By Tosi Marceline, LM, CPM
Yes, I became a midwife because I felt called to it by my community. I, like so many midwives of the 1970s and 1980s had to recreate a model of care that was based in what families needed and what we as birthing mothers wanted for ourselves. We needed passion for our work and compassion and understanding for the women we served. But in order to continue to work as a midwife past the first few years, you needed more than idealism. So, for all the potential midwives among you and those who want a glimpse into the life of a midwife….I hope you enjoy my humorous, yet true (at least for me) view of what it takes to be a midwife with a long career.
What you really need to qualify as a midwife, according to my personal experiences:
1. Can eat anything and have an iron stomach. Must know how to squirrel away non-perishable food in her car for emergencies, or to eat to keep her awake while driving home after a long birth. Additionally, it would be helpful to be able to go long periods of time without any food, as the birthing family forgot to stock up on food for the midwives, or the appointment schedule is so tight that there is no time for lunch.
2. Can sleep anywhere, anytime, anyplace, and function well on little sleep. The floor may sometimes be more comfortable than the couch. You must keep a blanket and pillows in her car for short naps. Must scout out shady parks where naps are possible in hot weather. A park should not have too many ducks, especially if you are sleeping on the grass.