Thursday, November 11, 2010

Midwifery Inquisition: Enrolling in Ancient Art Midwifery Institute

Today I learned that AAMI is offering a new discounted price of $2850 for their 3 1/2 year advanced midwifery study coursework and I told some friends about it. I've gotten a couple of questions in response, so I figured I would share them with my readers because many others have the same questions or would also appreciate my answers.

Courtney wrote:

Hi Jenne,

I hadn't thought to start my education and training so soon, but this looks like a fabulous opportunity. There is a line on their website that actually mentions getting it done with young children so that it is possible to start practice when they are older. Just what I had in mind so it really spoke to me.

I know that you have started the coursework yourself, so I was interested in how easy you think it will be to truly work on it with babies around. Also, will I really be able to do it all at a distance, until apprenticing? And which of the extra coursework packages would you recommend? I like the idea of getting a bit more in depth education while I can and having longer to complete it, but was curious if you thought it was worth it.

Also, do you have an opinion on Doula certification programs? I've looked into several, and like the philosophies of Childbirth International, Birth Art International, and CAPPA and ALACE. DONA seems wise for referrals and recognition, but I don't like how rigid their restrictions and philosophy appears to be.

I was going to work on this first before midwifery, but maybe I will do them simultaneously.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Hi Courtney (and Chrissy who also asked)

I found myself in the same situation as you. I knew I wanted to do it and then was offered a discounted price and decided to take it up now instead of waiting until later. I've been enrolled since June and I have set aside Saturday mornings to work on it. I find that I can make really good progress if I have that 2-3 hours to just sit down, focus and get to work. Throughout the week I am able to get another few hours in after the children go to sleep at night. I've set up a work space right next to their play area so I can work on some of the definitions and worksheets (to help you take notes on important texts) while they play. Each definition takes a few minutes so if I'm interrupted frequently, there's no interference. Then there is nap time when I can get a bit done. That's how I've been able to work on all my organizations and schooling. I am looking forward to more interrupted time to work when my mom is closer to us and can watch the children, but so far I'm doing fine with my husband being my back-up and not hiring out for childcare.

At this point, I'm not planning on enrolling in any of the extras. I feel like I need to focus on the basic and minimum requirements and if I want to take on additional options later, I'll do that. I do expect to do a number of AEUs and will probably go for the Masters in Midwifery. Right now, I'm so involved in my phase of coursework that I haven't given much though to additional coursework. From what I've seen, AAMI offers so many extras that I have to streamline and learn to say no to some opportunities so I can be successful in my original commitments.

At one point, I looked into all of the doula certifying courses and I came to same conclusion as you about DONA. You might want to look into PALS which is local to the Northwest because its less impacted by political compromises like DONA has been. The in-person sessions would be in the Seattle area but only 3 days a time so you might be able to travel to the distance (and I don't know, stay with friends in the area...). I never got as far as choosing which doula certification program to do because I realized my interest was more in midwifery.

One thing to keep is mind is that AAMI does encourage its students to become childbirth educators in the course of the program so you may find that you'll end up do both, all three or dropping doula because support is covered in the midwifery training.

One thing that should be clear that AAMI is training midwives to be home birth attendants only. You would have the option of taking the test to become a CPM (certified professional midwife) which may allow you in some states to work in birth centers or hospitals. Basically by enrolling in AAMI, you are stating your allegiance to personal, in home, mother-centered care and supportive ultimately of a woman's right and ability to make choices for herself. These choices could include giving birth unassisted and the coursework provides training to you on the why's and hows of being supportive of women who choose that course. This is radical, feminist midwifery with a God-fearing bent. Its amazing and wonderful and I love it. In July I attended a Midwifery Skills Lab where I met other AAMI students, teachers and the founder and they are virtuous Christian feminist women, not what I was expecting from a profession that is stereotyped as atheist hippies.

Let me know if there are other questions I can answer. I would love to have a personal connection with someone also enrolled in the program.


Sanyu Jennifer Joy said...

Considering AAMI and wondering what your feelings are about it now compared to your earlier experiences.
If given the chance would you do something differently?


Jenne said...

A few months ago, I posted which is part of the answer to your question:

If I were to do it all over, I would have bought and studied Holistic Midwifery before enrolling in AAMI.

Jennifer said...

Hi there! I was wondering how you are doing with the course now or if you've completed it. I am interested in midwifery too, although I live in New Brunswick where there are no registered midwives (YET).

Jennifer said...

Haha Apparently you have a lot of readers with Jen in their name (all commenters here do)!

Pkaaahboo said...

Grateful for this post as I pursue my own career in midwifery...particularly your last statement. Beautiful work midwives do. :)