I attended orientation for my new journey with The Matrona Holistic Midwifery and Birthkeeper Program on Saturday and I was just one of 80 souls called to assist women as a Holistic Childbirth Consultant or as an Independent Midwife! I was blown away to meet these amazing women from all over the country (and out of the country), all different backgrounds and walks of life, just amazing. I was not expecting it and it just makes me so hopeful. Read on to learn more ...
What is a Midwife, you may ask? I get this question a lot. Many think a midwife is only for homebirths and that to have a home birth, you have to be "crunchy." Not true! Homebirth is for any healthy birthing person and their healthy baby. Midwives also work within the hospital setting and at stand alone birthing centers.
The word "Midwife" is derived from the Old English" mid" meaning "with" and "wif" meaning "woman" so it means to be with women and in this case, while they birth. Since the dawn of the "Birthkeeper" and in the times of the village and community birth, the job of a midwife was to be the wise woman, that knew things and could assist a woman through this transformative experience, they knew about birth, saw it many times and trusted the journey. They helped birthing women follow their instincts, help slow their breath and help them into positions. If they were needed to help the baby or mother immediately after birth, they had herbs, remedies and skill to help stitch them up and help them heal. If you'd like to see the history of midwifery and obstetrics read on here. This timeline is pretty eye opening and infuriating especially 1993. Ugh...
There are different kinds of midwives. CNM's, CM's, CPM's and then there are Independent Midwives.
Certified Nurse-Midwives or CNM can work within the hospital system or have a homebirth practice but here in the US, it's usually one or the other.
Certified Midwives have a Masters in Nurse midwifery and like CNM's, CM's can work with adolescence to post-menopausal women. To read more about these certifications read on here.
Certified Practicing Midwives or CPM's are typically only in the home birth setting or private birthing centers and can offer well care too.
Independent midwives are the just that, independent from certifying bodies and work independently for the client.
Taken from Whapio, my teacher, herself "Our US constitution guarantees citizens the right to lawfully offer their goods and services to the private sector through a Private Membership Association. Many doctors practice outside the legal system through this constitutional provision as do midwives and other healthcare practitioners. This also includes fellow citizens who are not health caregivers to sell their wares…unpasteurized
milk, raw honey etc…to the private sector. The bottom line is that you may lawfully practice as an Independent Midwife, outside of the legal system, upheld by the law, through a private relationship with clients." If I continue on with the 2 year Holistic Midwifery Diploma with the Matrona, I would be able to be an independent midwife. That is not part of my plan though. I may decide to become a birth assistant after this season of my life shifts but my true goal and aspiration for taking this certification is to...
A. Learn from Whapio Diane Bartlett, who has been an independent midwife and educator for 40 years!!! Her wisdom is what I clung to ever since I heard about her from a training I took with Gena Kirby back in 2018.
B. Be a wealth of knowledge and continue to pass down the wise woman's knowledge, be a Birthkeeper and work with families from conception to pre-school helping them holistically and instinctively gain their grounding in their parenting journey.
C. I will be Certified in Homeopathy for the childbearing years. That's pretty cool and an amazing bonus.
D. To be the best family consultant and coach I can be having a well rounded education from all angles.
Although I have no end goals of being a clinical midwife, the knowledge I will gain from learning from Whapio and those 79 other amazing and woke women, will sky rocket my confidence and knowledge base which means, I'm boosting the confidence and knowledge of any one that works with me. This is an amazing tool for people looking for an unassisted birth or a hospital birth because I will have a midwifery education, can advocate for my families and help guide them towards their choice and their voice even better than before. This is all so very cool and I couldn't be more excited.
Be sure to follow my journey! I can't wait to share what I gain!
Photo credit to Sarah Zinn Photography
Here's a video of the program I'm in if you're interested in learning more.