You may have seen me post about it via social media or read a previous blog post already, but I am officially beginning my journey as a student midwife at the Midwives College of Utah this Fall! I could not be more excited to start this journey and learn everything I can about the field of midwifery.
Since learning about birth work when I was a first time mom in 2012, becoming a midwife has been one of my major life goals. I knew that I needed to work as a doula to learn more about the community I would be serving and more about the inner workings behind birth work. I served my first doula family in 2017 and since then have had the privilege of supporting over 50 families during their pregnancy and postpartum journeys as a doula.
While this work was incredibly rewarding and I feel I was able to make a huge difference in the lives of families that I supported, the issues and obstacles they face are systemic. I had to come to terms with the fact that no matter how much prenatal education my families receive, how informed they are on their human rights in the labor and delivery room, and how well they stand up for themselves for the birth they want, the industrial medical system is not made to be supportive of women and natural birth.
I witnessed obstetricians violate and abuse families and get away with it because the system is incredibly devoted to protecting them instead of the families who choose to birth in the hospital setting. As much as I would love to make a difference and change the system, I realized that as a doula what I could do was extremely limited.
This is one major reason I believe in midwifery so much that I want to become an Oklahoma Midwife. As a midwife in Oklahoma, I can create a safe and supported space and practice for families where their individual and unique needs can be heard and supported. I believe that the midwifery model of care should be more accessible for families in my community and beyond. I also believe that midwifery care can prevent unnecessary birth trauma and reduce the rate of maternal mortality in the United States.
Doulas and Midwives are VERY different roles. A doula is a support person who provides emotional, informational, and physical support to families pregnancy through parenthood. They are not in anyway medical professionals but they may be educated on the physiological process of birth as well as be skilled in support skills such as birth positioning, comfort measures, and more.
A midwife is a trained health care professional who provides care to pregnant people during labor, delivery, and after the birth of their babies. Oklahoma Midwives care for low-risk families in out-of-hospital birth settings which can be either a birth center or families home.
You can learn more about the differences between doulas and midwives by reading my blog about it here.
I plan on sharing my journey on becoming an Oklahoma Midwife with you all on my website blog. I hope this helps others who may be interested in becoming midwives. Also, I think it would be a wonderful way for future families that I have the privilege of working with to learn more about me and why I am passionate about midwifery. So be sure to check in periodically for updates about my midwifery studies and student midwife adventures!
Jenni Jenkins – Sekine is an Oklahoma Bereavement, Birth, & Postpartum Doula and Child Birth Educator who serves her Central Oklahoma community. She is also a midwifery assistant with Holistic Birthing Services and began her journey as a student midwife with the Midwives College of Utah in 2022.
To learn more about Jenni, please click here.