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My Midwifery Education: My Mentor

September 12th, 2006 (09:50 am)

[ Passionate Midwifery Education - Installment 16 ]

I told you in the last installment about receiving "the call" after my first homebirth. In my deep drive toward midwifery I read everything I could get my hands on as I was nursing my baby and caring for my family. I could not get enough. I read OB textbooks and birth books like I was eating chocolate. I loved it. Then I heard Marion was going to teach some classes out near the coast about an hour and a half away. I joined some other aspiring midwives and we drove out to our half-day class telling birth stories and making new friends, midwife friends. (I want to talk more about midwife friends later.) Marion would teach us the basics. She began with the four types of pelvises, then prenatal care, hemorrhage, shoulder dystocia and so on.

As a practicing midwife she always had a fresh supply of amazing birth stories which she would tell in great detail, teaching us the language of birth, both medical and social. I believe the best part of midwifery education is the birth story. It teaches so much. It illustrates what we are doing. It demonstrates the lesson. It extends our experience. When I hear birth stories, especially from a midwife's point of view, I almost feel like I have gone to another birth.

Those of us attending Marion's classes already had our homebirth practices. I was with the birth coop (see first installment of this column: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/enews/enews0804.asp#ed ). In class, we would bring Marion our cases, both prenatally and after the births. This added such a great dimension to the education, having real-life birth stories for all students to discuss. Marion would give us insights and considerations to check out. It almost felt like she was with us as we met with our mothers. In fact, at every birth I ever attended, whether Marion was there physically or not, I felt I had access to her. She got more than one middle of the night call to help us assess what was going on with a labor.

This is true mentoring. I feel so blessed to have had Marion as a my mentor. I hope each one of you finds a mentor.

— love, Jan
Jan Tritten, Mother of Midwifery Today