I’m super pumped to share this latest midwife interview with you! In today’s episode I chat with Amber Wilson, a Certified Nurse Midwife in Virginia with her Doctorate of Nursing Practice. We talk about two really unique topics: pursuing midwifery while serving in the military and dealing with a hidden secret within the world of midwifery, BULLYING– specifically bullying of students by their preceptors. I know, it sounds unfathomable. A professional who’s purpose is to be nurturing, compassionate, and gentle, could also be abusive, manipulative, and harsh, just doesn’t seem to add up. But the truth is, it happens, and it’s actually very common. There’s even a saying about it (you’ll hear about in the episode). It happens in both subtle and overt ways. Amber was kind enough to provide concrete examples and solutions, that I hope will help you if you ever find yourself or someone you know of, in this situation.
Amber knew she wanted to become a midwife after receiving prenatal care from a midwife during her first pregnancy. Amber’s journey to midwifery includes working as a pediatric nurse and a labor and delivery nurse for a number of years while serving in the Navy. After midwifery school, she joined a home birth practice in Idaho. Now living in Virginia, she’s serving military families and teaching nursing classes at Old Dominion University.
Amber shares with us how she used the GI bill and other resources within the Navy to get a nursing degree, go to midwifery school to become a certified nurse midwife and then earn her doctorate of nursing practice. She shares how she juggled the realities of school, work and motherhood and relied on her support network to make it happen. After working as a labor and delivery nurse in a hospital and as a homebirth midwife at a birth center in Idaho, she ultimately decided to pursue a career in the hospital setting. Amber reflects on what she learned as a hospital nurse and as a homebirth midwife and the financial and lifestyle factors that played into her decision. We also discuss bullying within midwifery, specifically within the preceptor-student relationship and the commonly used phrase, “midwives eat their young.” We describe concrete examples of bullying within midwifery, the career and financial impact an abusive preceptor can have on the student, what a healthy preceptor-student relationship looks like and how to tell the difference and tips for students who find themselves facing abuse. Amber also shared that she’s reading Mother George: The Midwife Who Shocked Grays Lake.
You can find Amber at journeytomidwifery.org and connect with her on Instagram @themotheringmidwife or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can listen to her podcast, Journey to Midwifery, wherever you get your podcasts.
If you’d like to be a guest on The American Midwife Series, please send an email to email@example.com, with details about who you are, where you’re located, and a topic you’d like to discuss. We’re especially interested in hearing from seasoned midwives of 10+ years and black midwives, but all are welcome.
We’d love to hear from you! Send in a voice message here: https://anchor.fm/anjelica-malone/message