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Giving Birth to Midwives Newsletter                         August 2013
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Taking AME
Association news from the President

We hope you all have found time this summer to kick back and take life a little easier, enjoy an adventurous vacation or take a relaxing "stay-cation" at home.  August finds us planning for the beginning of the school year as well as for the MANA conference in Portland, OR this coming October. AME Board members will participate with the other Allied Midwifery Organizations (MANA, NARM, MEAC, NACPM, CfM and ICTC) in a two-day meeting before the MANA conference, and immediately following the conference AME will hold our first in-person board meeting. Using input from the recent member survey we sent out, we will be re-visiting our mission, our goals, values, statements of purpose, and strategic planning. Thank you to all who completed our survey.


AME will be holding our annual member meeting at MANA this year, on Friday evening October 25th from 6:30 to 8 pm. Look for this event in the conference brochure, and be sure to stop by the AME table in the exhibit hall for the meeting room information and to let us know you're in the building.


This issue of "Giving Birth to Midwives" focuses on competency-based education, which is characteristic of how midwifery students learn. Information and skills are taught by a knowledgeable instructor, then students practice in a hands-on skills practicum, and after that they apply what they've learned to client care in their clinical sites. Problem-based learning, which applies content to specific clinical situations and involves group learning through problem-solving, also helps students develop critical thinking competencies. Assessment tools and processes are key to successful competency-based learning, which can be in written, oral, and return-demonstration form, and completed by the student's instructor, peers, clients, and through self-assessment. Our national midwifery organizations provide guidelines for competency-based education.  MANA (the Midwives Alliance of North America) Core Competencies are an essential part of the student's learning. All students seeking to become Certified Professional Midwives must meet the essential knowledge and skills established by NARM (the North American Registry of Midwives). MEAC (the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council) requires schools seeking accreditation to demonstrate where these competencies and requirements are taught in their curricula.


We are grateful to all who have contributed to this newsletter and hope you find the articles helpful. We invite you, our reader, to share how you help prepare your students to become competent entry-level midwives.  In our recent survey, 85.7% of our members agreed that midwifery educators and schools should share resources with one another. As educators, you already demonstrate your commitment to the midwifery profession. Sharing your expertise by contributing to AME's newsletter will help us all do a better job.  


Justine Clegg, MS, LM, CPM, AME President  

What is competency-based education and how does it fit with midwifery education?  


Competency-Based Midwifery Education
by Breyette Lorntz


What do the US Department of Education and the International Confederation of Midwives have in common? The answer has to do with recent descriptions and affirmations of competency-based education. This article provides a brief introduction to both sets of efforts and presents an actionable definition for competency-based midwifery education that bridges both organizations.   


Read the full article here >  



The CPM Certification Process: Combining advanced learning theory with time-honored tradition
by Ida Darragh

Competency-based education has been implemented for many years in alternative learning schools, experiential programs, and apprenticeship traditions, but has more recently come to be associated with standardized education. The U.S. Department of Education (USED) has endorsed competency based education as "a structure that creates flexibility, and allows students to progress as they demonstrate mastery of academic content, regardless of time, place, or pace of learning."   


Read the full article here >


Competency-Based Educational Models:
Midwives On the Cutting Edge
by Heidi Fillmore

In our own quiet way, midwifery educators are, and perhaps always have been, on the cutting edge of educational innovation. As the higher education world grapples with the changing student profile and their access to information in our technology-based global culture, innovative competency-based educational models are being developed that try to accommodate the non-traditional student or to take advantage of these changes. These competency-based models put high value on the knowledge and skills a student is able to demonstrate at the completion of the course/program.

 Read the full article here > 

The following articles explore several tools that can be used to support competency-based midwifery education:

Problem Based Learning as a Tool for Competency-Based Education

by Pat Burkhardt


As educators, we struggle to find more effective ways to help students attain the competencies required for safe, high-quality midwifery practice. Some focus on PowerPoint™ or Prezi technology to make classes more interesting and engaging. Others conduct learner inventories to determine how their students learn and then try to adapt their teaching to the learning styles that fit them. It is a never-ending quest to be entertaining and/or appropriate for each student so they grasp the content being delivered.



Electronic Clinical Tracking: Two direct-entry midwifery schools transition from paper to online
by Mary Yglesia


As the Practicum Coordinator for the Department of Midwifery at Bastyr University, a good portion of my job is tracking our students' clinical hours, client contacts and clinical skills. With 43 students in Practicum and almost 60 preceptors I have 100+ people to keep track of and our program is a relatively small one! The paper systems we created and used for decades served us well and we knew them intimately so even considering making a change felt stressful. But I couldn't deny that the system was beginning to collapse under its own weight. Bigger filing cabinets and hiring another staff person didn't seem to be an appropriate solution, but what?     


