In 2004 I gave birth to my second child. I felt so harmed and let down by the birth world. Though I was knowledgeable and educated, I was treated like a junkie (saw this written in my documents) and as though I was less than capable of understanding anything I was experiencing. After taking my newborn and myself home 6 hours after his birth, I vowed that I would never allow myself or any other woman to be handled as I was. I began to vividly read every midwifery and natural birth text I could get my hands on.
In 2006 I came across this most wonderful book. The book was called Heart and Hands Midwifery. I read this book cover to cover probably 10 times. I walked around with it lovingly cradled in my arms spouting its glorious knowledge to anyone willing to listen. It was during one of my excited conversations that my friend told me something that would change the trajectory of my life and career passions. She knew where I could take the Heart and Hands courses. Where I could begin my journey to become a Midwife!
In 2007, I completed the first"year" of my Midwifery education. I loved every minute of it. Unfortunately, before I could complete the remaining 2 years with NMI (National Midwifery Institute) the ground beneath my feet crumbled. Our landlord moved into our home and we found ourselves homeless. Every penny went toward just surviving. Two more time we would find housing and two more times lose it;this time to the landlord selling. We had no funds for my educating and midwifery took a back seat to living and supporting my family. It took 2.5 years before our family really got back to a normal existence. I applied to sms was accepted to MCU (Midwifery College of Utah) onthe same day my youngest was born 3.5 months early. Again life took precedence over my work. 2 years later and I'm still aiming to reach my goal of completing my training and becoming a CPM.
To complete my education I must raise the money needed to return to school. Because NMI is an accredited school with no proper campus, there is no financial assistance available. The schools free system is as follows...from the school websiteg
Tuition and Fees
Tuition for our midwifery certificate totals $17,000. Students enrolling with a payment plan must make monthly payments and may make payments ahead, or pay their balance at any time. NMI does not charge interest for the payment plan, but late payment penalties, a reinstatement fee and processing fees are specified.
The following payment plan is available:
- Minimum down payment upon enrollment - $5000
- Monthly payments during months 1-12 of enrollment - $500
- Payments during months 13-24 of enrollment - $250
- Payments during months 25-36 of enrollment - $250
- Application fee - $30
- Monthly administrative fee - $25/month for duration of enrollment
Payment of all program tuition and fees must be completed prior to graduation from the program. During a payment plan, tuition may be paid ahead or in full at any time.
In addition to program fees, students should expect to incur related expenses.
- All students should expect to have phone, IT, internet, photocopying and mailing expenses associated with course work completion and program participation. Pager and/or cell phone will probably be required during apprenticeship.
- Textbook costs (approximately $500 to $1000, or more if a student is building a library for future client use) are not included in course work fees.
- Training in adult CPR (required) costs between $50 and $100; Neonatal Resuscitation training (required) can be as much as $200.
- Students applying to take the NARM exam will need a NARM certification application, which can be purchased in hard copy from the NARM website ($50, as of January 2016) or downloaded for free. More information can be found in the NARM certification application and NARM Candidate Information Booklet (CIB).
- Students applying to take the NARM exam are required to pay a NARM certification application fee ($1000, as of January 2016—contact NARM for current cost). In addition, the computer testing site requires a fee ($120 as of January 2016).
- Some states require apprentices or midwives in training to register with a licensing agency. Fees for this vary.
- During apprenticeship, students must also expect to build their durable equipment supply for future midwifery practice. Stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, fetoscope and basic delivery and suturing instruments cost approximately $350. A doppler fetoscope costs $700 or more. An oxygen tank and regulator valve may cost $300 or more. Herbal and homeopathic remedies, if desired, usually cost between $7 and $15 each.
- During apprenticeship, students will need 24/7 access to reliable transportation. Most students should expect to have their own car.
- Professional periodicals cost between $35 and $100 annually.
- Memberships in the Midwives’ Alliance of North America (MANA) and to state and professional midwifery organizations cost between $35 and $100 each. Student rates may be available.
- Upon completion of the program, application fees for state licensure, certification or registration vary but start at $250. Renewal of these credentials is due every two or three years, with continuing education requirements specific to each state.
Additional Costs for Preceptorship
An approved NMI preceptor may receive a total honorarium of $3400 per student from NMI (limited to the minimum requirements for each experience category). NMI holds this amount in reserve from the student’s tuition.
Most preceptors realize adequate exchange with an apprentice via assistance with the practice and honorarium from NMI. However, it is possible that a preceptor will charge a student additional fees. Students are responsible for this as a separate agreement; NMI limits honorarium to preceptors as described above. If a preceptor requires additional fees, that independent agreement with the student disqualifies the preceptor from receiving preceptor honorarium amounts from NMI.
By selling my t-shirts and other products with my original art and quotes, I hope to steadily raise the funds needed to help me become a Midwife (a Midwife of Color which is something that is in seriously short supply). In this fashion, I get to complete my education and you get some really cool, beautifully crafted wearable art and the knowledge that thou had a hand in crafting a bright future.