Our patients needs just as inspiration that normal, blissful birth is possible. Midwives need just as much support and mentors for starting and running their own private practices. We have “celebrities” we all know of: Florence Nightingale, Ina May Gaskin, and Kitty Ernst. Ginger Breedlove, Joani Slager, Geradine Simkins just a few of the more recent game changing midwives making things easier for us to practice more profitably and independently by their past efforts.
See our histories midwifery leaders beating the odds of success in this profession really puts minor day to day challenges into perspective. There are so many autobiographies out there from midwives (especially in 1970’s) of death threats and tremendous pressure from medical community to stop practicing. Those midwives knew how important their profession is to the community. They kept fighting the fight! Reading the stories of how Kitty Ernst and her team of supporters got the first national birth center statistics published was a miracle. Persistence, passion towards this valuable cause, and leadership qualities in her team really made that dream a reality.
Our strides with business ownership, practice independence, and prescription authority rights have been broadened and promoted by women within profession and clients across the country supporting our joint cause. Continue to honor those past, current, and future midwives by taking the time to learn business aspects of midwifery. Take a start up business class, find an online course about billing and coding, or spend some time shadowing a successful midwife business owner to see how things are done.
For midwifery to be growing at a faster pace and not be dependent on doctors and hospital for jobs, we NEED to start our own practices. Join with midwifery partners in community and create a birth center to fit the needs of women wanting a balance setting between hospital and home. Utilize each other’s strengths and make a midwifery home birth practice that can be successful for generations to come. Too many midwifery practices are fragile due to being solo and hoping that midwife never gets sick, has a car accident, or retires. Have multiple collaborating doctors that are getting financial and professional benefits from your established practice. I have seen too many midwifery practice close over night from a doctor retiring, malpractice law suit, and professional burn out.
Lead by example! Stand tall and know the deficits of your knowledge, personal time available in a day, and human limitations. Create a mastermind team of midwives that have common interest and goals. Brainstorm how to best serve the community and have a business contract in place on what that future practice relationship will look like. Paperwork, documenting, and contracts are to protect midwives and customers alike. We are professionals, be proactive and protect your valuable knowledge and skills.
Protect your valuable time and learn skills that will make your practice more productive. Time management is a skill, not something that people are instinctual born with. Leadership qualities are more natural in some people than others. Everyone can learn these skills with time and effort. Habits can always be changed. Spend some time the next week thinking about who are your leaders, who looks to you for leadership modeling, and what can be done to improve your midwifery leadership qualities!