Archive for the ‘Learning about Birth’ Category

So, a year or so ago, the director of my midwifery school started this awesome program to become a “Certified Home Birth Consultant.” I couldn’t pass it up! It’s just what I’d love to do. Have an “official,” named position for answering people’s questions about home birth. I do this a lot already 😀

I signed up. As everything she designs, it’s challenging. I like challenging. I’m currently reading a book written by an English statistician called Safer Childbirth?, exposing and explaining the cultural myths about obstetrics improving childbirth. She delves into what has actually improved perinatal mortality and morbidity rates— better nutrition is probably #1, sanitation and hygiene, clean water, non-interventive midwifery care, etc.

To finish, I have to read still a lot of books, listen to some lectures and take tests on them, answer 50 questions, and take a few smaller courses, and a few other details.

I’ve already finished some books, listened to some talks, answered some questions …

I love doing this because I love the topic, and it helps me keep growing and be able to help others more.


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I accomplished one of my goals for midwifery studies, a goal I can only fulfill in the States, and that was attending a Midwifery Skills Lab (MSL) put on by my school.

I actually hosted the event, which was only possible because of my lovely, hospitable church and its amazing members. Not to mention my awesome family who perceived we were in need and took over all childcare and meal prep!!!

Skills we learned and practiced: taking fetal heart tones, palpating, giving IM injections and taking blood, internal exams, how to “massage” (or touch) the uterus in case of blood clots or hemorrhage, how to do nipple stim, taking BP, determining blood type on Eldon cards … much more. And this hands-off, birth-trusting midwife gave us honest ideas about how rare doing any of these things is.

We discussed: informed consent, transport, taking notes during birth (yes/no, what), creating forms for parents, working alegally or illegally or being licensed. … and much more.

We formed relationships as students and midwives and talked about: family relationships, being non-egoist in the birth world, finishing our curriculum … and more.

Now I need to take my handouts and notes apart and file them appropriately, and add some to my Birth Notebook Client Education Notebook.

Overall, it was awesome. On a personal level, …. I had stopped all birth work (doula, childbirth ed, etc.) because I was so disturbed by how undisturbed and even cold I was becoming toward hospital birth routine practices, giving up emotional attachment to clients b/c it hurt too much to watch their birth choices, integrating all these responsibilities with family life, etc. And some of our discussions gave me ideas how to get past this and re-invent my involvement in birth so I can be personally and “professionally” (as if those are two different things!) satisfied with how I’m serving people. (More to come in that area later.)

So, if you are a midwifery student, I highly recommend Ancient Art Midwifery Institutes’ Midwifery Skills Labs.

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I enrolled in AAMI Advanced Midwifery Studies in late Sept 2010. While I’m at it, I want to say that I am more than pleased with this course. I am just thrilled. It inspires me more and more with how much I have to learn and how much I am learning. I also appreciate their FaceBook pages where students and midwives have discussions about various questions that come up. Their conference phone calls are also unbelievable–Gail Hart, Gloria Lemay, Joy Jones, Kristi Zittle, etc. So many fabulous ways to learn!

Midwifery Past: 2011 

Before stating my midwifery study goals for 2012, I’d like to review what I’ve accomplished in 2011.

  • Submitted Phase 3 (Phases 1-3 are introductory phases before starting the actual curriculum; they require a lot of work)

Once Phase 3 work was accepted, I started with Phase 4, the main curriculum. It has 6 sections. I made a submission each quarter of the year.

  • First submission: all of section 1 (mostly terminology definitions, workbook, roots/prefixes/suffixes, etc.) I also submitted 2 Section Two assignments (watching videos, listening to past conference lectures).


This submission made the Honor Roll! I’m amazed.

  • Second submission: Section 2–4 assignments: an article abstract, a textbook overview, assignments from Goer’s Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realites, 2 book reviews, and a book critique.

  • Then, this final quarter, I submitted Section 3A–two assignments from a list of choices; my childbirth educator/doula training and the Placenta Intensive Study Module. (I was hoping to submit 3B also, but the Placenta ISM was a doozy!!!!)

Other things I accomplished in 2011: set up my Section 5 files (50+ midwifery topics), started collecting AEU points (haven’t turned them in yet), listened to several conference calls, attended 4 births as a doula, and attended informal breastfeeding classes with a brilliant IBCLC counselor.

Midwifery future: 2012

Today I sat down and mapped submission goals for each quarter of this year. Not sure I will meet them all and they may be revamped, but here’s the plan for now:

  • Quarter 1: submit assignment 4A (read Holistic Midwifery 1, questions/answers, notes) and 20 assignments from Section 6. (So far, I’m almost on page 500 of Hol Mid 1 and almost at 100 of 175 questions. And I’m hoping to go through Section 6 and see what I can work on. And several Section 6 assignments are done.)
  • Quarter 2: submit 3B.2 (Midwifery Skills book and assignments) and 20 assignments from Section 6.
  • Quarter 3: submit 4B and second annual report
  • Quarter 4: submit 5 Section 5 files.

I’m also evaluating how I sense myself evolving as a student, and I feel like I’m still in the absorbtion stage rather than in the output/teaching stage. I’m also still learning what resources I have for learning. Once I hit Sections 5 and 6, then I want to move into more of the educating-others mode. Right now, I’m amazed at how much I have to learn!

So that’s my midwifery studies past and future!

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me today

I’m studying midwifery with Ancient Art Midwifery Institute, and the course is divided into 6 sections that contain all kinds of assignments. In this notebook, I’m turning in all of Section 1, which is mostly about medical terms, definitions, word parts, abbreviations, etc. Also, Section 2 is a lot of overview and looking into the various resources we have for learning. I’m turning in two assignments connected with watching videos and listening to conference speakers–this was one of the most interesting things I’ve done!

It’s been hundreds of hours of work!

One thing that’s beginning to clarify for me is the importance of my Section 5 file system. It’s the place I can store and retrieve all the info I’m learning. It’s a major project, but I’m glad I have the files ready now, and I’m getting quite a pile of notes (from book reading) I need to file away.

This coming quarter, I’m going to continue and hopefully finish the rest of Section 2 work.

I occasionally and regularly (usually after I finish an assignment) take time to re-read some inspiring letters from Carla and to look all through the curriculum again so I can keep getting the big picture, staying in perspective, and keep focused.

I desperately need a housekeeper! Come with a shovel 😉

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It’s about my work as a doula. And for all you Russian-understanders, I did it all myself, no grammar checks, so I know it’s terrible. But it communicates me 😀

Read here.

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Two current couples:

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I started this blog to chronicle my Charis studies; however, it’s become so much more, and the confidentiality required in this profession doesn’t allow me to flap my lips too much about the most interesting things that happen 🙂

However, I have now attended my third birth as a doula, and three births are required for certification. This was the last requirement needed in order to take the final exam.

So now I’m gathering paperwork to turn in and studying for the exam.

I have loved my time of study. It has been so fulfilling! I have no problem reading and studying, but having a set program has helped me stay focused and to study a wide range of topics (not just what I’m naturally drawn to).

Also, Charis has opened the doors for me to begin teaching childbirth prep classes and actually attend births! It’s been a great way to get involved in people’s lives and contribute something very meaningful to them.

Please visit Charis’s website!

Maybe you are interested in helping pregnant, childbearing couples. Maybe you know someone who is interested in this.

Charis has a rigorous, high standard of study and a well-rounded program.

Pray for me as I get ready and take the final exam 🙂

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