Because anyone can get a mouthful of alphabet soup when speaking of official organizations, government agencies, and accrediting and regulatory bodies, Nizhoni offers you a glossary of those institutions with alphabetical acronyms. For instance, who wants to say “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” when it’s easier to abbreviate and pronounce “HIPAA”? Also, there’s a list of terms defined here that may initially be a bit fuzzy, but are common topics of discussion and study at Nizhoni. (Don’t worry—they’ll become part of your experience in almost no time!) Besides, “FAQ” sounds a lot like “fact.” That’s what you’ll find on this page


The practice of accreditation is a means of conducting non-governmental, peer evaluation of educational institutions and programs in order to ensure a basic level of quality. Private educational associations, such as MEAC, adopt criteria reflecting the qualities of a sound educational program and develop procedures for evaluating institutions and programs to determine whether they are operating at basic levels of quality.

Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery is fully accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council, a United States Department of Education recognized national accrediting agency. For further information, contact MEAC at 360-466-2080, 1935 Pauline Blvd., Suite 100B, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103.

Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery is licensed by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to operate as a private postsecondary school in the State of California. For more information, please call the Bureau (888) 370-7589.

The curriculum of Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery is approved by the Medical Board of California, the state regulatory agency for direct-entry midwifery.

Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery is an institutional member of the Association of Midwifery Educators and the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools.

Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME)

The mission of the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) is to advance excellence in midwifery education.
The Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (under ‘Health Care’) as a programmatic accrediting agency for midwifery education programs since 1982. The accreditation process is a voluntary quality assurance activity conducted by both the education institution and ACME that combines self-assessment and peer evaluation. In 1994, ACME approved criteria to accredit direct-entry midwifery education programs; the first program was pre-accredited in April 1996.

The U.S. Department of Education grants the following scope of recognition to ACME: “the accreditation and pre-accreditation of basic certificate, basic graduate nurse-midwifery, direct entry midwifery, and pre-certification nurse-midwifery education programs, including those programs that offer distance education.” ACME services are available to any education program that meets the eligibility requirements outlined in our Policies and Procedures Manual. ACME is administratively and financially autonomous from the American College of Nurse-Midwives.


Acupuncture (from Latin, acus (needle) and punctura (to puncture)is a form of alternative medicine[2] and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) involving thin needles inserted into the body at acupuncture points. It can be associated with the application of heat, pressure, or laser light to these same points. Acupuncture is commonly used for pain relief, though it is also used for a wide range of other conditions.
Clinical practice varies depending on the country. There is a diverse range of acupuncture approaches, involving different philosophies.

Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct Faculty, also known as part-time or contingent instructors, now make up a majority of the higher education instructors nationwide, in a reversal from just a few decades ago. They often teach only a course or two for a single semester or year. Most adjuncts have the same basic credentials as their tenured peers. The Adjunct Faculty at Nizhoni Institute Of Midwifery is comprised of Midwives, Acupuncturists, Herbalists, Physicians, Nurse Practitioners and Scientists who teach specialty classes in Emergency Midwifery Care, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Suturing Technique and other courses.

American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM)

The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) is a national membership organization of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) practitioners and supporters that serves to advance the profession and practice of AOM. The mission of the AAAOM is to support our members and the AOM community through education, occupational resources, media support, and legislative advocacy in our commitment to facilitate access to the highest quality of healthcare in the United States.

American Association of Birth Centers (AABC)

The American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) is the nation’s foremost authority and resource on birth centers. We are a multidisciplinary membership organization comprised of birth centers, individuals and organizations that promote and support birth centers as a means to uphold the rights of healthy pregnant people and their families, in all communities, to birth their children in an environment which is safe, sensitive and cost effective with minimal intervention.

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)

Founded in 1985, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) is the national professional society representing licensed naturopathic physicians. AANP aims to increase awareness of and expand access to naturopathic physicians, help its members build successful medical practices, and expand the body of naturopathic medicine research.

