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.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

More proof that homebirth with Midwives is safe

I'm so glad that I learned my midwifery from midwives in the home during homebirths. I learned there what I do there. (I know that's a silly sentence, but think about it. Women go to an institution hoping to learn how to honor birthing women and then practice in another institution that depends on interventions and complications to make a profit...)
I help in the home and I've learned the culture of homebirth. Through the apprenticeship model, though the midwives I worked with didn't have a formal apprenticeship during the years I was learning, I learned the skills I share today:
  • reductions in hypertensive disorders through diet
  • avoiding premature birth
  • achieving a healthy birth weight for babies
  • safe breech birth at home
  • vaginal birth of posterior babies
  • safe vaginal birth after cesarean
  • resolving shoulder dystocia
I didn't learn that out of the approved textbook or classroom training that tells many an enrolled past homebirth midwife not to share their knowledge about breech and other midwifery skills with the other students, but to stick with the curriculum. I'm grateful that homebirth (and hospital trained midwives!) came together to form a model of testing to show that the apprenticeship model works well. And I'm proud to put that to use as I hold the CPM credential from the North American Registry of Midwives.
Canada is promoting CPMs and has come out with statistics that also include CPM births.

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.