So many of you are connecting with me because you love what I do and you too are feeling the call to serve women in pregnancy and birth.
This has touched my heart and makes me smile so I wanted to reach out and connect with you. So many have asked if I have any tips or recommendations on midwifery training and what experiences I can share to help support you through your journey. Hopefully sharing my story and these tips will help you.
I started my midwifery journey when I was pregnant with my second daughter. We were poor college students and still paying for our first daughter, but we were independent and insisted on paying our complete hospital bill without any state assistance. Funds were pretty tight and a friend suggested we look into midwifery care for this pregnancy. She said it was a much less expensive way and she thought we would resonate with the gentle care of a midwife.
Although money was a motivator in the beginning, that soon changed and it wasn’t long before I couldn’t imagine having our baby any other way. It was through this experience that I heard “my calling” to be a midwife and a passionate desire to follow in my midwife’s footsteps.
I remember the feeling as if it were yesterday but in fact it was 35 years ago.
I was a young mom and the time commitment of a midwife wasn’t feasible for me so I started out as a childbirth educator. I taught classes in my home and at the hospital. I was invited to the births of my students and loved everything about it. Birth was definitely in my DNA.
A few years later, when the timing was right I found the perfect preceptor and started my “official” midwifery training.
I had multiple sleepless nights, MANY miles traveling. I shadowed a midwife 100%, I attended all her scheduled prenatals, births and postpartums.
I would have 6-7 prenatals in a day, drive home 30-40 minutes then back in the middle of the night to help a mom with her birth and welcome a new baby.
I’d drive back home for a couple of hours of sleep and get my kids off to school then back for a postpartum visit and repeat the day.
This CRAZY schedule went on for 2 years. I look back now and I honestly don’t know how I did it.
When I was officially licensed it only got more intense.
I’m telling you this because so many of you say I have the “dream job”, and while I’ve NEVER thought of what I do as a job, it is amazing, and I lOVE what I do, it’s my calling and I can’t imagine doing anything else. That being said…it’s not easy! Most of the time it’s far from glamorous, I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders everyday. I am blessed to have an AMAZING family and support system but it is super hard on marriages and on families. It’s a tremendous juggle to get it all right.
If you’re still with me and still feel you too have been “called” here are my tips to help you through your midwifery journey.
1. Find your tribe Like-minded friends will help get you through. Find others who are on your same journey, because they will “get” you. They will have your back, be your cheerleaders and your shoulders to cry on!
2. Never be afraid to ask for help Seriously, no-one will think you are silly for asking for clarification or help. You are accountable for the well-being of a woman, child, and by extension their family whether you have a mentor or not. If you don’t know…. ASK! It shows your willingness to learn and respect the role you play in people’s lives and the families you serve.
3. Always carry a notepad and a logbook I cannot stress how important this one is! It’s up to you to keep track of how many prenatal, births, postpartum follow-ups, and newborn exams you do. You will write down words to look up later, patient names and numbers for your logbook, and the names of people you encounter. I even kept track of where the moon cycle was so I can go back now and see how many births were in the full moon.
4. Always ask questions If you have a question, then speak up. If you want to know why something is happening, ask. If you think you have information that can change a plan of care then offer it up (privately). Midwives do not know everything, we often learn from our students.
5. Perfect your time management Seriously, juggling book work and clinical practice and your family are hard. You’ll think…”It’s ok, I’ll do that later”, but you probably won’t have time later and you for sure won’t have the energy later. Break studying down in to manageable and scheduled chunks. If you have a family and children always have a plan B and discuss it with your family. Make sure they are on board with your plan B specifically for birthdays and holidays.
6. Schedule your self-care and make it a priority I’m not going to lie…midwifery is hard. It is demanding academically, physically, and emotionally. If you are not careful you may burn out. Also, make sure your family feels like you have time for them too. Create quality family time so they don’t feel abandoned. They can burn out as easily as you and their support is VITAL.
- 8 Vetiver – Helps those supporting mom be centered and emotionally connected.
- 8 Black Spruce – Helps those supporting mom remain stable and grounded
- 8 Cypress – Help release emotions after the birth experience.
- 8 Balance – Helps those that love mom the most not take on the intensity of birth.
Put in 10mL roller bottle and fill to top with FCO. Apply to pulse points, back of your neck and inside forearms.