AANP’s physician members are graduates of naturopathic medical schools accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. CNME is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting agency for programs leading to the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D. or N.M.D.) or Doctor of Naturopathy (N.D.) degree.

AANP’s members also include naturopathic medicine students and other health care professionals and corporate members who collectively strive to advance the profession of naturopathic medicine nationwide. AANP has 43 official State Affiliates across the country.

American Association of Nurse Practitioners™ (AANP)

On January 1, 2013, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (founded in 1985) and the American College of Nurse Practitioners (founded in 1995) came together to form the American Association of Nurse Practitioners™ (AANP), the largest full-service national professional membership organization for NPs of all specialties.

The mission of AANP, a full-service national professional membership organization for NPs of all specialties,is to lead NPs in transforming patient centered health care.

American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)

The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. With roots dating to 1929, ACNM sets the standard for excellence in midwifery education and practice in the United States and strengthens the capacity of midwives in developing countries. Our members are primary care providers for childbearing people throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. ACNM reviews research, administers and promotes continuing education programs, and works with organizations, state and federal agencies, and members of Congress to advance the well-being of parents and infants through the practice of midwifery.

American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB)

The American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), formerly the ACNM Certification Council, Inc. (ACC) is the national certifying body for Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs*) and Certified Midwives (CMs*). The certification function is a critical aspect of professional quality assurance in midwifery. Nurse-midwives have been certified by examination since 1971. At that time, certification rested within the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), first within the Division of Examiners, and then within the Division of Competency Assessment. In 1991, in keeping with the professional standard that certification should be separated from the professional organization, the ACC was incorporated as a distinct organization charged with functions related to the midwifery certificate. These functions include initial certification, recertification (Certificate Maintenance Program) and discipline. In 1998, in addition to the CNM certificate, the ACC began to offer certification to professionally educated midwives who were not first educated as nurses. The CM certificate is offered to candidates from ACNM accredited programs in midwifery. In 2005 the organization’s name was changed to American Midwifery Certification Board but the goals of the organization have remained the same.

The AMCB consists of officers (President, Secretary and Treasurer), a Board of Directors, an office of full-time staff members and committees responsible for the creation of the national certification examination, certificate maintenance, and research and credentialing/reporting.

American Herbalist Guild

The American Herbalists Guild promotes clinical herbalism as a viable profession rooted in ethics, competency, diversity, and freedom of practice. The American Herbalists Guild supports access to herbal medicine for all and advocates excellence in herbal education.

American Pregnancy Association

The American Pregnancy Association is a national health organization committed to promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness through education, support, advocacy, and community awareness.


Anatomy is the science that studies the structure of the body, including their systems, organs and tissues. It includes the appearance and position of the various parts, the materials from which they are composed, their locations and their relationships with other parts.


Before labor or childbirth.


Apprenticeship is a time-honored method of midwifery training but does have two significant weaknesses. First, many midwives do not actually teach needed didactic information to their apprentices. Second, apprentices tend to inherit and perpetuate a preceptor’s areas of knowledge deficit and may not have sufficient knowledge or experience to recognize their problem areas.

Assessment of Midwifery Practice

The systematic procedure for collecting qualitative and quantitative data to assess performance,progress or practice decisions/actions in relation to standards and/or competencies.

Assessment of Student Learning

The processes used to evaluate student performance and progress in achieving learning outcomes and demonstrating required competencies.

Association of Midwifery Educators (AME)

The Association of Midwifery Educators (AME) is a group of member schools, educators and administrators who have come together with a common goal of building a robust network of support and resources for direct-entry midwifery education. We strive to provide solutions and offer recommendations to educators, to develop midwifery curriculum and enhance administrative best practices.

AME is dedicated to the art and science of midwifery education and ensures that educators have access to the connections, collaborations and coordinated opportunities they need to succeed in the work of teaching, nurturing and mentoring midwives for the future. At the same time we want to help build strong schools by connecting school administrators who are faced with unique challenges and workloads typically with very limited resources.