Advantages, Disadvantages, and Tips for Electronic Clinical Tracking

by Susi Delaney


In the spring of 2012, Birthwise Midwifery School made the decision to transition from a paper documentation system to an online clinical documentation system - TyphonGroup's NPST. As the Clinical Director, I oversaw this transition and with the assistance of our clinical coordinator, Tiffany Carter Skillings, personalized the system for our needs, developed new documentation procedures, and developed training systems for students and preceptors. As demanding and time-consuming as this process was, the new system had the potential to greatly improve the clinical staff's ability to track student progress throughout the program. Following are some of my learnings from this process:   


Read the full article here >    



Understanding Pelvic Soft Tissue Anatomy:
Can It Be Done?

by Anne Frye


Perhaps, like so many other students, practitioners and educators, you are like me and have struggled with understanding the intricacies of the soft tissue anatomy of the female pelvis. This study is made next-to-impossible due to several things: 

Upcoming Events

September 26-29, 2013 (Minneapolis, MN) - American Association of Birth Centers 7th Annual Birth Institute "Sustaining Growth in Rivers of Change" 

October 11-13, 2013 (New Orleans, LA) - Lamaze International 2013 Annual Conference 

October 24-27, 2013 (Portland, OR) - MANA 2013 "Birthing Social Change"   


October 25, 2013 (Portland, OR) - Annual AME member meeting at MANA 2013, 6:30-8:00pm. Look for this event in the conference brochure, and stop by our exhibit table!  


October 25-27, 2013 (Destin, FL) - CAPPA Conference CAPPA Conference "Destined to make a Difference"  


November 6-8, 2013 (Ottawa, Ontario) - Canadian Association of Midwives 13th Annual Conference and Exhibit 


November 6-9, 2013 (London, Ontario) - Birth and Beyond Conference 


 Are you a midwife?


If you are a midwife you are invited to participate in a survey.  

Joyce Hyatt, DNP, CNM and a PhD candidate at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Health Related Professions is conducting a research study about pain relieving methods offered by midwives in labor and birth. The purpose of this survey is to understand how different birth settings influence the offerings of pain relieving techniques.


To be eligible to participate in this survey you must have a current midwifery license/credential that allows you to practice in the United States. Midwives who participate in this survey will provide valuable information on pain management in midwifery. This survey will be open until September 30, 2013.



Please follow this link for more information about the survey > 

Issue: 10 
Teaching doll
What is competency-based midwifery education?
Tools to support competency-based midwifery education
Upcoming Events
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Following are several
of our favorite
resources related to competency-based education:

* Anema, M.G. &
McCoy, J. (2010). Competency-Based Nursing Education:
Guide to Achieving Outstanding Learner Outcomes. New York: Springer Publishing. Chapter 1: Vision of Competency-Based Education is available online here.

* Council for Adult and Experiential Learning

*  LeBlanc, P. (2013, January 31). Accreditation in a Rapidly Changing World. Inside Higher Ed.

*  Mazoué, J.G.
(2012, August). The deconstructed campus. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 24(2)
, 74-95. Conference presentation PowerPoint available here.

Nelson, L.A. (2013, February 14). A New Accreditation System. Inside Higher Ed.    

We update our resources regularly! Do you know of resources that are helpful to other midwifery educators? Or, are you seeking particular resources that are not currently available on the website? Send your ideas to  info@association


A recently published study retrospectively examined the outcomes of planned home births attended by certified-nurse midwives among a primarily Amish population between 1983 and 2008. The transport rate was under 6%.

The rate of postpartum hemorrhage was low (5.5%), despite the high rate of grandmultiparity (more than 33%). There were no maternal deaths, and the 7 early neonatal deaths were all attributed to lethal congenital anomalies common in this population.

Cox, K. J., Schlegel, R., Payne, P., Teaf, D. and Albers, L. (2013). Outcomes of Planned Home Births Attended by Certified Nurse-Midwives in Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1983-2008. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 58: 145-149.


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 us here.

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Among us there is a wealth of expertise and knowledge. Sharing is the best way for us to strengthen midwifery education and to form strong bonds between educators. Together, we truly are greater than the sum of our parts. We welcome your articles, resources, or suggestions for themes or articles for the future. 

Our next newsletter will
be devoted to the nuts
and bolts of teaching

Contact us here if you have ideas or information to share. 

Association of Midwifery Educators