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Midwifery Program Philosophy

The Philosophy of the Program is as follows:

  1. Midwifery care respects the unique physical, emotional, social, and cultural characteristics of each individual and recognizes the strength and power of women.
  2. Midwifery care is based on a partnership with women, provided with compassion, continuity, human presence, and communication that demonstrates cultural humility and respect.
  3. Midwifery care fosters the belief that pregnancy and birth are normal physiologic processes to be respected and supported.
  4. Midwifery care fosters the belief that all life cycle stages and transitions are normal physiologic processes.
  5. Midwifery care supports judicious use of intervention and technology when necessary to ensure healthy outcomes for women and infants and recognizes that care must be individualized and based on the best available evidence.
  6. Midwifery care emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention and recognizes that these must be relevant to each person’s life experiences and knowledge, and must be offered in a health care system that is equitable, accessible, and ethical.
  7. Midwives provide education and counseling to empower women to make informed decisions, thereby assuming responsibility for their health and the health of their newborns.
  8. Midwives serve as advocates for women, newborns and families within the health care system and, within the struggle for basic human rights and social justice for all individuals, recognize that the violation of women’s rights violates the rights of all people.
  9. Midwifery care is family-centered and strives to involve the woman’s significant others in the delivery of care as the woman deems appropriate.
  10. Midwives recognize the potential transformative aspects of pregnancy and the childbirth experience and use these opportunities for enhancing the individual woman’s self-esteem, health, and personal growth. Midwives recognize that women’s health contributes to family, community, national, and global health.
  11. Midwifery is an independent health discipline possessing its own special core of knowledge, skills, and competencies, yet midwives recognize the need for consultation, collaboration, and referral as appropriate with other health care team members.
  12. Midwifery recognizes the importance of confidentiality and respect for privacy in all health care encounters.
  13. Midwifery education recognizes that education and continuing competency are lifelong pursuits and therefore the faculty is committed to providing opportunities for professional advancement for students and midwives.
  14. Midwifery education recognizes that adult students are responsible for their own learning and therefore the faculty provides a climate that facilitates the acquisition of knowledge and skills essential to safe clinical practice while respecting individual learning styles.
  15. Midwifery education promotes community services.
  16. Midwifery education at the graduate level promotes professional role development that mandates an appreciation for global health care policy, assessment of the health of communities, and participation in teaching. 
  17. Midwifery education, practice, and research are based upon ethical principles.
  18. Midwifery education supports anti-racism in all student educational experiences, including in the classroom and clinical sites. 
  19. Midwifery education is enhanced through diversity of students and faculty.
  20. Individuals from a variety of educational and experiential backgrounds can be comparably prepared to enter the profession of midwifery as safe beginning practitioners.
  21. Faculty contribute to knowledge in the health professions through advancements in clinical practice; scholarly activities; basic and applied research; and professional service.

Midwifery Program’s Philosophy and Beliefs on Learning

  1. Learning is a self-directed process for which the adult learner assumes primary responsibility
  2. The role of the midwifery faculty includes providing resources and support to facilitate student learning
  3. Individual faculty members differ in teaching styles. Students can benefit from exposure to a variety of approaches, both in the classroom and the clinical settings
  4. Evaluation is part of the learning process. Learning is facilitated by reinforcement and constructive feedback from others
  5. Students are responsible for self-evaluation, a critical component of the learning process. Students are responsible for communication of learning needs to core (academic) and clinical faculty
  6. In clinical practice, it is the responsibility of the faculty to maintain boundaries of safety and it is the responsibility of the learner to respect those boundaries
  7. Learning is facilitated by a variety of instructional modalities and interprofessional approaches

Midwifery Program Purpose:

The purpose of the Program is to graduate safe, beginning midwives. This is accomplished by assisting each student to:

  1. acquire depth and breadth of midwifery and related theory
  2. acquire competence in the performance of midwifery skills
  3. apply theoretical knowledge including evidenced based research to clinical practice
  4. utilize the midwifery management process in all aspects of midwifery care
  5. become a culturally humble and respectful primary health care provider

Midwifery Program Outcomes

The program offers qualified post-baccalaureate students the opportunity to become safe beginning Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) and Certified Midwives (CMs) who are able to:

  1. Provide primary health care, encompassing reproductive, sexual, and gynecologic care, from adolescence through post-menopause.
  2. Recognize the role midwives play in caring for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals (TGNC).
  3. Recognize and support normal, physical, psychological, emotional, social, and behavioral development, including growth and development related to gender identity, sexual development, sexuality, and sexual orientation. 
  4. Manage the care of essentially healthy persons during pregnancy, labor and birth, and the postpartum period. 
  5. Monitor fetal growth and well-being during the prenatal and intrapartal periods.
  6. Assess the neonate's adaptation to extrauterine life, and initiate resuscitative measures when appropriate.
  7. Perform comprehensive neonatal assessment, facilitate the newborn's integration into the family, and provide anticipatory guidance related to infant care.
  8. Manage collaboratively the care of women with selected obstetrical, and/or medical complications and make appropriate referrals.
  9. Provide emergency care as appropriate.
  10. Analyze the impact of health care policies, legislation, social justice, racism, and social determinants on health care delivery systems and the practice of midwifery .
  11. Apply leadership, management, and teaching/learning theories to effect change within the health care delivery system for the betterment of service.
  12. Assess the needs of communities and promote changes in health care delivery that are responsive to the needs of specific populations, with a focus on the undeserved.
  13. Interpret, evaluate, and apply research studies relevant to women's health care and midwifery practice.
  14. Analyze the role research in promoting the advancement of midwifery education, practice, health and health care.

Midwifery Program Statement on Racism and Abuse

The faculty does not condone harassment, disrespect, or abuse of students, patients, or staff, including racist or sexual harassment or abuse. Students are requested to report any such instances in a clinical site to their faculty liaison to the site, course coordinator, Program Administrator, Program Chair, or the Advisor for students who identify as BIPOC. Students are requested to report any such instances involving faculty to the Program Chair, Program Administrator, or the Advisor for students who identify as BIPOC. If the incident involves the Program Chair, students are requested to report this to the Dean of the School of Health Professions. The anonymity of students will be protected when they report any type of abuse, including racism or sexual abuse. No punitive actions will be taken against the student, regardless of the outcome of the issue. Faculty and/or the Dean will investigate and follow-up any such reports in a way that is comfortable for the student, unless a legal issue is raised. In that case, faculty may involve others in pursuing the complaint. These may include the Downstate administration and legal counsel, regardless of student preference. Resolution of such issues will be individualized according to the type, severity, and circumstances surrounding the harassment, disrespect, or abuse in addition to the student preference, when appropriate.

In addition, per President Wayne J. Riley: 

If you feel unsafe, experience acts of harassment, discrimination, or observe vandalism on the campus:

  • DO immediately call University Police at X2626 or 911 if there are any safety threats to you or your fellow students.
  • DO document the incident. If you discover graffiti such as anti-Semitic speech or posters, please call University Police at X2626 to file an incident report.
  • DO report the incident to a campus authority as a bias incident. Even if campus security determines that the action was not illegal, a report of the incident ensures follow-up.

Further, any individual who believes he/she (sic) has experienced discrimination should immediately contact the Office for Institutional Equity at (718) 270-1738. You may also email ODI at AskODI@Downstate.edu.

You may also reach out to the Office of Student Life & Services at (718) 270-2187 or email studentaffairs@downstate.edu. All calls and emails are kept confidential.