The Association of Midwifery Educators (AME) is a not-for-profit 501c6 organization.

Autonomous Midwife

A midwife who is responsible and accountable for all decisions made and the care provided.

Birth Centers

A birth center is a home-like facility, existing within a healthcare system with a program of care designed in the wellness model of pregnancy and birth. Birth centers are guided by principles of prevention, sensitivity, safety, appropriate medical intervention, and cost effectiveness. Birth centers provide family-centered care for healthy birthing people before, during and after normal pregnancy, labor and birth.

Birth Doula

Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily. A birth doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials CD(DONA).

A Birth Doula:

  • Recognizes birth as a key experience the pregnant person will remember all their life
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a birthing person in labor
  • Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
  • Stays with the childbearing person throughout the labor
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the pregnant person get the information they need to make informed decisions
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring person, her partner and her clinical care providers
  • Perceives their role as nurturing and protecting the birthing person’s memory of the birth experience
  • Allows the partner to participate at their comfort level

Birth Emergency Skills Training® (B.E.S.T.)

Birth Emergency Skills Training® (B.E.S.T.) is a certification course that prepares out-of-hospital providers to manage obstetrical emergencies with greater confidence and proficiency. Midwives attending childbirth in homes and birth centers seldom encounter emergencies, but when crisis occurs, lives hang in the balance! It is difficult to remain proficient in skills so seldom practiced, yet childbearing people rely on the expertise of the provider in an emergency. (B.E.S.T.) carries the reader from the initial steps of intervention though definitive care, balancing a friendly tone and visual appeal with authoritative and clinically useful information. (B.E.S.T.) has won numerous awards, is featured on the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) written exam reference list for the Certified Professional Midwife.

Board of Trustees

A Board of Trustees is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of directors, and board of visitors. It is often simply referred to as “the board”.

A board’s activities are determined by the powers, duties, and responsibilities delegated to it or conferred on it by an authority outside itself. These matters are typically detailed in the organization’s bylaws. The bylaws commonly also specify the number of members of the board, how they are to be chosen, and when they are to meet. However, these bylaws rarely address a board’s powers when faced with a corporate turnaround or restructuring, where board members need to act as agents of change in addition to their traditional fiduciary responsibilities. In an organization with voting members, the board acts on behalf of, and is subordinate to, the organization’s full group, which usually chooses the members of the board.

The Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery is governed by an active board of trustees which meet quarterly in order to review financials, and assist us in planning and implementing our organizational goals. The Board of Trustees takes reports from staff, but has the final vote in the direction this organization takes. The Board of Trustees is responsible in part for setting our annual budget and reviewing the quarterly budget report.

Bureau of Private and Postsecondary Education

The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education came into existence on January 1, 2010, following passage of Assembly Bill 48, known as the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (California Education Code, Title 3, Division 10, Part 59, Chapter 8).

The Bureau exists to promote and protect the interests of students and consumers: (i) through the effective and efficient oversight of California’s private postsecondary educational institutions, (ii) through the promotion of competition that rewards educational quality and employment outcomes, (iii) through proactively combating unlicensed activity, and (iv) by resolving student complaints in a manner that benefits both the complaining student and future students.

During the late 1980s regulation of the industry was carried out by a division within the State Department of Education. During that time the state developed a reputation as the “diploma mill capital of the world.” As a result of concerns over the integrity and value of the degrees issued by private institutions, the state’s regulatory program was overhauled and oversight responsibility for private colleges was transferred to a 20-member Council. Concurrently, the Maxine Waters School Reform and Student Protection Act was adopted, and provided somewhat different requirements and standards for private institutions. The law governing the Council was merged with the Waters Act, but doing so created a fragmented structural framework with numerous duplicative and conflicting statutory provisions. On January 1, 2007, the law authorizing the regulation of the private postsecondary education sector in California was allowed to sunset, leaving the state without any regulatory body overseeing private institutions.

