Welcome to Birthyourway's Blog. This space is intended to serve as an interactive site for Doula related stuff based in Ottawa and around the globe. The archive links on the right hand margin will help you identify topics of interest to you. Your pictures of real pregnant bodies- stretch marks and all- would be most appreciated as contributions. Share your birth stories, concerns and comments by submitting to

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Prospective students

There was an info session this weekend at Laurentian for prospective midwifery students. I had fun with it and learned so much from the upper year students myself. There is really so much to know!! I remember spending countless hours on the internet trying to get all of my questions answered: how do I get in??!!!

I don't really know the answer and I don't think there is just one answer or way to get in. I know that the class I snuck into is very very diverse. The age span goes from 18-40, some have kids some don't, some have previous birth experience others none at all, some have previous degrees and others not. There are a few doulas, paramedics, nurses, there is also a historian, a tree planter, secretary, and an is all rather random. What do we all have in common? An understanding of what we've gotten ourselves into and a strong drive to succeed coupled of course with a strong passion to support midwifery and be good midwives.

If I have any advice to the prospective students, just remember that you're not just applying to be a midwife. There are at least 4 years of school to get through. Midwifery is not just a job it's a lifestyle. Be prepared to be challenged with academics and with change. There is constant change already in 3 months I've been here. 2 students have dropped out, a few have gone through breakups, I'm geographically separated from my partner, we are all constantly challenged with how we perceive things. Mostly I think we are challenged with facing ourselves. You think you know yourself and where you stand, and suddenly you are surrounded with brilliant women who have different views and challenge you to think or see it their way (in a class of 20 that’s a whole lot of mind-bending!)

The whole thing is challenging. But it is a remarkably worthwhile challenge. The group of women I am surrounded with has allowed me to really face myself and we've made room for each other to explore and grow. It feels exponential. Maybe what I am trying to say is that the midwifery program acts a bit like a catalyzer: be prepared for rapid personal growth. The trick is in balancing academics and a strong spiritual journey. Of course, you have to be open to it and it is my experience and not that of everyone else’s. I am sure there are students who see this program as a logistical process: do assignments, move, go to placements, learn skill, get degree, become midwife. It is all a matter of how you live your life and who you surround yourself with. Like birth, the midwifery program will amplify who you are. Just something I thought you might want to consider when applying to become a midwife.

I know there are students out there who wonder if this program is a good premed program. Personally, I'd have to say not in the least. I am sure the knowledge and skills you would acquire are excellent. But to succeed in this program, you really have to want to be a midwife! Otherwise, the challenge just wouldn't be worth it.

To those of you who really desperately are ready for this challenge, my advice is to get all your prerequisites in order and tell the admissions committee what you are made of. You don't need any specific experiences, use the ones that you do have and show them you can do it and that you are worth investing in and that you will succeed.

Best of luck to all of you who will one day make excellent midwives. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you!!

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