To Learn to Grow

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 20, Winter 1991. Reprinted in Paths to Becoming a Midwife: Getting an Education, 3rd ed.
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“The person who seeks an education must involve [her]self in discovering the meaning of [her] own life and the relation between who [she] is and what [she] might become. Without that vision of a personal future and a hard look at the reality of one’s own situation, the ultimate purpose of education itself—that is, to grow, to change, to liberate oneself—is almost impossible to achieve.”
—Harold Taylor, from Peak Learning by Ronald Gross

Feeding the heart of midwifery through support, good counsel, and continuing education has always been the end goal of my efforts at Midwifery Today.

From the first issue of Midwifery Today, I had wanted to create a magazine that would substitute for a good conference, offering practitioners love, support, information, and a sharing of ideas and experiences. It’s a little ironic—for the magazine still strives to meet these intents, but now I’m looking forward to meeting you in person at (one of our) Midwifery Today Conferences—in Eugene, at our annual West Coast Conference, at one of the Annual East Coast Conferences, or at one of our International Conferences. The magazine comes alive, with many of your favorite authors and speakers, as well as the chance to learn techniques to enhance your practice, and make new friends. In addition to a wide variety of courses, there will be time to “Meet The Practitioners,” “Network,” and share your “Tricks of the Trade.” We’re truly eager to meet our readers, and know more about how we can serve your needs.

If you need information about upcoming conferences, be sure to call our toll free number (800-743-0974), write to us at [email protected], or look over the information we’ve placed online. We want you to see for yourself—we’ve planned something just for you.

We’re realizing some of the dreams we’ve planned for ourselves. Have you spun a dream of your own lately? Perhaps such a dream would include the investigation of new training or practice options. In this publication, Paths to Becoming a Midwife, we’ll begin the questioning process with you. We’re emphasizing childbirth education and direct entry programs as well as mapping out certified nurse-midwifery and apprenticeship programs. We contacted many current and former programs by phone and mail; if we missed your training avenue or school, please let us know you’re out there, and we’ll pass the word along.

And if you are selecting a new educational route, or modifying your previous training to explore other areas of birth practice, don’t just seek a program to glean from. The root of our word educate means “to draw out from a dark place.”

The task of learning requires humility and attentiveness, and a sometimes painful birthing of our potential. For such a holy event, only an extraordinary teacher will do. Choose a midwife.

Toward Better Birth,

About Author: Jan Tritten

Jan Tritten is the founder, editor, and mother of Midwifery Today magazine and conferences. Her love for and study of midwifery sprang from the beautiful homebirth of her second daughter—after a disappointing, medicalized first birth in the hospital. After giving birth at home, she kept studying birth books because, “she thought there was something more here.” She became a homebirth midwife in 1977 and continued helping moms who wanted a better birth experience. Jan started Midwifery Today in 1986 to spread the good word about midwifery care, using her experience to guide editorial and conferences. Her mission is to make loving midwifery care the norm for birthing women and their babies in the United States and around the world. Meet Jan at our conferences around the world!

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