In 2009, the Legislature and the Governor reached agreement on AB 48 (Portantino, Chapter 310, Statutes of 2009). AB 48 established a new Private Postsecondary Education Act and created a new oversight Bureau within DCA for the purpose of regulating private postsecondary educational institutions that provide educational services in California. Today’s Bureau is generally responsible for protecting consumers and students against fraud, misrepresentation, or other business practices at private postsecondary institutions that may lead to loss of students’ tuition and related educational funds; establishing and enforcing minimum standards for ethical business practices and the health and safety and fiscal integrity of postsecondary education institutions; and establish and enforcing minimum standards for instructional quality and institutional stability for all students in all types of private postsecondary educational and vocational institutions.

California Association of Midwives

The California Association of Midwives is a not-for-profit organization which was formed to serve midwives who were serving the home birth population in California. The purpose of CAM was originally to communicate with each other in order to further our own education, educate the public regarding the alternative of home birth with a midwife change and maintain midwives’ legal status. After many years and a lot of heavy lifting, CAM was instrumental in the passage of The Licensed Midwifery Practice Act (LMPA) of 1993, providing legalization of midwives practicing in out-of-hospital settings, and serving the care needs of birthing people and families.

Today, CAM continues to be a hub of collaboration on projects and communication with the Medical Board of California and the Midwifery Advisory Council, Medi-Cal and other insurers, the Certified Nurse Midwives Association. Self-Education, Documentation, Peer Review, and Legislative Efforts continue to be of paramount importance to CAM as we move through changing opportunities in technology, medical science, and the law. Regionally, CAM strives to be a source of community for midwives, who are more often than not, independent and sure-footed yet often separated by distance and a job that calls us to great challenge and great reward, requiring great alliance with one another.

Currently, the LMPA is in transition. After the passage of AB1308, there is more heavy lifting to be done in hammering out a revised set of regulations for midwives. CAM continues to collaborate with other stakeholders in the changing Standards of Care, now called Guidelines, and in creating the interim forms of guidance for midwifery practice until formal Standards or Guidelines are created. See the Interim Guidelines, as posted on the Medical Board of California website. CAM welcomes your membership, involvement, and/or support. We are a body of women serving women, and we enjoy and rely on the contributions, talents, and open hearts of our members. We have come this far thanks to the many childbearing people who stood tall and worked hard for their babies and their rights. We have many dreams yet to come and look forward to each and every birthing person’s fulfillment in this process.

California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS)

The California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS) is the only California State Association representing the many diverse kinds of Private Postsecondary Schools in California. CAPPS has a membership of more than 300 institutions; including for-profit, non-profit, religious exempt and approved only Institutions. These schools and colleges are nationally or regionally accredited or approved by the State of California’s Regulatory Agency—the Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE)—to offer educational services.

CAPPS’ works to ensure that the needs of the entire sector—from small approved schools to large publicly traded institutions—are met from a policy, educational and business perspective.

Since 1985 CAPPS has worked with California Governors, the State Legislature, other elected officials, and numerous regulatory agencies that provide oversight to the sector. CAPPS offers strong member services in professional development, whether it is online or live onsite training in important areas such as admissions, career services, financial aid, teacher training or through townhall meetings, and provides business and educational advice.

California Nurse-Midwives Association

The California Nurse-Midwives Association’s (CNMA) mission is to facilitate the integration of nurse midwives into the health care system of California, promote legislation/regulations supportive of maternal child health and nurse-midwifery practice, and provide a forum for interaction with other groups sharing common maternal-child health goals.

The Objectives of the California Nurse-Midwives Association include:

  • Promoting the health of parents and children in California through provision of high-quality care
  • Supporting and promoting professional achievement among nurse-midwives
  • Representing nurse-midwives as leaders and as major resources for the development and delivery of quality health care for birthing people, infants, and families in California
  • Defining and promoting nurse-midwifery practice in the state of California
  • Initiating, supporting and/or opposing legislation affecting the health of California birthing people and infants, and the practice of nurse-midwifery
  • Representing nurse-midwives in California within professional, community, and government arenas.


