Monday, July 12, 2010

Free Resources for Midwifery Study

Posted by Tatiana

I started a blog about becoming a midwife a while back, but it fizzled because it lacked the collaborative awesomeness of this one. So I put it to bed, but I wanted to repost this collection of resources I've found to be instrumental, particularly in self-study mode. I update whenever I find something new, so please feel free to point me to anything you think should be on the list. Enjoy!

I've found a number of pieces to fit into the matrix of my studies that have made it easier to feel like I have access to quality information and that I'm a part of a larger community as I huddle with my books at home. I'd like to share!

Local Midwifery Organization:
I'll leave it to you to find your own local organization, for me it is the Oregon Midwifery Council. I joined the council on a suggestion of a midwife in my town. I go to the quarterly meetings, am a voting member, follow the happenings and lend my support in whatever small ways I can. This does a few things for me: It connects me to the midwifery community in my own area, it educates me about the political and legal issues in midwifery and also makes me a familiar face to midwives with whom I hope to have future alliances, apprenticeships, and friendships. One of the most valuable pieces of advice I've received!

Free online learning:  (I haven't completed all of these myself, so I'm not necessarily endorsing them.)

Online video of an Anatomy & Physiology course taught at University of California Berkeley.

Another online video of an Anatomy & Physiology course from Hillsborough Community College.

Global Health Learning offers an impressive array of freely given e-courses. 

WHO Midwifery Education Modules. These education modules are aimed largely at traditional midwives practicing in the developing world, which means they present the information a little differently than sources aimed at Western students. They may be too general for some tastes, but they are well researched and quite clear. In my opinion, worthwhile.

Postpartum Depression Learning Modules from MedEdPPD.  You can pick and choose whichever modules interest you, or do them all and become eligible to be listed in the provider network.

HIPAA for Midwifery 101 is a straightforward guide to patient privacy regulations in the US written by a CPM.

Physical exam videos and modules from University of Virginia School of Medicine.

Speculum Examination Training from the American College of Nurse Midwives.

Pelvic Floor Muscle Trauma from Medscape.  You need to join the site (free) to access this one, and there's a free CEU for completing it.

Examination of the Newborn from the University of Oslo in Norway.

The New Ballard Score - walks you through the Ballard Score method of determining gestational age.

Midwife's Abdominal Examination in the Antenatal Period from the University of Nottingham.  Interactive lesson from the UK nurse midwifery angle.

Free online learning resources for midwifery from WikiEducator.  A long list of learning resources including midwifery specific biology, suturing, breastfeeding and featuring stuff like pharmacology for the more medically inclined.

The Little Handbook of Statistical Practice from Gerard E. Dallal of Tufts University in Boston.  It is my opinion that with the amount of "studies show..." spouting that midwives do, we better well be equipped to coherently interpret studies.

Access to scholarly articles:
Certainly the best thing I know of for this is to have access to databases of scholarly works like those available to students at universities. In my town that means either being enrolled, or paying for the privilege.  I'm sticking with what I can access for free, for the time being. In addition to the following sources of peer-reviewed scholarly articles, I also do google searches to specifically find what educational institutions have posted on the subject. To limit search results to educational institutions, include a "" in your search. Another thing to do is follow up on the sources and sites linked from other articles.

And here are sources of scholarly articles which have varying amounts of published works available for free:

Discussion groups: (Of which there are many, this is the one I find most valuable.)

The MANA Students and New Midwives discussion group is very useful, without a lot of extraneous fluff. Discussions range from handling situations that arise in prenatal care and birth, links to studies on related topics, discussion of setting up a practice, and information about the many paths to becoming educated as a midwife.

Please feel free (and indeed encouraged) to contact me if you have other resources to add.

Note: I periodically edit this post to keep it current as I intend it as a resource for other students.  I remove things as their usefulness expires (in my view), and continually add resources and sources for scholarly articles as I find them.


  1. This is such a wonderful list! FYI, the Berkeley anatomy class link is broken but here is another link for the same wecastb. Its just anatomy, physiology is a separate class but probably is available on the berkeley webcast link for free too!
    I took both of these classes at Berkeley. The anatomy is taught by Dr. Marian Diamond who was among the early female anatomists.

  2. Thanks for pointing out the dead link, Katy! For some reason I had a hard time with either Firefox or Safari getting the video of the class to work directly from Berkeley's' website, so I updated the link with one to google videos where the lectures are also available for watching... How cool that you got to learn it with the real deal, she seems like a whip of a woman!