Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Mythological Midwife

In her PhD dissertation, Rixa Freeze (Stand and Deliver) includes a discussion of the mythological midwife. Ever since I read it, I've been formulating what my mythological midwife would be, or what I would do if I were to become a midwife and could do/be all the things I would want to as a midwife.

I have considered becoming a midwife. Ancient Arts Midwifery Institute is very appealing to me. And if I could apprentice with any midwife, it would be with Suzanne Thomson of New Life Midwifery in Seattle. I worked with her during my pregnancy with Belle. She's offered to let me attend births with her but I haven't taken her up on it yet.

The one reason why I will likely never become a midwife for hire is: I really don't want to run a business and be responsible for keeping it profitable. I want my passion to something that is not tied to money, which in a way negates pursuing any passion...

But I enjoy dreaming and my dream to become the mythological midwife would be to:
  • Complete a midwifery training program
  • Become trained in prenatal massage
  • Become an herbalist specialized in women's and children's health
  • Learn naturopathy
  • Be supportive of unassisted children, provide educational resources to families seeking it and back-up care if needed/wanted
  • Learn chiropractic, especially the Webster Technique
  • Assemble a lending library of the best books, CDs and DVDs to prepare for normal birth
  • Provide Mother Blessing Ceremonies for mothers I work with
  • Pray over and perform energy work for pregnant women at each appointment
  • Learn traditional and cultural birth practices from around the world in order to be able to recommend them to clients
  • Remember where I come from as a birthing mother and ALWAYS provide adequate informed consent
  • Write, publish, present and advocate for practices that support and encourage normal birth in the overall population of women and families
  • Provide family life education to families that would prepare parents for the transition to parenthood, enhance their communication skills, and marital attachment
  • conduct research on birth issues, and how it relates to human development, individual and public health, and connect it to public policy (PhD)
I've tried to figure out how much the training to become this might cost me. These are approximations of programs in my area:
Midwifery program: $5,000 - $40,000
Chiropractic degree: $90,000
Herbalist degree (through Bastyr University): $90,000
Massage Therapy Certification: $10,000
Naturopathy training: $90,000
PhD: probably could be paid for with Teaching and Research Assistantships

Based on that alone, and the years of training. Its not going to happen.

In fact, if I were to be the mythological mother, I'd do all that training and education too.


~Aimee~ said...

If we're both living nearby when we have our next babies (since we seem to be on the same 'schedule'), we should have a Blessingway. It sounds like such a beautiful celebration. :-)

Rixa said...

I like the PhD route! Seriously, though, you can do quite a few of those things on your list even without formal degrees...and the PhD would get even more of those accomplished for you. I have thought seriously about becoming a midwife but it's not really what I want to do right now. For the moment, I'm doing my birth advocacy via blogging and writing articles and going to conferences. I hope that I can influence women to make positive changes and to make careful choices, just in a different way than I would if I were a midwife.

Shawnette said...

As an FYI, Bastyr and Seattle Midwifery School have merged--so now you can either go through the LM program only, or attend the nauropathy program with an LM option added, so you graduate as both an ND and LM. I believe that the LM program now also awards a Master of Science in Midwifery degree since they're now part of an accredited university.