and midwifery students. Having run a volunteer doula service myself I’m usually skeptical of the long term success of such a program. Being a volunteer is not the same as being paid (or getting class credit) for attending a birth. The volunteer has to feel as if the commitment benefits the women being served, and to some extent benefits the doula (or atRead More →

Last time we talked about the basics of nurse-midwifery.  Today we will talk about what it means to be a  direct entry midwife. Just like nurse-midwifery, direct entry midwifery is a term that holds many types of training and practice. The term direct entry midwifery is a bit awkward, and probably only exists in the United States (I haven’t heard any non-US midwives use it). It seems to be a term used to differentiate between midwives who are trained first as a nurse from those who were not — you are either a nurse-midwife or a direct entry midwife.  In the rest of the world midwivesRead More →

As we talk about midwifery education, I wanted to spend some time exploring different ways of categorizing midwives. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with midwives from around the world, and I am always amazed at how these categories do not always mean what I had been trained to think they mean. The first case in point is nurse midwifery, a common midwifery training where I live in the United States.  My training as a midwife is as a nurse midwife.  The question is, what does it mean to be a nurse midwife?Read More →

Last week we looked at the International Confederation of Midwives Core Competencies for Midwives and the Educational Standards as documents to help you evaluate your midwifery training options.  Today we will look at the ICM Core Documents on Midwifery Regulation as the final triad to helping us understand the unique challenges of midwifery in your corner of the world.Read More →

Last week,   At Your Cervix wrote an interesting post about the things she wishes she had learned in Midwifery School. A great read for anyone still in school, or planning to attend school soon.  Why?  Because it can help you focus time on learning these things. I add extra agreement to points 2 and 3.  These issues are so important for women to find birth control that works well for them, but it was very under-taught in my program as well. I moved into research rather than practice, so I don’t have much to add to this list relevant to working with patients.  SoRead More →

I have less than a week remaining in my first year as a doctoral student. That means this is a busier than normal week, but a wonderful break is ahead.  It occurred to me this morning how helpful the semester system is, so I wanted to share a few thoughts with those of you whose learning doesn’t follow this structure. Yes, semesters have their problems. They interfere with regularly scheduled life, I have to reorder things and I rarely feel as if I can relax or that I am “done.” When you live by semesters you are not finished until the semester is over. But,Read More →

Looking for an interesting self-study program during the holiday break?  Here is one from the CDC on vaginitis.  It is such a common issue for women, midwives need to understand the condition. Vaginitis Self-Study Enjoy.  Read More →

At the end of a random self-talk conversation this morning I remembered how awesome I thought it was when the midwives at the birth center taught me to hear the fetal heartbeat with a stethoscope.  At the time is seemed so hard, and it took me a few tries.  But the more I traveled, the more I realized this method is pretty common in low resource areas.  But in the US where you are likely to learn to listen with a fetoscope or dopler, transferring those skills to a stethoscope will take a few adjustments. Here are some things I had to learn to masterRead More →