Welcome Marigolds, Class of 2021!

We are so excited to welcome our new freshman cohort, the Marigolds, class of 2021! They attended a 2-day Orientation on campus on Wednesday, August 22 and Thursday August 23 where they got to know one another and learn more about how to be a successful midwifery student. Next week will be their first week of classes as Student Midwives!


Summer Term is Winding Down: Projects Part III

It's the last week of Summer classes here at FSTM, and our Freshman cohort will be Juniors when they return in the Fall to start Year Two of their midwifery education. Year One has flown by, and we couldn't be more proud of this stellar group of student midwives!

For their third and final Reproductive A&P projects, students were to construct a labeled drawing/or drawings showing the passage of the fetal head in relation to the female boney pelvis at five stages of descent from early labor to birth, starting with an LOA presentation.

Included will be: 1) the cardinal movements, 2) pelvic station, 3) an inferior view of the pelvis showing the baby’s head, 4) cervical dilation with sutures. Numbers 2 through 4 above must be depicted in relationship to the corresponding cardinal movement.

Sage Cohort - Summer 2018

Summer Projects, Part II

Just when we thought the Sage cohort couldn't possibly get any more creative, they knocked our socks off again with the second Reproductive A&P project of the semester! One might think we were running an art school here instead of a midwifery school!

For this project, students developed a two page drawing showing a labeled female bony pelvis and the basic internal and external pelvic and perineal musculature, also labeled, directly affected by birth. All of the bones and bone markings are shown and each muscle is depicted.


Summer is in Full Swing!

The Summer term is in full swing here at FSTM! Here's a look at what our freshman cohort, the Sage class, is working on.

These projects for Reproductive Anatomy and Physiology look phenomenal! The assignment was to develop a basic chart outlining the menstrual cycle (Days 1-28/31), with associated hormonal changes throughout the cycle. Charts include ovarian changes, endometrial changes, and levels of FSH, LH, Estrogen and Progesterone. 

Licensed Midwives to Participate in New Home Visit Program


The Well Florida Council and the Healthy Start of North Central Florida Coalition have launched a free service for Alachua County women who give birth at a hospital, birth center or home within the county. Within one week after the baby is born, a registered nurse (RN) or licensed midwife (LM) will visit the parent(s) and baby at home to see how they're doing, share information and connect them to services. The nurse or midwife will offer a physical check up and answer any questions the new parent(s) may have. 

The program’s goal is to increase knowledge on topics such as breastfeeding, self-care, infant nutrition, safe sleep practices, home safety, and bathing and dressing newborns. In order to participate in the program, parents just need to sign a consent form with a Family Partner at the hospital, home or birthing center where they’re giving birth. After that, participants can expect an RN or midwife to visit within one week of the baby’s birth or hospital discharge. The NewboRN Home Visiting Program is funded by the Alachua County Board of County commissioners as recommended by the Children's Services Advisory Board.

For more information, visit newbornhomevisiting.org or click here to download an informational PDF.

International Day of the Midwife Party

Saturday, May 5th was the International Day of the Midwife, and FSTM hosted a small celebration here on campus, complete with silent auction, music, yard games, drinks and a taco bar! This year also marks our school's 25th anniversary of educating midwives. It is our great privilege to serve the midwifery community in Florida, and we look forward to doing so for many more years to come.

Thank you to everyone who showed up to celebrate with us! 

Issues in Professional Midwifery Poster Day

This week is the Senior students' last week on campus! After their Clinical Skills Exam today, they'll be done with academic coursework and will spend the Summer term finishing up their clinical numbers before graduation in August. We'll miss having the Pearl cohort on campus, but we are also very excited for the next step in their midwifery journey!

Yesterday, the students displayed the research they did for their Issues in Professional Midwifery course during a poster session. For this "capstone" course, each student chose a research topic that is relevant to midwifery today, and they all did a fantastic job!

Congratulations to each and every Pearl student, including our poster session award winners:

Top Mention for Excellence in Research: Emily Niedermann (Topic: Burnout Among Midwives)
Honorable Mention: Tia Leverett (Topic: Public Attitudes Toward Midwifery Care)
Honorable Mention: Heather Wilkerson (Topic: Improving Student Clinical Experiences Through the Student Preceptor Dyad)
Honorable Mention: LaTeshia O'Neal (Topic: Integrating Midwifery into Traditional Maternal Care)

Each topic was well researched, and every poster was beautifully made. Check out their posters below!


Midwifery is a "Bright Outlook" Occupation

According to O*Net, The Occupational Information Network, Bright Outlook occupations are professions that are expected to grow rapidly in the next several years, or will have large numbers of job openings, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016-2026 employment projections. 

