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The Massachuetts Midwives Alliance

Midwifery Studies Course

 




 
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Where are you located?


What are the different type of Midwives?


What is the Midwives Model of Care?


What will be expected of me?


When are the classes?


What are my responisbilities?


What about Midwifery’s Legacy and student/faculty responsibillity?


What are the grauation requirements?


Will I be Certified as a Midwife when I am done with the course?


What additional requiremts are there beyond the course to become a midwife?


What is the PEP process?


Are you MEAC accredited?


Do I need to be a registered nurse before I take your program?

 

 

Where are you located?

Classes will be held in Jamaica Plain Massachusetts at Birth and Beyond of JP on Centre St.

 

What are the different type of Midwives?

Direct Entry Midwives (DEM) attend women who seek to give birth at home. Sometimes they also work in freestanding birth centers. A Direct-Entry Midwife is an independent practitioner. DEMs acquire their skills through apprenticeships with other midwives, self study, and/or through a structured midwifery school or program. Midwives are specialists in normal pregnancy, labor and birth. Direct entry midwives carefully screen their clients for risk factors and encourage them to seek physician backup when needed. DEMs also are trained to recognize complications and call for assistance when necessary. A Direct-Entry Midwife is trained to provide continuous quality care (see Midwifery Model of Care below) to healthy women and newborns throughout the childbearing years. CPM are direct entry midwives but not all direct entry midwives choose to be CPMs.


A Certified Professional Midwife is an independent practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the Midwifery Model of Care. The NARM certification process recognizes multiple routes of entry into midwifery and includes verification of knowledge and skills and the successful completion of both a Written Examination and a Skills Assessment. The CPM credential requires training in out- of-hospital births. (MANA 9/5/96)


The Certified Nurse Midwife and Certified Midwife have met or exceeded the standards of the American college of Nurse Midwifery as described here and continue to meet ongoing requirements and standards to maintain her title. She is a Nurse and a Midwife. Women who wish to become Nurse Midwives, although many have taken our course to ground them in a holistic whole woman perspective, need to go through Nurse Midwifery specidic programs. The MMA Course does not fulfill the requiremtns of the ACNM

 


What is the Midwives Model of Care?

According to MANA The Midwifery Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events. The Midwifery Model of Care includes: monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well- being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle; providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support; minimizing technological interventions; and identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention. The application of this woman-centered model has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.(MANA 5/15/96)


What will be expected of me?
Due to the vast scope of midwifery practice and theory, this course will be a survey of many different topics, taught by many different midwives. We hope to provide you with a diversity of styles, ideas and opinions, and facilitate your integration into the vibrant midwifery community of Massachusetts. Much reading and study time is required on the student’s part. Students are expected to have competed work on their own before each class and have a thorough knowledge of the material presented in the study guide. The classes will go through the elements of the homework, highlight the important areas and speak to the practical issues through role-play, group work, films, discussion and didactic presentation. A full set of questions about the materials is expected so that discussion will be productive. Though we will make every effort to support you in your learning process, we want to be clear that this course is a big commitment and encourage your full participation. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the course coordinators if you are having any kind of issues. We want to support you through the challenges and joys of this class.

When are the classes?

We will meet apporximately twice a month,for a full Sunday. following the arc of the childbearing year, from early pregnancy to birth through postpartum. We also include topical classes and a weekend long doula training. There are homework and readings for all classes and workshops. The second year delves into more advanced and specialized subjects.

Our meetings are scheduled for the weekends to be as family and employment friendly as possible. Many of our students are parents, and many work outside the home. We hope that our set-up is accessible, and allows you to balance midwifery learning with the rest of your life. We encourage you to come to us with concerns and struggles, and we know that we are dealing with adult students who have a lot on their plates. Classes are taught by midwives from across the state. You are encouraged to get to know your instructors.. As discussed above, this will be a full year and we expect a lot from you. We are also here to help you.

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What are my responisbilities?
Like midwifery itself, taking this course is hard work. You will be responsible for completing large amounts of work, but more importantly you will be responsible for yourself and for your own learning. While we seek to be as supportive as possible, we also hold high expectations. We understand that our students are adults with full lives. For all of us, midwifery is a juggling act, and we hope that our class gives you the opportunity to practice juggling, and to develop and refine the interrelated skills of self-motivation/self-direction, self-care, prioritization and balancing. To this end, we expect students to track their own progress, to come to class prepared, and to come to us for help if and when balancing becomes a challenge. We will be as clear as we can be in our expectations, and we ask that each student take responsibility for her own learning. For many of us who have been through the education system, self-directed learning represents a new challenge, and can take some getting used to.The guiding principal behind our set up is that your learning hinges on you-we can support you, but you are the only one who can do your learning and your work. Out of fairness to yourself, we expect you to invest in this course, to take responsibility for completing your work, tracking your own requirements, making schedules for yourself, letting us know if you are missing a requirement, and contributing to class.



What about midwifery’s legacy and student/faculty responsibillity?

