Most of you are very passionate about becoming a midwife; that is why I called this series Passionate Midwifery Education. Many of you are not quite ready to start formal education or apprenticeships yet. The birth world has a lot of need for passionate birth change agents, so another way you can work at midwifery while testing the waters is to become an activist—what I call a birth change agent. Consider this a part of your midwifery education.
If you check out this link on “Becoming a Midwife,” you will see that I have outlined many projects you can undertake now as part of your education. www.midwiferytoday.com/become-a-midwife/
CIMS (Coalition for Improving Maternity Services) is an important organization to be aware of. It was ratified in 1996 at a retreat center called Mount Madonna. Fifty birth and midwifery organizations and individuals met and, by consensus, came up with and ratified the 10 steps to mother-friendly care. (See their website at www.motherfriendly.org/mfci/ to find out more. I encourage you to become part of this coalition.
You also may want to read my editorial from our Changing Protocols issue, “Happy Birthday, Birth Change,” about what one person can do. You can read it online at: midwiferytoday.com/mt-articles/happy-birthday-birth-change/
Another way to become a birth change agent is to think of your community and what changes need to be made in birth care. Now think of what you can do. Meet with others willing to work on making these changes; it could be with your study group. Make a list of what to do and then do it. Activism is an important part of your midwifery education.
Keep a portfolio on all that you are involved in. This will come in handy when you apply to a school or need to have documentation of your education when applying to become certified by NARM or a state midwifery organization. Your work also helps if you decide to become a CNM (Certified Nurse-Midwife) The world needs your passion, so apply it today!
— love, Jan
Jan Tritten, Mother of Midwifery Today