One Way To Become a Midwife

I read the book Spiritual Midwifery when I was 20 years old and it rocked my world. I devoured it and wanted to be a midwife just like the amazing Ina May.

If you have ever thought of becoming a midwife, take a moment to read this post. One of my best friend’s, Molly, a young 25 year old, is in her first year of nurse midwifery school at Frontier Nursing University.

I am so proud of her for knowing exactly what she wants out of life and making a bee line for it. I wish I had the clear sensibility she has at her age. Becoming a midwife is hard work, but anyone with enough passion and dedication can make it happen.

Before I turn it over to Molly, I need to insert a shameless plug for an upcoming training I am hosting in my home the last weekend in March. It is a workshop about learning how to encapsulate placentas. Midwives will get CEU credit for attending. To RSVP, click here.

Here’s how Molly is doing it:

So when did you know you wanted to be a midwife?

It seems as if I have always had his uncanny desire to work with pregnant women. When I was 8 I wrote a story about how I wanted to become an OBGYN, those were the days before I knew there was another choice.

The moment I knew Midwifery was my calling was at the age of 14. I had the honor of watching my mother push out my almost 10lb brother naturally at 42 weeks with a Midwife at her bedside. After that experience I began to ask my mother many questions about what a Midwife was and how they are different from OBGYNs. Come to find out, she actually had me in a birthing center with a Midwife.

It was all so enlightening and exciting. I couldn’t wait to learn more about the lesser known options of midwives and birth centers. It became my passion and my life’s goal to share everything I learn with all the women I can.

What made you go the route of becoming an RN first and then a CNM, versus becoming  just a home birth midwife?

I heavily weighed my options of what course to take to become a Midwife. A traditional Certified Midwife is an excellent source of knowledge and just as capable, but the added experiences that a Certified Nurse Midwife receives by going through nursing school before Midwifery training just made more sense to me personally.

I have always had the aspirations to open my own birth center and I felt in our American society where Midwives and birth centers are already frowned upon having a higher degree of a Masters could only work in my benefit.Now that I am actually in the program I am so thankful to have such a strong basis of knowledge and experience from being a Nurse.

How hard was it to get into nursing school?

It was very challenging to get into nursing school. I actually didn’t get in my first time applying and had to wait another two semesters. Unfortunately getting into nursing school is all about your GPA and nothing to do with who you are as a person.

It was very upsetting to not get in that first time but I did grade replacement for a few classes to help my GPA and luckily got in the second time. It is getting more and more challenging to get into schools because of the high applicant rate but I find it comforting now that I am in the field that they only accept students with the best GPAs. I just wish they interviewed the applicants to make sure they had some common sense too.

How hard was it to get into midwifery school?

I am not really sure if my school turned down many applicants. I had to complete a couple of essay responses and get some recommendations and obviously they want someone with a good Undergraduate GPA but other than that it seemed pretty simple.

Why did you choose the school you did?

Frontier Nursing University stuck out to me because of its emphasis on birth centers. I have always had a desire to go to Columbia in NYC but after much research about the programs offered at big Universities and reading over their curriculum and mission statements I knew that their focus was much more geared to hospital work and that is not what I wanted.

Frontier is the first ever Nurse- Midwifery school in the US and has pioneered many efforts to bring birth centers to mainstream America.
I had the pleasure of visiting Hyden, KY where the school is based for my orientation and meeting so many visionaries of the field. It was an incredible experience.

I knew I had chosen the right school for me when we all sat in a circle at the end of the three days and spoke about our vision of what a pregnancy and birth should be for a family. Everyone had the same comforting views as me and it was so nice to not feel like an outcast with a radical idea that birth is normal. It been a great family to be a part of ever since.

How are you handling working full time and going to school?

It was quite a wake-up call the first semester. I have always kind of breezed through school and held a pretty decent social life and work schedule in the past but I quickly realized that would not be the case in Grad school.

It has been hard to balance everything but the professors give you a good schedule to try and follow to stay on track and luckily I only work 3 days a week but I would say 3 out of my 4 days off are spent doing school work. With a lot of dedication and support from my boyfriend and family I know I will be just fine.

What made you passionate about birth and natural birth?

I think it all stems from me being born naturally. My Grandmother, who has 14 children, always speaks in awe of my mother and how she was home the same day from giving birth to me sitting on the wooden floor changing my diaper.

To see the look on her face is both bewildering and inspiring. She is still to this day confused at how it is possible for a woman to give birth and then carry on with her life. That charged a passion inside of me to tell more women just how possible it is. How our bodies were created to form another life and how perfectly most of them give birth when not tainted with.

Throughout the years I have been introduced to many books, movies and people who have continued to teach me and inspire me to want to attend natural births.

What advice would you give to aspiring midwives?

I would say to try and find a community to help guide you on your journey. Being in a group of supportive women who believe the same things as me has been a huge blessing.

They all have their own experiences to share and inspire and teach you. Try and find your path and do whatever you can to take it. We need as many Midwives as possible to help educate our society on the many options of birth and the amazing power of a woman’s body to give birth naturally.

Thanks so much Molly! I wish you the best of luck as you finish school. And I can’t wait till you are a midwife and I can catch babies vicariously through you.

If you would like to read a fun book about a homebirth midwife, check out Baby Catcher!

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  • Brooke
    February 15, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Wow! Good for you on knowing where your passion was and GOING for it!!!


    • Stephanie
      February 17, 2012 at 12:11 AM

      Totally agree! I am so impressed with her!

  • Cyndel
    February 16, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    I’ve wanted to be a midwife since I first met a local lay midwife when I was about 12, I heard her tell some stories and I never looked back.
    But I decided that starting my own family came first. I married at 19 and have had 2 boys in the 5 years since…we plan on several more children. In a few years I plan on starting a pre – nursing course, but a much slower course, I plan on homeschooling my children so I will only be able to do one or two classes at a time, I’m hoping to get all pre-nursing done before my children are all in High school…as they will be going to private school in stead of homeschooling during their highschool years…then I will finish up. I’m looking forward to it and am content in the wait as I’m always learning more and more about birth and midwifery.

    • Stephanie
      February 17, 2012 at 12:12 AM

      I know a lot of midwives and aspiring midwives from my work as a Doula and childbirth educator and a lot them talk about being a midwife one day when they are older, when their kids are older and they have more time. Which is great, because traditionally, midwives have been older. The wise, crones, truly available to nurture and support new mothers.