The last few weeks I’ve had to do readings on nursing theory. You see, when you are going to become a professional researcher, you need to understand the framework of the discipline within which you intend to study. This gave me two thoughts to share with you. First, the reality of practice is that a midwife is by nature an inter-disciplinary practitioner. You must understand physiology, development, medicine, sociology, psychology, pharmacology…need I go on?  It makes me wonder what role a discipline-specific theory plays in a multi-discipline practice.  I am not alone.  Midwifery’s sister discipline, nursing, has been struggling through this concept for the betterRead More →

I have just over 24 hours to my midwife certification exam.  In my midwifery path, certification by exam is a requirement for licensing.  But when I get that certification, I will be able to be licensed to practice in any state and it will make my international work a little easier. Certification and licensing are frequent topics of discussion among my midwifery friends.  I have some on both sides of the licensing fence, and on both sides of the certification fence. Due to the crazy nature of this world, not all my friends who think licensing is good are licensed (some are in states withoutRead More →

I am studying my least favorite subject tonight – TORCH infections.  I have to admit to not learning much about these in class, not because we didn’t cover the information, but because I was not yet thinking about infections like a midwife. As a childbirth educator, my training in pregnancy infections went something like this.  “Herpes is no big deal. They can cover any spots and prevent spread to the baby.”  “Toxoplasmosis is no big deal. Most women with a cat have already been exposed.” I was then assured that the medical community exaggerated these infections and used them to get women to do whatRead More →

Yesterday I shared how my training has caused me to relearn how I think about the term “intervention.” Today I want to share another word that needed to be reframed in my mind – “normal.” When I first began in the natural childbirth movement, when I heard the word normal I always interpreted it to mean “OK” or “Safe” or “Ideal.” I’m not sure if I had thought of the word that way before my first training, or if I somehow picked up on that meaning through my readings.  It was, perhaps, a combination of both.  I was too young and inexperienced to ever seeRead More →

I spent the day at a waterbirth workshop. I’ve been present for and attended waterbirth as a midwife, but there was still things to learn. What struck me today? In addition to the research questions that alwys swim in my brain, I realized the newborn reflexes have a purpose in birth. How this never clicked for me before is beyond me. It makes the fetal movements make so much more sense.  See? You never stop learning.Read More →

Yesterday I talked about studying with the Mnemosyne digital flashcards.  I did like the program, but had to change for a semester due to a class flashcard making project that was being based on another program, StudyBlue. Study Blue is digital online flashcards that can be accessed from any computer, tablet or smart phone.  This was nice, because I could open my flashcards anywhere I had an internet connection. The flashcards use a simple yes/no answer system to categorize your cards, meaning you mark each card as correct or incorrect as you move through them. If you pay for the premium service, you are able to target your studyingRead More →

I don’t have a terrible memory, but I do struggle to memorize information.  My brain works better with systems than small bits.  This is a problem for many of the types of information one needs to be familiar with to be a midwife (or other birth worker). To help me memorize, I have started to use some digital flashcards.  I have found there is truth to the theory that repetition is the key to memorizing information.  So I make my flashcards and go through them over and over and over. I have two programs I have used, they work a bit differently and each has some advantages.Read More →

Yesterday I was introduced as superwoman to a fellow student.  The speaker, an undergraduate student nurse, had remembered me from a scholarship meet and greet I attended in the spring and had been impressed with my line of study.  But superwoman?  I have to disagree. I’m not doing anything different than any of the other students.  I study, attend class and work on projects.  I’m learning.  The only difference is in the degree of scale – by working on two programs at once I am doing more studying, attending more classes and working on more projects.  My difference is not one of ability (superhuman orRead More →

As I told you, I have been taking advantage of the week before classes begin to update some information on the website.  Some pages are really easy, others are mentally and emotionally taxing. Why? Because my knowledge base has changed since the pages were written, but my basic beliefs about birth have not. At the same time, my understanding of how a midwife makes decisions has changed, but the audience for the website has not. I am finding it a struggle to find a way to accurately represent the full scope of midwifery care to an audience who does not have the background knowledge IRead More →