Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Online traditional midwifery education

Posted by Tatiana

Seems a little conflicted, doesn't it? Traditional midwifery education - online.  But perhaps it isn't so outlandish.  Why not utilize this crazy virtual platform to bring together women from anywhere with internet access to learn lessons about traditional midwifery that have stood the test of time?

Quoting Clare Loprinzi from the Mamma Primativa's website:

"I am a traditional midwife and have never used ultrasound or drugs... as Onnie Lee Logan, a southern granny midwife said, 'What I know about deliverin babies came from motherwit, common sense.' 

...I realize that few will be traditional midwives but most of this knowledge will still become incorporated into your life and help you on this journey of empowering yourself and other women to birth with respect and grace."  

Opening at the end of September is Mamma Primitiva, an online traditional midwifery education program started by Clare Loprinzi.  Clare is a traditional midwife who lives and practices in Hawaii, and is called "mammana" - the name for midwife of her Sicilian ancestors. She is also on the board of directors and the medical advisory board of Mother Health International and has chosen to funnel the funds from the school in direct support of MHI's efforts.

MHI birth clinic in Jacmel, Haiti.  Mamma Primativa tuition directly funds MHI.
Photo reposted with permission - © 2010, Mother Health International

I learned of the program because I've been following MHI as the midwife for my April babe has been involved in starting their clinic in Haiti. They caught their 100th baby at the end of July (they've been operating since January.) They're building a more permanent structure for the clinic, but this dome is where they're working for now.  (I think dome birthing can catch on!)  I also suggest you check out the MHI blog, it features beautifully written birth stories written by volunteer midwives.

Back to the school; Mamma Primativa is beginning its first session September 27, 2010.  The program runs for three years and new sessions start every six months.

Mamma Primativa welcomes both students seeking a primary midwifery education, as well as people who want to complement a different educational choice. You can throw yourself in full force, or "listen to the lessons, read the questions and look at the answers."

The tuition is a sliding scale donation of $35-50 per month going directly to Mother Health International.

Clare Loprinzi, CPM with Dr. Jade Patti McGaff, MD (OB/GYN)
Both teaching staff at Mamma Primativa, pictured here in Clare's garden.
Photo reposted with permission - © 2010, Mamma Primitiva

Their teaching staff features an obstetritian, an emergency MD, a naturopathic doctor, two midwives, and a cultural practitioner.

The class format is four weeks of the month:

Week 1: Audio, video, or written lesson
Week 2: Birth story demonstrating the previous lesson
Week 3: Questions relating to the lesson
Week 4: Student discussion

I'm always excited when I see people setting up infrastructures that will be in the reach of many.  I'm more than a little tempted with this program myself!

Check out their website: Mamma Primativa - Traditional Midwifery Education.

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