This was an interview that I did with a local midwife. My main objective was to discuss continuity of care among professionals.
What was your path to midwifery (in terms of schooling and credentials), and why did you choose this path?
I did not have any previous experience in nursing or healthcare when I decided to go into midwifery. I talked to several people, a couple of the colleges and decided to get my Associate degree as an RN first. After I became an RN, I started working as a Labor and Delivery nurse. The university I attended for midwifery required this experience before starting. While I was an RN, I did a Bachelor completion program, then I attended the university were I received my Masters degree in midwifery. To be a certified nurse midwifery, after graduation from a midwifery program, you must also take a national board exam, which I did after graduation.
What kinds of barriers are there to your practice (if any)?
There are several barriers to practice as a midwife. We are not well understood by the population in general, especially as a Certified Nurse Midwife. People think we are uneducated, they don’t know that we have hospital privileges. There are also many doctors/practices that feel threatened by us and try to limit our scope of practice.
How do you see the current state of midwifery, and how would like to see it changed?
I see the current state of midwifery growing. I would like to see it grow even more. I think normal, healthy pregnant women should see midwives. I think we are cost effective and provide excellent care.
Do you work with midwives with other types of training or background?
In my practice, we only employ Certified Nurse Midwives, so we all have the same educational background. One of the midwives in my practice did do homebirth for many years first.
If a homebirth midwife were to transfer care to you, before or during labor, what would make it easier for you?
At our practice, ideally we meet patients who are planning a homebirth once in the office before they deliver to establish care with us. It makes it easier if her homebirth midwife calls us and lets us know what is going on with the patient before or instead of just transferring them.
Under what circumstances would you feel comfortable working with homebirth midwives and why?
I feel more comfortable working with homebirth midwives as above- when they call us, let us know what is happening with the patient, why they think they need to transfer, what their history is, etc.
What are some changes you would like to see in the system to better accommodate women’s choices, needs, and safety (this may include all places of birth)?
I think midwives need to be more universally available, accessible, and accepted. Studies have demonstrated that the care given by midwives is equal to if not better than care from doctors, especially in low risk women. Good midwives practice evidence-based, safe care. Within their scope of practice, they are able meet the needs of women while offering more choices.
Thanks for posting this! I have been trying to figure out my best path to becoming a midwife. Did she say how long the process took her?