Massachusetts Midwives Alliance

Contact

For questions about the MMA Basic Course please call 413 315 5562. Some common questions are addressed below.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do the Classes start? September 8th 2018 through June 10, 2019

How often are the classes held? The classes are held on alternating Saturdays, with most months having two classes. The classes generally run from 9am-3:30pm with a few exceptions which will be listed in the master schedule

Where is the class held? Classes will be held in a rented space at the the First Church Leominster (no religious affiliation) at 15 West St in Leominster, MA. There is a parking lot on site.

Are there any Prerequisites?  The only prerequisite is to complete the Mercy in Action Cultural Competency Training Online. You must have completed the training by the September 8th class. Cultural sensitivity is one of the hallmarks of good midwifery care. It is truly being “with women” where they are at that moment. In their communities, with their language, their barriers and hardships. Our hope is to bridge some of these gaps and it begins with knowing where the disparities lie. You will find the course at:    http://www.mercyinaction.com/online-cultural-competency  The training cost is $99. Please let us know if you have a hardship with accessing internet for an extended period of time.

What is the cost of tuition? The fee for the year is $3800.

When are the payments due? Full tuition is due on the day of the first class. After September 8th, 2018 there will be no refunds.

Are there scholarships available? There are limited resources for scholarships but we encourage students to speak to us regarding financial hardship to help them find solutions. To promote diversity in our community, we offer Student Midwives of Color partial scholarships.

What are the different type of Midwives

Direct Entry Midwives (DEM) attend women who seek to give birth at home. Sometimes they also work in freestanding birth centers. A Direct-Entry Midwife is an independent practitioner. DEMs acquire their skills through apprenticeships with other midwives, self study, and/or through a structured midwifery school or program. Midwives are specialists in normal pregnancy, labor and birth. Direct entry midwives carefully screen their clients for risk factors and encourage them to seek physician backup when needed. DEMs also are trained to recognize complications and call for assistance when necessary. A Direct-Entry Midwife is trained to provide continuous quality care (see Midwifery Model of Care below) to healthy women and newborns throughout the childbearing years. CPM are direct entry midwives but not all direct entry midwives choose to be CPMs.

A Certified Professional Midwife is an independent practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the Midwifery Model of Care. The NARM certification process recognizes multiple routes of entry into midwifery and includes verification of knowledge and skills and the successful completion of both a Written Examination and a Skills Assessment. The CPM credential requires training in out- of-hospital births. (MANA 9/5/96)

Do I need to be a nurse?

No there's not a prerequisite such as being an RN. Being a woman is helpful. We believe every woman has life experience that will be invaluable in her becoming a midwife.  This course provides a basic knowledge and skill base from which to go on and find clinical experience etc. It is unrelated to nursing. Although some students have go on to nursing school, and eventually become Certified Nurse Midwives, others have become (after clinical experience and other requirements) Certified Professional Midwives which is a credential unaffiliated with nursing..  Below is more information regarding becoming a CPM and our course.

Specific to what your goal to be a certified nurse midwife (CNM), it's important to know that our program prepares people to be direct-entry (non-nurse) midwives who are usually credentialed as certified professional midwives (CPMs) through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM).  NARM offers more information about their credentialing process through their website, which I believe is www.narm.org.  Basically, there are two routes to qualifying to take NARM's credentialing exam: one can go to a MEAC accredited school and then attend specific numbers of births and exams, or one can apply to take the exam after completing a portfolio process and the same specific numbers of births and exams.  

What is the PEP process?

PEP stands for Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP). f you decide to become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) you will need to complete an apprenticeship period with a senior midwife who is a CPM or a CNM. You would work through a process called the Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP). Through the PEP process you keep a portfolio of your education, skills experience and the work you complete and births/prenatals you attend during your apprenticeship. You submit this portfolio to NARM and once it is accepted you may sit for the NARM exam to attain the CPM credential.

Am I guaranteed an apprenticeship at the end of the course? Like many midwifery schools we cannot guarantee you an apprenticeship locally. You will have a chance to meet many of the midwives in Massachusetts and get a sense of who might be ready to take on an apprentice. Apprenticeships can take years, so while most midwives take on apprentices, they might be in the midst of training one or more students. Some students choose to travel for their training, which can mean relocating. But many students wait for openings and move forward with doula work, childbirth education and staying in touch with the midwifery community in their area.   

What is the midwives model of care? According to MANA The Midwifery Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events. The Midwifery Model of Care includes: monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well- being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle; providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support; minimizing technological interventions; and identifying and referring women who require obstetrical attention. The application of this woman-centered model has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.(MANA 5/15/96)

Are you MEAC accredited?

No

How does the MMA comply to US MERA regulations? While the MMA Midwifery Course is not MEAC-accredited, it is a misconceptionthat all CPMs will need to get their CPM through a MEAC-accredited institution by 2020. A group called US MERA http://narm.org/usmera/ createda document that encourages any US state, who will be newly licensing CPMs, to require education at a MEAC-accredited program such as BirthWise Midwifery School in Maine https://birthwisemidwifery.edu/ or Mercy in Action http://www.mercyinaction.com/college-of-midwifery/. But Massachusetts (and20 other states) do not license CPMs at this time. And states which licensed home birth midwives prior to the existence of US MERA (2011) often do not have the MEAC-accredited education stipulation. So getting your didactic education from non-MEAC accredited program(s) such as MMA's Basic Midwifery Course is still a viable and valuable route to becoming a CPM. It's also an in-depth education and skills practice on pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum; and the information can be used to deeply develop your doula or complementary health practice or your own personal knowledge.

Will I be Certified as a Midwife when I am done with the course? This program does not make you a licensed midwife. There is no license available in Massachusetts. You can take what you have learned in this course and pursue the further clinical studies and on hands work that it takes to become a midwife. the National Registry of Midwives has examinations and requirements that you can work towards fulfilling to become a Certified professional midwife.

CPM Certification Information

Key Terms:

In order to qualify for the exam to become a certified professional midwife (CPM), candidates must compile a portfolio showing mastery of practical skills and attainment of academic/didactic learning. This portfolio must be compiled on official NARM forms, using a skills and learning checklist which is available from NARM for a fee.

More details are available at www.narm.org.

Students should contact NARM directly with any questions. The MMA Basic Midwifery Course is NOT accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) and so students who intend to become CPMs must use the PEP process.

Students who think they may want to become CPMs should order the official NARM forms as early as possible, and begin the process of documenting their skills and competencies as they attain them. It is hard to go back and document after the fact. All skills and competencies identified in NARM's forms must be signed off by a preceptor or instructor in order to qualify a candidate for the CPM credential. Course instructors and coordinators can sign off on skills that they have personally witnessed students demonstrating mastery of. Please make a point of requesting that instructors and/or coordinators sign off on your forms if you believe that it is appropriate/they have personally witnessed you performing a skill or competency with mastery. Signing off on your forms is ALWAYS at the instructor's/coordinator's discretion, and they may request further demonstration of your skills.

Practical Experience

The MMA Basic Midwifery Course is mainly intended to provide you with academic and didactic information about midwifery, with the intention that most practical skills though they may be taught in during program will be practiced and become adept at during an apprenticeship. Clinical experience and training is a vital component to becoming a well trained midwife. That being said, some classes will focus on practical skills, and many will include a practical skills component. There is one skills practice day scheduled for the end of each year, which will give students a chance to practice skills learned throughout the course, demonstrate their skills to experienced midwives, and get signed off.