Michigan School of Traditional Midwifery

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About MSTM

Traditional Midwifery skills workshop class. Midwifery education.

Recognizing the need for the academic and clinical training of non-nurse midwives, Michigan School of Traditional Midwifery was developed in the late 1980's by experienced practicing midwives who collaborated together to create a school that would encourage and foster the development of more practicing midwives and also provide midwifery education from the holistic, vocational and traditional perspective of natural, non-medical birth.

It was strongly believed that birthing families could be better served by having more choices and resources for natural home birth, and that those choices would be best facilitated by the creation and availability of more midwives not only in Michigan, but throughout the United States and the world. It was also a concern that Midwifery training was difficult to find and in most cases, there were many more hopeful apprentices than experienced midwives to work with them. Apprenticeships were very, very difficult to secure and at best took a long time to realize. The result was a sad falling away of a great number of promising midwifery students who became frustrated by both the lack of opportunity for active birth involvement, and the non availability of academic routes of study for authentic traditional midwifery. This was considered by MSTM founding mothers, to be an unfortunate and unacceptable loss to birthing families and the greater midwifery community, and that something could and should be done about it.

In the spirit of nurturing midwifery interest and preserving the vocational art of Traditional Midwifery, MSTM was born. The midwives and birth professionals (including numerous birth friendly Doctors) who took an active interest and enthusiastically contributed ideas - primarily from Michigan but with input from others around the country - had high hopes for mothering midwifery by developing programs of enrichment that would encourage burgeoning interest. It was a lofty ideal that became both a daunting task and at the same time a true labor of love which has spanned almost a quarter of a century. Today, Michigan School of Traditional Midwifery is a proud witness of the growth of many, many students (from around the world) who have achieved their midwifery goals through our programs - from lay individuals to medical professionals.

True to the essence of midwifery, MSTM has continually grown and expanded its programs to offer students opportunities that are affordable, motivational and empowering so that each one can have an opportunity to invest in themselves to achieve their midwifery goals and feel a personal since of accomplishment for their hard work and dedication. As a private, licensed, vocational school, MSTM continues to this day with the dedicated ethic that the second most important work in birth for midwives, after being guardians of birth, is to provide achievable opportunities for growth in the field of midwifery that illuminates the way and encourages new interest!

Casey Makela, CM - Founder & Program Director
Traditional Midwife for over 30 years, Casey has an active home birth midwifery practice in north east Michigan. Throughout her midwifery career she has practiced Traditional Midwifery in several states, including Amish and Mennonite communities, and mentored with JP Baker. An advocate for unassisted birth (see Midwifery Today, Winter 1999, Number 52), Casey has had numerous birth related articles published in Birth Gazette, Midwifery Today & Complete Mother since the 1980's.

Casey is an author, artist and founder of the American College of Traditional Midwives. She is one of the 25 midwives featured in the 2011 midwifery anthology: Into These Hands; Wisdom from Midwives

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