Unfortunately, midwifery is not immune to the effects of institutionalized racism and structural violence. In fact, our community has been guilty of perpetuating racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination. This in turn fuels the health disparities and hurt that are so harmful to ALL of us. Usually, discrimination and inequity is born of ignorance, a lack of awareness of both the problem and the tools for solving the problem. Many people in this country have not learned the skills one needs to recognize and address inequity, and so unknowing allow it to thrive. Because midwives serve everyone, everywhere, and because midwifery in this country grew out of a strong tradition of serving every woman, no matter what, we feel that developing the tools to recognize and address racism and other forms of discrimination is VITAL to midwifery education. We expect an active commitment to anti-racism from all our students. Creating and maintaining a safe learning environment is non-negotiable.

For many people, learning to recognize and talk about racism, sexism, homophobia,ableism and other forms of privilege and discrimation is not easy. We do not expect it to be easy, and we will provide support along the way. However, we feel that not incorporating these vital skills into midwifery education is a disservice to our students, and our profession. Every midwife has the responsibility to learn and practice these skills.



What are the grauation requirements?

You will receive a certificate of completion if you:


1. Attend the classes. If you must miss a class, you are responsible for completinghomework, and for arranging for a student to take notes for you and fill you in on what you missed. You may also contact the TA, teachers or coordinators to discuss what you missed and to answer questions you have from the homework. If you miss more than 2 classes over the course of the year, you must contact the coordinators and the TA to come up with a plan for making up the work that you missed. This might take the form of an extra paper or research project. Your class attendance will be signed off by the teacher or TA at each class.
2. Attend the doula training weekend if you have not already attended a doula training
4. Complete all of your homework, and make sure all your homework assignments are initialed as complete by the teacher
5.Attend an MMA meeting (the meeting dates and times are listed on the front page of the website www.massmidwives.org)
6. Present a research paper

7. Participate in 30 hours of community service.


Will I be Certified as a Midwife when I am done with the course?

 This program does not make you a licensed midwife. Currently there is no license available in Massachusetts, You can take what you have learned in this course and pursue the further clinical studies and on hands work that it takes to become a midwife. The National Registry of Midwives has examinations and requirements that you can work towards fulfilling to become a Certified professional midwife.


What additional requiremts are there beyond the course to become a midwife?

In order to qualify for the exam to become a certified professional midwife (CPM), candidates must compile a portfolio showing mastery of practical skills and attainment of academic/didactic learning. This portfolio must be compiled on official NARM forms, using a skills and learning checklist which is available from NARM for a fee.

More details are available at www.narm.org.


Students should contact NARM directly with any questions. The MMA Basic Midwifery Course is NOT accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) and so students who intend to become CPMs must use the PEP process.


Students who think they may want to become CPMs should order the official NARM forms as early as possible, and begin the process of documenting their skills and competencies as they attain them. It is hard to go back and document after the fact. All skills and competencies identified in NARM's forms must be signed off by a preceptor or instructor in order to qualify a candidate for the CPM credential. Course instructors and coordinators can sign off on skills that they have personally witnessed students demonstrating mastery of. Please make a point of requesting that instructors and/or coordinators sign off on your forms if you believe that it is appropriate/they have personally witnessed you performing a skill or competency with mastery.

 

What is the PEP process?

PEP stands for Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP). f you decide to become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) you will need to complete an apprenticeship period with a senior midwife who is a CPM or a CNM. You would work through a process called the Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP). Through the PEP process you keep a portfolio of your education, skills experience and the work you complete and births/prenatals you attend during your apprenticeship. You submit this portfolio to NARM and once it is accepted you may sit for the NARM exam to attain the CPM credential.


Are you MEAC accredited?

The MMA Course in Midwifery is not MEAC accredited. We give an excellent education while keeping ourselves affordable by providing the didactic portion of your midwifery education to prepare you for clinical training requirements, the PEP process and practical and written examinations.


Do I need to be a registered nurse before I take your program?

No there's not a prerequisite such as being an RN. Being a woman is helpful. :)  We believe every woman has life experience that will be invaluable in her becoming a midwife.  This course provides a basic knowledge and skill base from which to go on and find clinical experience etc. It is unrelated to nursing. Although some students have go on to nursing school, and eventually become Certified Nurse Midwives, others have become (after clinical experience and other requirements) Certified Professional Midwives which is a credential unaffiliated with nursing.

Specific to what your goal to be a certified nurse midwife (CNM), it's important to know that our program prepares people to be direct-entry (non-nurse) midwives who are usually credentialed as certified professional midwives (CPMs) through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).  NARM offers more information about their credentialing process through their website, which I believe is www.narm.org.  Basically, there are two routes to qualifying to take NARM's credentialing exam: one can go to a MEAC accredited school and then attend specific numbers of births and exams, or one can apply to take the exam after completing a portfolio process and the same specific numbers of births and exams.  


The portfolio process (called PEP) includes documenting the acquisition of basic academic knowledge of midwifery, which our program can help you do.  You would still have other requirements to document in your portfolio.  Like many midwifery programs, we don't guarantee placement in an apprenticeship, which you would need to do before you were able to start working, though we will introduce you to many midwives, to help you in your apprenticeship search.


One thing you should know as a nurse is that, quirkily to only Massachusetts, registered nurses are the only kind of professional who is NOT allowed to attend homebirths in Mass, unless they drop their nursing license.  CPMs in Mass are only able to attend homebirths.