Every Bright Outlook occupation matches at least one of the following criteria:

  • Projected to grow faster than average (employment increase of 10% or more) over the period 2016-2026
  • Projected to have 100,000 or more job openings over the period 2016-2026

The national wages and employment trends for direct-entry midwifery are as follows:

  • Median wages (2016) = $23.47 hourly, $48,820 annual
  • Employment (2016) = 40,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026) = Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026) = 2,600

The job placement rate of FSTM graduates is currently 87.5%.

FSTM Is Headed To Miami!


We are excited to announce that we are opening a South Florida location! FSTM Cypress Grove is located in North Miami Beach and will seat its first class in Spring 2019. This location will further the FSTM mission and vision to provide the finest in direct-entry midwifery education to students throughout Florida. 

Click here to find out more at our Interested Student Meeting February 4, 2018 at 1pm

Click here to donate to our Expansion Fund to support the South Florida Campus

(or copy the links to send to friends and family!)

Applications for January 2019 will be accepted beginning March 1, 2018 and ending September 1, 2018. 

Happy Holidays From FSTM!

Happy Holidays from everyone at FSTM!

Enjoy some of the pictures from our Holiday Open House on Thursday, December 7, 2017. 

FSTM Now Offering Online Continuing Education

FSTM is excited to announce that we are now offering online CEUs! Two courses are available so far, and we're looking forward to creating more CE opportunities in the future.

Right now, you can take the following courses on Udemy by clicking the links below:

Upon completion of the course, FSTM will automatically upload your CEUs to your CE Broker account. This is done weekly on Tuesdays. You do not need to contact FSTM unless you don't see the CE in your account after one week. For questions about our CEUs, please email info@midwiferyschool.org.

If you have time, please leave a review of our courses on Udemy after you've completed them. Feedback helps us constantly improve our course offerings.

Thank you for supporting FSTM!

Are LMs Paying Attention? We Should Be!

By Amanda Mann, LM

Wandering mapless through the Legislation Land can be intimidating.  It can be confusing.  It's hard to know exactly what you should be doing at any given moment and you think, as many of us have, "What exactly am I supposed to be doing here?"  
So, I'll be very frank:  What all of us should be doing is two-fold-- pay close attention and pay our lobbyists
While for us in Florida, the legislative conversation has popped up after many years (decades, almost) of relative quiet, the national conversation about the LM/CPM "problem" has not really touched us. This is despite the presence of the 2014 ACOG CPM Toolkit which suggests legislative activity related to LMs/CPMs to include such things as: 

  • "Consider requiring home birth patients to preregister at the nearest hospital and have a transfer agreement."
  • "Require midwives to keep and file client summary reports; consider quarterly, biannual or yearly filing requirements."*
  • "Require midwives to report, within a specified time period, any death or morbidity including stillbirths."*
  • "Require midwives to file with the state a notice of intent to home deliver." (ACOG Toolkit)  

While we, as autonomous health care providers, deeply value the safety of all clients/patients, and we do support the reporting of adverse events (starred above), we must be part of this legislative activity. 
Why? Because we understand the landscape of out-of-hospital birth; we understand the challenges and successes.  We are the experts in what's working with our law and rule and what's not. 
We ABSOLUTELY MUST show up and stay present when these changes happen.  Which is right now with SB 510 and the House Bill (as yet un-filed).  
I will not sugarcoat this for you, reader.  The conversation about LM practice has been an ongoing one.  The language that follows was sent to legislators as suggestions to the "LM Problem."  This is quoted directly from a correspondence from a Florida-based OB to ACOG regarding the practice of LMs: 
"There are many issues that need to be addressed by the state. 

1.  Training requirements need to be reviewed if the state is going to continue to sanction and recognize this group as providers of health care. 
2.  Licensed Midwives should be required to have physician supervision.  That physician should be required to accept their patients for treatment at a hospital when needed.  Finding a physician, one with hospital privileges will be very difficult. 
3.  The scope of practice of this group needs to be closely scrutinized and reviewed on a regular basis." 

So, Midwives of Florida, there actually is a map for Legislative Land. It's a map that takes us through dangerous territory, and it's a map that was written by ACOG in 2014
And, it's a map that we may not wish to just willingly follow blindly, without being an integral part of the conversations.  We need to agree to forge ahead together, work hard to meet in the middle with ACOG when possible, and have supporters who know the landscape to make sure that we know where we're going to land.  
Those supporters and advocates are our lobbyists, Ron Watson and Louis Rotundo.  The Legislative Committee also is working hard for all licensed midwives throughout the state.  
But we CANNOT DO IT WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT.  If each midwife with a an active license paid $155/year our lobbyists fees of $30,000 would be paid for immediately.  
We have about a $3500 deficit at the moment with December 1 payment to the lobbyists (that's about 22 of you!). 

