And I learned a Lot Along the Way ...
There are ten main knowledge and expertise skill sets I wish I had when I embarked on the journey of starting and growing my own private midwifery practice.
They are among the sort of guidance I am passionate about providing to prospective student and new midwives, as well as any midwife who wants to start a practice,or improve an existing one.
1) How to run a business, accounting, billing and collections (not taught in most midwifery schools).
2) Dealing with insurance (a whole new unfamiliar world).
3) Marketing and social media (a consistently changing platform)
4) Making needed practice forms, legal documents, and informative handouts for clients.
5) Creating chart forms that work best for you and your practice (charting efficiently, debriefing, guidance with management and charting challenging cases).
6) Writing letters communicating with other health care providers (introducing yourself to form a collaborate relationship, thank you notes for excellent supportive care or summarizing cases for consultations or referrals).
7) Writing letters for moms in your practice as their obstetric care provider (disability, work, gym, dental work, travel, exemptions, insurance companies: payments and appeals).
8) Clarity about the roles of other members in your practice, (office and birth assistants, handling an emergency before help arrives, maintaining skills, and drilling for those rare emergencies).
9) Formulating and buying needed supplies (for your office, care visits, and birth bags).
10) Setting boundaries in your practice for your own personal health and self care (maintaining healthy relationships in your other life roles to prevent problems, exhaustion, illness, and burn out).
If you are a doula thinking of becoming a midwife, or a midwife wanting to start or grow your private practice, I’d love to help you!