Study to Become a Midwife
Our Austin based midwifery school is devoted to presenting a dynamic curriculum meant to assist students in the mastery of midwifery skills. Our approach blends classroom, clinical work and apprenticeship hours designed to maximize the transition of theory into practice.
Our next term begins the week of July 11th!
Class and Skills Development
Students will spend 800 hours in the classroom. Students can expect to spend 2 hours studying outside of class for every hour spent in class. Classes are a blend of skills and academic learning that is both teacher as well as video led. Our students are taught the basics right away - blood draw, vital signs, urinalysis - and they put those skills to work! The classroom portion of the program may be completed in 12 - 24 months. Typically, clinical training may take an additional 6 - 36 months.
Due to COVID-19, classes are held online using Zoom with students meeting for the skills portion on campus. The on campus schedule is adjusted to meet local and state recommendations.
Clinical Training includes direct client care through prenatals and postpartum (as well as births). Clinical hours will be a minimum of 1200 hours. Students can expect to choose clinical and birth shifts. Clinical hours are performed at Beautiful Beginning Birth Center until the student has demonstrated mastery of the basics of midwifery at which time they may be invited to study with other Preceptor-Midwives.
During the first year of study, students chose their clinical shifts. This may be one or two days a week or it may be as many as five days a week. This flexibility allows students to balance, work-life-school.
During the second year of study, students are expected to be on-call 24/7 in preparation for the rigors of a midwifery practice.
Once a student has mastered the basics, they begin a formal apprenticeship with one or more midwives. It is our belief that a student should attend births and clinic appointments with several midwives throughout her study. This diversity in experiences allows a student to formulate her own philosophy of midwifery and how she would like to practice.
After a minimum of 100 prenatals and 30 births, a student is considered an Advanced Midwifery Student and will select a midwife to work with exclusively. This one-on-one mentorship allows the Preceptor-Midwife to thoroughly assess a student's strengths and weaknesses and to guide her to becoming a successful midwife.
The time it takes a student to complete the clinical requirements is dependent upon the student's availability and competency at prenatals, births and postpartums. The time that it takes to demonstrate competency is unique to each individual. A student can expect to attend a minimum of:
- 55 births - In home, birth center and hospital settings,
- 100 prenatals
- 50 postpartums
Students are strongly encouraged to use this requirement as an absolute minimum and to gain as much clinical and birth experience as they can during their time at BBMTC.
Each student is assigned an Academic Advisor when they enroll in the school. The student and advisor meet (either in person or by Zoom) quarterly and students are encouraged to consult with their advisor for academic support, to debrief after a birth, or for any questions that may arise during their training. This person is meant to be a source of encouragement and support to the student.
1110 Anatomy & Physiology For Midwives
A biology based lecture and laboratory combination course designed to allow students to explore the anatomical structure and physiological processes of the human body and how it relates to the field of midwifery. Topics include the basic organization of the body and major body systems.
1200 Medical Terminology
The study of medical terminology introduces students to the principals of medical word building – root words, prefixes and suffixes – designed to develop the extensive medical vocabulary used in healthcare. Students will gain an understanding of basic elements, rules of building and analyzing medical words, and medical terms associated with the body as a whole. Utilizing a systems-approach, the student will define, interpret, and pronounce medical terms relating to structure and function, pathology, diagnosis and clinical procedures. In addition to medical terms, common abbreviations applicable to each system will be studied.
1300 Pathophysiology For Midwives
This course relates manifestations of disease, risk factors for disease, and the principles for pathology underlying illness and injury.
1910 Intro to Midwifery and the Healthcare Field / Skills I
A healthcare based lecture and laboratory combination course designed to introduce students to the field of midwifery and the scope of practice for midwives worldwide and in Texas specifically. This course covers HIPAA and privacy practices, OSHA and blood borne pathogens training, along with universal precautions for safety when practicing in the healthcare field.
2100 - Fertility & Embryology
In depth study of the physiology of the fertility cycle as well as natural family planning methods. This course covers birth control methods, their benefits and risks, and human sexuality. Student will explore the development of the fertilized egg from zygote to baby as well as developmental milestones of fetal development.
2200 - Nutrition & Exercise For the Child Bearing Year
Nutrition from a holistic, a Western and an Eastern perspective is introduced. Student will gain an understanding of the nutritional requirements for the childbearing year as well as during lactation. Supplements, vitamins, minerals and beneficial herbs will be studied. Exercise physiology, its risks and benefits and modifications for pregnancy and postpartum will be addressed.
2300 – Pharmacology & Ultrasound
An introduction to drug class, mechanism of action, basic drug classification of pharmaceuticals a midwife is most likely to encounter in practice. Drug safety is emphasized as well as a detailed protocol for preparing and administering mediations to a woman and her baby. Basics of ultrasound are covered. Students learn what sonographers are looking for while performing an ultrasound, how to read a report, and the legal requirement for interpreting sonography findings. There will be hands on practice for visualizing a fetal heart beat and position of a fetus.
2901 – Skills II
Pre-requisite: 1910 - Intro to Midwifery and the Healthcare Field / Skills I
This class builds on the foundational skills students learned in Introduction to Midwifery & Healthcare / Skills I class. Students are taught more advanced skills during this class, including skill drills for CPR, first aid, neonatal resuscitation and shock.