  • For those of you who have paid the Foundation or Midwives Association of Florida, thank you a million times over.
  • For those who haven't but can, please do so soon.   
  • For those who can't pay the full amount, sign up for recurring $20 payments because those add up.   
  • For those who can't pay $20/month, fundraise with your clients.  The average number of births per midwife (according to our annual report) is 14.26 deliveries per year.  If each of your clients who delivered donated $11, you'd raise your $155.  

Please help today.  You can donate to the Crowdfunding campaign or give directly to the Foundation here.
You can also give directly to Midwives Association of Florida by donating through their PayPal, MAFloridaTreasurer@gmail.com.  
Please join the cause and help protect licensed midwifery by donating to fund the lobbyist today!  

Link to original article: https://www.flmidwifefoundation.org/single-post/2017/10/29/Are-LMs-Paying-Attention-We-Should-Be

Welcome, New Student Midwives!

Fall term has officially begun! Monday and Tuesday are Orientation days for the new Sage (freshman) cohort, and we are so excited to have them on campus! Their first day of class is tomorrow, when they will officially begin their first semester as midwifery students. This term, they'll be taking Anatomy and Physiology I, Healthcare Skills I, Research and Public Health, Cultural Competency and Midwifery History Law and Rule.

There are 26 students in the Sage cohort and 3 new students who will be joining the Turquoise (Junior) cohort. Yesterday, during Orientation, they did a team-building exercise on the front lawn with Amy Vaknin, Core Instructor and FSTM Counselor. Check out photos of their "web of support" below.

Welcome to all of our new student midwives!


20th Graduating Class Celebration

Last weekend, the day before the Violet class graduation, FSTM threw a party at the Wooly event hall to celebrate graduating our 20th class of licensed midwives! We just got the photos back and wanted to share them. It was a fun evening of drinks, food, games and friends. Thank you to everyone who turned out to celebrate with us!

Graduation Day - Violet Class of 2017

Our senior class, the Violets, graduated yesterday! The day began with brunch and Birth Circle on campus at 10:00 AM. The graduates shared birth stories and created flower crowns to wear for Graduation. The ceremony was held at the beautiful Alachua County Library on University Avenue at 1:30 PM. 

We are so thrilled to see the culmination of their journey through midwifery school! We will miss having them on campus, but we are so excited to watch them enter this new chapter of their lives as Florida Licensed Midwives.


Last Day of Summer Classes!

It's the last day of Summer classes here at FSTM. Students have just finished their final exams and couldn't be more relieved! Our Turquoise cohort completed their final projects for Reproductive Anatomy & Physiology with Dr. Lori Scott, and the results are truly stunning.

The project was to construct a labeled drawing/or drawings showing the passage of the fetal head in relation to the female boney pelvis at five stages of descent from early labor to birth, starting with an LOA presentation. Included will be: 1) the cardinal movements, 2) pelvic station, 3) an inferior view of the pelvis showing the baby’s head, 4) cervical dilation with sutures. 

Check out some of their beautiful projects below:

International Midwifery Day Cocktail Party and Silent Auction

On Friday, May 5, 2017 the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery hosted a Cocktail Party and Silent Auction to raise money for the restoration and preservation of the Historic Howard Kelly House, which was built in 1883 and has been the home of FSTM since 2004.

This occasion was also an opportunity to celebrate the contribution of Jennifer Wollheim-Devine to the cause of midwifery and FSTM. Jennifer Wollheim Devine was a Gainesville midwife, activist, daughter, wife and mother who passed away in 2007. The Jennifer Wollheim Devine Scholarship was created in her memory by her family and her mother Marilyn Magnet. Through their support and the support of other scholarship donors, over $30,000 has been distributed since 2007 to enable students to complete midwifery school. Recognizing that school is expensive, many students commute long distances to attend, and family obligations must also be met, the Scholarship covers unexpected expenses that, if unmet, would jeopardize the student’s academic career or family well-being. Without this support, many students would be unable to fulfill their dreams of becoming licensed midwives. Click here to contribute to the Jennifer Wollheim-Devine Scholarship Fund.

During the event, FSTM Board Chair Jane Houston received The Jana Borino Community Builder Award for Outstanding Dedication to the Future of Midwifery. Jane began her career in Scotland where she became a registered general nurse with a Bachelor’s degree, and completed her diploma in midwifery in 1992 to become a Registered Midwife (RM). She entered graduate school at University of Florida in 2001 and completed her MSN studies so she would be able to provide midwifery care in Gainesville, Florida. Jane was in the first DNP class at University of Florida, graduating in 2009. She continued her career in education becoming Director of Midwifery there in 2011-2015. She recently became clinical director for midwifery and women’s health at the historic Frontier Nursing University in Kentucky. She has always felt called to the profession of midwifery, and has delivered over 2,000 babies on 4 continents.