1) Is this program something that can be done at your own pace?
Not quite! We have designed these as structured programs that move through courses on a schedule. Each course has learning objectives, video lectures, discussions, final projects, etc. We wanted to create a program that would move students through their learning in a timely fashion, since the need for amazing new midwives is so great, and we are tired of waiting!!! That said, we do not utilize grades, and you are welcome to work ahead or behind within the structure of each unit.
After the Intro to Autonomous Midwifery Course you will complete and submit the final projects before moving on to the 40 Week Midwifery Foundations Program. And after the 40 Week Midwifery Foundations Program you will submit your complete final project portfolio before moving forward to the Advanced Midwifery Program. These built in timelines create the structure our students need to succeed, while being flexible enough to accommodate apprenticing students and the curveballs of life.
2) About how many hours a week are required to complete all of the assignments?
Each course takes between 5-8 hours per week, and you can see the course load in detail here. It really depends on how fast of a reader you are, how much time you spend going down side tracks in the research and reading, and how much time it takes you to write and create resources! Since we don't use grades and there are no consequences if you don't complete your work, students can move through the programs how they wish, and devote the amount of time that is right for them. That said, we do expect a high level of commitment from our students when they commit to our program.
3) Are there specific times that we are required to get online for class or are classes recorded? Can we watch at our own convenience during the week?
Each week will have readings, videos and reflections to complete at your convenience within the container of the week. You will have access to all the content for a course when you get added to that course, meaning you can move ahead or stay behind some weeks as needed. For example, you will have 6 full weeks of access to a course that is noted as 6 weeks long on our curriculum page. You could finish the course in a week if you really wanted to, or you can take the full 6 weeks with the material. Finishing early does not mean you will get moved into your next courses early though.
We also have a LIVE weekly student meeting time which is taught by a rotating member of our core staff, and occasionally instructors/experts to add additional content and time for reflection and discussion.
4) If I attend your school as a member of the Indie Birth Private Contract Association, does that membership extend to my work in attending any births during the time I am enrolled in your school?
No. The Indie Birth PCA is a private contract with our members.
5) Are you MEAC accredited? I live in a place/state where MEAC accredited schools are the only way to get a license.
We are not MEAC accredited. With our school, we have chosen to satisfy the learning requirements and integrity standards that WE think are important for a well-rounded midwife. We are not interested in pleasing any governmental body around birth - only the midwives and women that they serve. We think the bar is higher for those choosing to educate themselves for the pure motivation of knowing all they can know, and providing women with the resources to make their own decisions. We do offer courses in business development and also in structuring a midwifery practice that is independent of any governmental institution. We hope you complete the curriculum with your eyes wide open to the politics of midwifery and birth and can choose to practice in a way that resonates with your deepest truths. Learn more with this podcast episode.
6) So do you submit/check in once per week? How will the accountability play out?
Each course is structured around weekly modules that typically include video, reading and reflection assignments. Each course also has a final project that you can submit for feedback and completion credit
We have moved away from assigning grades for work in the courses (fun fact, this has actually been studied, and grades don't improve student outcomes at any age!), since that wasn't improving student learning or success, and we are focusing instead on giving high quality feedback, connection with peers and mentors, and weekly student meetings and class time which provide space for further reflection. Our students feel that the feedback and accountability they are receiving is above and beyond a more traditional grade based program, even though there is no "penalty" for not adhering to the structure (imagine that :)!).
7) What tangible 'evidence' I can present following the completion of the program? What do I get? My family is asking if I will be a "real midwife" after this program.
After you finish our program, you will receive a certificate of completion that lists all the courses that you completed, based on submission of a final project. And depending on what you decide to do, you certainly could sit for the NARM and become a CPM if you wanted to after doing an apprenticeship. And in many/most states that would mean you COULD get a license as well, with the exceptions of the few states which require MEAC schooling. I guess it comes down to what someone means by "real" midwife and how you want to frame that for them. Bottom line is that our program doesn't preclude you from being any type of midwife, but doesn't qualify you directly for any certification or licensure on its own.
I would also suggest being snarky and asking if by real midwife they mean that you'll make real money, in which case the answer is easily, "yes". Ha! There are women in every community that are looking to hire a wise woman midwife/birth attendant regardless of corrupt and illegitimate laws.
8) I was wondering if Indie Birth Midwifery program is appropriate for someone who has no experience in midwifery, but wants to learn? My only experience is listening to all of your podcasts. I've become so in love with the concept of an undisturbed birth, and your way of midwifery, that I would love to delve into it further so that I can journey with other women who want the same thing. Will the program be covering all the basics, as well as the Indie Birth philosophy?
We welcome interested learners! So, no experience is necessary, just a desire and willingness to learn and explore and commit to the program! We do expect serious students to obtain and complete an apprenticeship, either before, during or after our program.
9) Who should take this course? Midwives? Childbirth Educators? Doulas? Therapists? What courses are geared to “other” professionals?
This course is intended for those pursuing the path of midwifery, although many other types of students how enjoyed and benefitted from our program as well. The development of our programs has kept in mind those who are completely new to midwifery, as well as intermediate or advanced midwifery students or apprentices that have never formally studied or completed a program.
10) I am ready to apply. Tell me again, what's the application process?
It is super simple! We have a short, free application, and then an interview with our team. You have a month to enroll if you are accepted, and you could begin as soon as this week if you're ready! Go here to read all the application and enrollment details.