3110 – Antenatal / Prenatal
The prenatal class introduces antenatal assessment and care of the woman and her fetus. Students learn history taking, physical exam, labs and legal documentation / SOAP Notes. This course addresses assessing maternal and fetal well being; the normal anatomical and physiological changes related to pregnancy; how to determine pregnancy dating, fetal position and growth; how to address the common complaints of pregnancy.
3210 – Laboratory Investigations I
A lecture based course covering the basic lab tests most commonly used by a certified midwife. Students will learn the legal requirements for ordering labs and disease reporting, universal precautions and specimen collection. Students will have a strong understanding of what each component of a lab test means and how to interpret the results.
3911 – Skills III
Pre-requisite: 2901- Skills II
A hands on course covering the basics of birth assistant skills and the skills required for monitoring fetal and maternal wellbeing during the antenatal period.
4211 – Laboratory Investigations II
Pre-requisite: 3210 – Laboratory Investigations I
A continuation of 3210 - Laboratory Investigations I. Students gain greater autonomy in preparing lab samples and orders.
4411 – Abnormal Antenatal / Prenatal
Pre-requisite: 3110 – Antenatal / Prenatal
A collaborative effort between students and the instructor to write updated, well researched protocols related to pregnancy complications. Using case studies, students will gain an understanding of variations from normal and the signs and symptoms for referral. Collaborative care and transfer of care guidelines will be discussed. At the end of this class, students will have an antepartum protocol document sufficient for use in their practice.
4911 – Skills IV
Pre-requisite: 3911 – Skills III
This class builds on the skills learned in 3911 - Skills III and introduces students to advanced skills for maternity complications.
5110 - Intrapartum / Labor & Delivery
Assessment of maternal and fetal wellbeing during the intrapartum period. Students will learn to interpret fetal heart rate patterns and respond appropriately to decels, acels and variables. This class teaches the mechanisms of normal labor, describes the updated stages and phases of labor, and the management of a normal delivery. We review normal physiology of labor and birth, how to assess membrane status and contraction patterns. The benefits, risks, contraindications and informed consent for water birth, twins, breech and VBAC will be discussed.
5300 – Lactation / Breastfeeding I
Students are encouraged to chose their course in lactation early on. Students that wish to take the add-on class – IBCLE preparation – will need to declare their decision early in their training to begin accumulating the supervised training hours under the supervision of an IBCLC mentor.
For students who choose to take the 5300 - Lactation / Breastfeeding I class - there will be an in-depth review of breast anatomy. Lactogeneis and normal breastfeeding physiology is covered.
5911 – Skills V
Pre-requisites: 4911 – Skills IV
A hands on class covering comfort measures and pain management options for labor. Students will practice hand maneuvers for delivery of the baby as well as the management of the third stage of labor. Placental assessment is covered here.
6411 – Abnormal Intrapartum / Labor & Delivery I
Pre-requisite: 5110 – Intrapartum / Labor & Delivery
A collaborative effort between students and the instructor to write updated, well researched protocols related to intrapartum complications. Using case studies, students will gain an understanding of variations from normal and the signs and symptoms for referral and transport. Teaches students the proper etiquette for an emergency transfer of care during labor including how to give a proper report to EMS personnel as well as to the receiving facility. At the end of this class, students will have an intrapartum protocol document sufficient for use in their practice.
6501 – Lactation / Breastfeeding II
Pre-requisites: 5300 – Lactation / Breastfeeding I
Breastfeeding complications, tongue and lip tie and breast health.
6911 – Skills VI
Pre-requisites: 5911 – Skills V
Hands on practice of emergency skills for both birth emergencies.
7600 – Newborn Care
Co-requisite: 7700 Postpartum Care
This class covers everything from APGAR to normal physiologic and anatomic adjustments to extrauterine life, thermoregulation, the comprehensive newborn exam and documentation in the newborn record. State required screenings and testing will be discussed.
7700 – Postpartum Care
Co-requisite: 7600 – Newborn Care
This class covers the maternal care schedule for postpartum care. Topics include diastasis, pelvic floor assessment, exercise, nutrition, return to fertility, and family planning options.
7801 – Abnormal Intrapartum / Labor & Delivery
Pre-requisites: 6411 - Abnormal Intrapartum / Labor & Delivery
A continuation of 6411 - Abnormal Intrapartum / Labor and Deliver I. This course covers the legality of transports, identifying complications, abruption, hemorrhage, shock, retained placenta, fetal distress and pharmacologic agents.
7911 – Skills VII
Pre-requisites: 6911 – Skills VI
Hands on practice to estimate blood loss, perineal assessment and repair, and medication administration for the immediate postpartum.
8101 – Business of Midwifery
Pre-requisites: All 1000 – 7000 Level Courses
The Business of Midwife class covers the Texas State regulations regarding midwifery. Students will prepare documents to setup accounts for medical oxygen, lab and hazardous waste. Protocols will be reviewed and students will prepare standing orders for medications appropriate for physician sign-off. Requirements for peer review and continuing education will be discussed. Students will gain practice management skills including preparing superbills for the billing company, completing acknowledgement of paternity paperwork, and preparing birth certificates. The ethics of midwifery practice will be reviewed. Students will be introduced to the basics of liability insurance, legal entities and business taxes.