Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More on the value of apprenticeship

Considering the ACNM letter of late, I hope that each of you would take the time to promote the apprenticeship model of care. If midwives are only trained in institutional settings, how would we learn normal birth (home birth?) Institutional settings utilize obstetrical solutions for pregnancy and birth problems, but not traditional midwifery care. If we want to preserve traditional wisdom we need to preserve the traditional model of education.

Apprenticeship is an avenue for gifted, hands-on learners to succeed.
Apprenticeship allows the learner to "absorb" the modeling behavior of the preceptor (in this case experienced midwife).
I learn what I do; I become what I feel.
Apprenticeship in midwifery allows the student to come into the culture of birth.
Apprenticeship in homebirth midwifery allows the student to serve the culture of homebirth and so help to preserve the culture of homebirth, including mother child skin-to-skin bonding in a family flora environment, delayed cord clamping (if at all), less need for resuscitation, less vagus nerve reflex (gagging and breath obstruction)
Apprenticeship relies on relationship building, not the business model of the institutional educational setting. So, personal growth is enhanced rather than the profit margin-ization of people who want so much to learn that they'd pay and do anything to enter into the world of birth only to find that they've entered the policy world of institutions.
Oh, ok, university learning has value, yes, but its destination is not the only valuable destination, especially when we are seeking to preserve hormonal function for spontaneous birth and breastfeeding.


Knitted_in_the_Womb said...

"Apprenticeship" is the midwifery version of "residency." Its time we quit allowing the medical profession to frame it as something that is archaic and lacking--they do "apprenticeships" too!

Spinning Babies Lady said...

Residency is to Apprenticeship as homelessness is to hearth. Relationship-wise, residency is a series of tasks supervised by a variety of people with a bit more experience than the learner, generally speaking. Apprenticeship is an intense one-to-one commitment. Each has its pros and cons, but only one is based on the culture of birth within ...well, the culture of the society in which the midwife practices.

Changing the Earth by supporting Birth

Mothers bring forth life; medical corporations do not. Birth can be simple, powerful and loving. Fetal positioning, natural birthing and practical help for normal birth.