You're very welcome! I'm very passionate about this topic. Both DONA and CAPPA offer great doula training programs and are equally esteemed in the birth community. If you don't mind living in NYC I would definitely recommend SUNY Downstate. It's a wonderful program. I've spoken to several of their graduates and have heard only rave reviews. There admissions office is a total mess and good luck getting someone polite/aware to answer your call but don't let that deter you. The faculty is wonderful and I had a great interview experience. Plus, they let you do your midwifery integration clinical anywhere
. Any setting is possible - home, hospital or birth center and pretty much any state you can arrange it with, even abroad! I was very excited by this prospect. I was quite sad to turn it down, but knowing that I'm not a city person two years would be too long for me.
SUNY Stonybrook, on the otherhand, I've not heard such great things. I spoke to 3 different grads who were not happy/impressed. It's only available as a distance program and they expressed a lack of support and a feeling of being isolated (unlike with Frontier). One recent CNM Stonybrook alum said, 'it worked logistically and financially for me, but I can't recommend it.' One midwife I know who graduated from there in the 90's said it suited her needs. She had an amazing local preceptor which really made the experience worth it for her. I didn't look into the program further myself because they used to require a year of nursing experience which I wasn't planning on getting. I noticed they recently changed the 1 year of experience to 'recommend'.
If you're going to do a distance program, I would recommend Frontier. Since I haven't started yet, this recommendation is based on my research not yet personal experience. Every source/midwife I found raved about the program. It sounds like they go out of their way to foster a sense of community and interconnectedness between the students and faculty. Plus I've heard from several midwives, RNs and even MDs that they are always impressed with Frontier students - a great sign, I'd say.
I was initially hesitant because you have to secure your own preceptor but I eventually decided this was a huge benefit. You're preceptor/mentor should be someone who you admire and really want to learn from. With many traditional programs this is out of your control. Since I'm near a city and not near any competing midwifery programs I was told I shouldn't have a problem finding someone.
I have a feeling that I should probably be able to find someone who I really connect with.
It's very cool that your mom is a midwife too and that she's behind the concept of direct-entry midwifery. I've always found it frustrating meeting CNMs and nurses who think you need to be an L&D nurse for 5-10 years before even considering
midwifery school. Everywhere else in the world midwifery is its own profession! Nursing knowledge/skills are wonderful additions to a midwife's schooling but are in no way necessary. But I digress..I'll get off my soapbox now...