Why I became a Midwife

The following is the essay I wrote to go with my admissions application to Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery:

“Why I want to be a Licensed Midwife”
by Kristin Schuchmann

Childbirth is one of the most important events in a woman’s life.  Her experience giving birth has the potential to give her great empowerment and confidence as a woman, or to dash her self-esteem and possibly leave lifelong wounds.  I have personally experienced both ends of the spectrum in my own four births and have had the sweet privilege of serving hundreds of birthing women over the past couple of decades who have taught me just how very important it is for a woman to receive care that will put her in a position to have the most healthy, safe, fulfilling birth experience possible.

My role as a childbirth educator and doula, although a tremendous blessing to my clients, is not completely meeting the need in my community.  There are currently, to my knowledge, no licensed midwives living in North Port, FL, and families who choose a birth center must drive 40 minutes or more to give birth.  Women ask me on a regular basis when I am going to begin midwifery school because they desire more options in our city.

Up until now, the timing has not been right for me to pursue midwifery.  Entering motherhood at age 17, marrying the man of my dreams in my twenties, having three more babies, working for ten years toward licensure of CPMs in Virginia, and lacking funds to pay for school have all been factors in delaying my midwifery education.  Now, however, it seems that everything has fallen into place and the timing is perfect.  My life has been simplified greatly since our move to Florida in 2007, my children are older now and can all take good care of themselves and each other, and we have discovered that my husband’s 401K is available to pay for my education.  The last piece of the puzzle fell into place recently when we discovered that Commonsense Childbirth was opening a midwifery school.  My husband and I both feel great peace in our hearts about my attending CCSM.

What we love most about Commonsense Childbirth is Jennie Joseph’s commitment to excellence and heart for community outreach.  That is so near and dear to my own heart.  I am currently fulfilling a dream to improve maternity care in the United States and around the world as the founder and executive director of Charis Childbirth, an international school of midwifery with emphasis on Christian missions and humanitarian work that also offers training and certification for childbirth educators and doulas.  It will greatly benefit Charis Childbirth for me to be a licensed midwife and CPM and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from Jennie Joseph and others at Commonsense Childbirth who have the same passion for reaching out and effectively helping underserved mothers and babies have healthier pregnancies and births.

I have seriously counted the cost of midwifery for the last 20 years.  I am entering my calling with soberness as I know what life is like on-call, I have grieved with parents dealing with unexpected outcomes, I have been at births that last for days, and I have on many occasions missed several nights of sleep in a row.  But I also know that there is no place on earth more fulfilling than the center of God’s will.  My family and I answer the calling to midwifery with humility and gratitude.  Thank you for this opportunity.  Women and babies here in southwest Florida, across the United States, and around the world will be touched and blessed as a result.

Kristin Schuchmann and Ina May Gaskin - Nov 1, 2009



  1. Hallie D said,

    November 6, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Sounds great and I KNOW you will be a GREAT Midwife! Congrats!

  2. debbie said,

    February 3, 2012 at 3:54 am

    wondeful schuchman! it is a great job you have done for your dear country

  3. debbie said,

    February 3, 2012 at 3:55 am

    i am a nigerian and want to become a midewife hw do i go about it

    • schuchmann said,

      February 7, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      I encourage you to visit http://www.CharisChildbirth.org. You will find out much information about a great midwifery academics course that can be done from Nigeria. After you have had a chance to look at the website, let me know and we can set up a time to meet via Skype to be sure all of your questions are taken care of.

  4. Meaghan said,

    August 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I am thinking about becoming a midwife in Canada. Do you have any suggestions or tips. I understand that it can be draining, but I think it could be really fulfilling. I really want to have a fulfilling career. I am studying geology at the moment. I like it a lot, but want something more fulfilling. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    • schuchmann said,

      September 6, 2012 at 7:42 am

      You are correct. Midwifery can be draining (I slept 2 out of 7 nights last week– it was a popular week to be born!), but I can’t imagine doing anything else! Serving women and families is extremely rewarding. One of the first things to consider is what kind of midwife you would like to be. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) have prescriptive privileges, mostly work in a hospital environment, and usually must work under physician supervision. Direct entry midwives who often carry the CPM credential (Certified Professional Midwife) go directly into midwifery without first becoming nurses, work mainly in out-of-hospital settings (birth center or home birth), do not have prescriptive privileges, and work autonomously in collaboration with, but not supervised by, physicians. CNMs have the potential of greater income than the CPMs. I started off in school to become a CNM in the early 1990’s, but when I discovered the direct entry midwife option, I switched directions because that was a better fit for me. Once you have chosen the kind of midwife you would like to become, you will need to choose the best mode of education for you. Check into the laws governing midwifery and birthing in the area where you want to practice. That may affect the type of midwife and education you choose. If you decide that you would like to become a direct entry midwife and that a self-paced, distance midwifery academics course would be a good fit for you, let me know. Not only does the Charis midwifery academics course prepare midwives extremely well for the certification exam and the work they do with moms and babies, but being part of the Charis school places you into a sweet family of birth professionals who become your lifelong friends.
      Blessings on your journey,
      Kristin Schuchmann, CPM, LM

  5. Leah Greifzu said,

    September 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Kristen….its the Greifzu family. I wanted you to know we really enjoyed our time together. Ella’s birth was so beautiful. We are expecting again and planning our third homebirth. I wish so much we were back in FL to share the event with you! I am so happy you are there for all the women and families doing what you love.

    • schuchmann said,

      September 8, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      Congratulations, Leah!!! I am SO HAPPY for you and your sweet family!!! Big (((hugs))) to all of you!!!

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