Having passed the 32 year mark with Ancient Art Midwifery, I am in a phase of reflection. We continually add or refine more benefits and options, enhance our support and revise the curriculum. The program is so much better than it was even a year ago. I get so excited just making a list of all the new ways we have devised to help our students research, discern, file and even retain all things “birth.”
But what really feeds my soul is the feedback from students about how the total program is life-changing, stretching them in ways they did not expect. We don’t teach a student a checklist of what one needs to know to be a midwife; rather we walk with her as she BECOMES a midwife. We address so many issues other than pregnancy, birth and babies that are relevant to midwifery: character, integrity, logic and reasoning, communication skills, decision making, organization and time management, study skills, navigating the apprenticeship and preparation for practice. And at the same time we approach everything academic from a non-academia mindset.
Not that we don’t delve deeply into the academics. Advanced Midwifery Studies is unapologetically the most challenging course on the planet. That is our trademark, so to speak. I did not design this course to be the “most” anything as there was nothing for comparison. I just knew that midwives needed to know “our stuff and theirs too,” that knowing WHY we do things would give us the power and voice to articulate the validity of the profession. But more importantly, the work is comprehensive in order to ensure that my students will be prepared to practice the profession in a way that trusts the process of birth. My theory is that knowing more leads to doing less, interfering less. And now in my grandmothering stage as a midwifery educator I see proof of my theory. Yes, AAM students are usually walking encyclopedias, but they are also confident, birth-trusting, other-centered, wisdom-seeking, family-oriented, hands-off midwives.