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Giving Birth to Midwives Newsletter                          June 2012


It is the season for graduations. Yesterday I had the opportunity to
attend our school's graduation. I must admit that graduation is one of my favorite days of the year! The dedication, love, and sheer joy at completing one's journey are always palpable in the room.

This edition of Giving Birth to Midwives is dedicated to the Graduating Midwifery Student. We have some wonderful articles by midwifery faculty and midwifery students - a true collaboration from several different midwifery programs and schools.

If you are not already a member I hope you feel inspired to join
AME and be a part of our growing community. Our membership
fees are very reasonable. Click here to join now or read more about membership on our website. Oh, and don't forget to "like" us on
Facebook for updates on our latest resources.

Thank you, midwifery educators, for guiding a new group of midwives to practice. Your passion and dedication is what AME is all about - providing the very best in midwifery education to future midwives!

Enjoy (and forward on)!

-Stephanie Safholm, AME Board of Directors

CPM Symposium Report   

By Justine Clegg, MS, LM, CPM,  

President of AME 


On March 16-19, 2012, 150 midwives, educators, students, consumers, advocates and stakeholders came together from as far away as Alaska and Puerto Rico to meet at the beautiful conference facility in Airlie, Virginia for the CPM Symposium, co-convened by AME and NACPM.  An additional 44 people including 15 midwifery students participated and were able to earn CEUs via live streaming. 12 Symposium scholarships and 8 Live Stream scholarships were awarded. A graphic facilitator mapped our presentations and conversations.


Together, we experienced the palpable excitement of the momentum that is growing for Certified Professional Midwifery, while also experiencing the frustrations and discomfort that come from breaking open typical discussions in the search for new solutions. Together we took the brave step of working with facilitators and new social technologies being used in forums all over the world to find new ways forward, to grapple with our challenges and difficult issues, and to seek out and learn a new style of effectiveness.  With this facilitation and new methodologies, one hundred and fifty people were able to work together to identify eleven themes/issues that most need our shared attention, create work groups to address these topics, and develop action plans for moving these issues forward.   



The Road Less Traveled: The Journey from Student to Midwife
By Rachel Elling, CPM, LM  


Three years ago I packed my bags and moved across the country from a big city in California to the small town of Bridgton, Maine.  Why Bridgton, you ask? This quaint town is home to Birthwise Midwifery School, a three year MEAC accredited program for direct entry midwives like me.

No time was wasted in getting thrust into the world of midwifery.  From day one I faced intense courses and learning challenges, while being forced to look deep inside myself at the fear and hesitation I felt in pursuing a career that is notoriously riddled with sleep deprivation, poor pay and medical professionals who look down on you.  

In Birthwise I found a family. A sisterhood and support network to help me through the obstacles in trying skills for the first time and overcoming test anxiety. From teachers, to midwives, to classmates, there was always a friend willing to help me process a tough concept learned in class, a long birth or simply rejoicing with me in the many joys felt along the way.  

Graduating Midwifery School
By Kristine Tawater, LM, CPM
2011 Association of Texas Midwives Graduate  

How does it feel to have graduated midwifery school? There are many different feelings for me. One is, of course, elation at having finished this task! It was a long road and my shoes are well worn, but I am so proud of my accomplishment.

I think the biggest feeling I have about my new road in life is the overwhelming sense of responsibility. Responsibility to giving my clients the best care, of making sure I make every effort not to miss anything important, to be able to recognize when a pregnancy deviates from normal. I feel a responsibility to not let myself get complacent in my knowledge and to always refine and sharpen my skills. I feel a responsibility to keep my practice a finely tuned art, making sure that I always approach each woman as a unique individual and not let myself begin to care for each woman in the same manner, to keep her individuality as her greatest need.

I feel a weighted sense of responsibility to uphold my profession to the highest standard. I recognize that every decision I make can have far reaching affect on not only me, but on my sister midwives. I cannot be "that midwife" that does not understand how the actions of one affect the care that is available to all women. I recognize that although I have the title of midwife, I must continue to earn that title - to seek out counsel of the experienced women who have forged this path ahead of me. I understand that through them, I continue to become. I have the responsibility to not take clients as primary caregiver when the experience is new to me, like a breech or twin birth, but recognize that in this respect I am still apprentice to the wise women who know and will teach me if I only ask.  



Professional Ethics in Midwifery Practice Book Review

By Heather Whitley


This book belongs on the shelf with the other familiar and well worn texts of every student, provider, educator and association in the midwifery industry.  


The authors remind us that internal regulation, in any profession, is preferable to external regulation by non-midwifery groups. To preserve the professional autonomy of and increase respect for midwives, there must be a strengthening of ethical codes and training. Shared ethics will define, differentiate and legitimize our profession.  


The realm of relationships is fluid and shifting, requiring constant evaluation. The book offers thought-provoking insight and cases on physician collaboration, calling us on the carpet by stating "..midwives must take responsibility for bridging the gap in communication between themselves and physicians because it is essential for high quality care...if our clients can benefit from our own relationships with physicians, then it is our responsibility to build relationships with them." (Foster and Lasser p. 114)

 Read the full article here>

Unity in the Midwifery Profession   
by the MCU Student Council

This note from your Student Council addresses unity within the midwifery profession. Midwifery is not an easy path and it's easier if we stick together. This is a special calling and there is a lot of unity within the profession. We share a bond. If a midwife or her family is ill, help comes from all around. We take care of each other. If we meet a midwife from far away we're instant friends.  


However, there is often a nasty undercurrent. "Coercion, horizontal violence, bullying, in-fighting, hostile work environment". Unfortunately these terms are used to describe many female dominated careers, such as nursing, midwifery, and lactation consultants. It may be overt or covert, conscious or subconscious, intentional or unintentional. The women who participate are among the nicest people, outside of work.


Read the full article here>

The Value of Comprensive Exams in a Well-Rounded Midwifery Education  
by Mary Yglesia

Every year, when the incoming class of students arrive for their first day of school at Bastyr University's Department of Midwifery, as their Practicum Coordinator I say to them, "Our commitment to you is to give you the best education possible, to evaluate you thoroughly and to not let you leave here until you've demonstrated that you have the skills necessary to be an entry-level midwife."  But, how do we know when our students have demonstrated those skills?  What assurance do we have that our graduates won't choke in an emergency or miss a serious medical condition because they didn't know enough to consult or refer in a timely manner?  

Evaluation of student readiness to practice as direct-entry midwives is the most critical assessment that midwifery educators will make.  The stakes are high-those of us who do this work know that we are the gatekeepers for a midwife who must be prepared with a well rounded theoretical education, solid clinical skills and critical thinking skills.  In the United States direct-entry midwives practice almost exclusively out of the hospital and without the benefit of that safety net and so, as we graduate entry-level midwives, it is the responsibility of educators to have evidence of the student's readiness. 

Read the full article here>

2012 Midwifery Graduates

Congratulations to the midwifery program graduates from schools and training programs across the country who will graduate in 2012! Your hard work, dedication and passion to serve women and their families are truly awe-inspiring. Welcome, Midwives!

ATM Midwifery Training Program
Melissa Bates
April Bland
Meg Glascoff Rodenbusch
Kate Griffin
Kathaleen May
Genevieve Schaefer
Rachel Slaughter
Kristine Tawater

Bastyr University
Sarah Ambrose
Kelsey Hanrahan
Yesenia Guzman
Merka Martin
Emi McLaughlin
Paula Pelletier - Butler
Carly Scrymgeour
Allison Watkins
Megan Wood
Birthwise Midwifery School
Rachel Elling
Allison Goessling
Anastasia Evans
Hope Jackson
Susanna Mauzy
Becky Moore
Krystel Viehmann
Caroline McCauley
Maggie Smith
Dani Scanlon

Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery
Rebecca Luckey
Maggie McCarthy
Celeste McLeod
Kristin Schuchmann
The CCSM graduating class would like to honor their classmate Allyn Ferris, who passed away in December.  She would have graduated with them this June.

Midwives College of Utah
Debbie Sahlstrom   Associate of Science in Midwifery
Lisa Pugh     Associate of Science in Midwifery
Kate Potthast     Associate of Science in Midwifery
Dessa Cooper    Bachelor of Science in Midwifery
Terri Lynn Demers    Bachelor of Science in Midwifery
Carly Beaulieu      Master of Science in Midwifery

Note: This is by no means a comprehensive list of all students graduating from midwifery programs.  We would like to add lists of graduates and newly certified midwives to each of our Giving Birth to Midwives issues.  If you are a preceptor of a student who has successfully completed the PEP process, please have them send us their name!

Issue: 6  
Teaching doll
CPM Symposium Report by Justine Clegg, MS, LM, CPM
The Road Less Traveled: The Journey from Student to Midwife by Rachel Elling, CPM, LM
Graduating Midwifery School by Kristine Tawater, LM, CPM
Book Review of Professional Ethics in Midwifery Practice by Heather Whitley, CPM, LM
Unity in the Midwifery Profession by the MCU Student Council
The Value of Comprensive Exams in a Well-Rounded Midwifery Education by Mary Yglesia
2012 Midwifery Graduates

We update our home page with new resources!  

AME is always looking for talented individuals to join us. If you are interested
in volunteering for a project or learning more about being on the Board of Directors, contact
Mary Yglesia at myglesia@bastyr.edu.

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There is strength in sharing! 
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Among us there is a wealth of expertise; sharing is the best way for us to strengthen midwifery education and form strong bonds between educators.  Together we truly are greater than the sum of our parts. We would love your articles, resources or suggestions for themes or articles for the future.  Contact us here if you have ideas or information to share. 

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2012 CPM Symposium

Association of Midwifery Educators