CAPPA is an international certification organization for Doulas, Childbirth Educators and Lactation Educators. Since their foundation in 1998, they have certified thousands of perinatal professionals. As one of the first and most comprehensive perinatal organizations in the world, CAPPA is respected for its longevity and its commitment to excellence in both education and unsurpassed student and member support. CAPPA certified professionals aim to facilitate empowerment, connection, and self-advocacy in families from pre-conception through early parenthood.

CAPPA works to foster and encourage culturally relevant education, support, and training in countries around the world. CAPPA seeks to forge positive and productive relationships with organizations that support healthy, informed family decisions. CAPPA strives to build a bridge of understanding, respect, and communication with all healthcare professions. The organization consists of an international leadership board, administrative team, regional representatives, faculty, advisors, and its membership.


The evaluation and recognition of an individual by an authorized body, which may be either a governmental or nongovernmental organization, implying that the individual received additional education and training, and demonstrated competence against predetermined requirements or criteria.

Certified Midwife (CM)

There is a direct-entry midwifery credential offered by the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) called the Certified Midwife (CM). Certified midwives have graduated from a midwifery education program accredited by the ACNM Division of Accreditation and have passed a national certification exam administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). They can practice legally throughout the United States.

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM)

Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) are registered nurses who have graduated from a midwifery education program accredited by the ACNM Division of Accreditation, and have passed a national certification exam administered by the AMCB. Many CNMs have received their midwifery education as part of a Master’s Degree program. Most CNM’s work in hospitals, although some attend home births and practice in birth centers.

Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)

A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the Midwives Model of Care. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings.

Childbirth Connection

The Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Together, these two women’s health powerhouses will continue transforming maternity care in the United States.

The Childbirth Connection was founded in 1918 as the Maternity Center Association; its mission is to improve the quality and value of maternity care through consumer engagement and health system transformation. The organization has pioneered strategies to promote evidence-based maternity care, improvement of maternity care policy and quality, and maternity care shared decision making in the United States. The National Partnership is a 41-year old organization that has played a role in winning every major advance for birthing people during the last four decades. Its mission is to improve health for women and families, and make the nations workplaces more fair and family friendly.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

The Chinese Materia Medica (a pharmacological reference book used by TCM practitioners) describes thousands of medicinal substances—primarily plants, but also some minerals and animal products. Different parts of plants, such as the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds, are used. In TCM, herbs are often combined in formulas and given as teas, capsules, liquid extracts, granules, or powders.

Citizens for Midwifery

Citizens for Midwifery is a non-profit, volunteer, grassroots organization. Founded by several mothers in 1996, it is the only national consumer-based group promoting the Midwives Model of Care.

A grassroots organization means a large number of childbearing people implementing a coordinated strategy to achieve change. The goal of Citizens for Midwifery is to see that the Midwives Model of Care is available to all childbearing people and universally recognized as the best kind of care for pregnancy and birth. Citizens for Midwifery also endorses the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative™.

Clinical Education

Clinical Education helps provide healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, and technologists the opportunity to learn and receive continuing education credit to help meet requirements for certifications and licensure.

Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS)

The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) is a coalition of individuals and national organizations with a mutual concern for the care and well-being of childbearing people, babies, and families. Our members consist of the broader community of childbirth organizations, birth professionals, stakeholders, birth advocates and consumers. CIMS’ mission is to work with the birth and breast/chest feeding community and our members by encouraging and promoting evidence-based, Mother-and-Baby-Friendly maternity care, as outlined in the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI), the first and only consensus document on U.S. maternity care.

The evidence-based Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) evolved from the collaborative effort of many individuals and more than 26 organizations focused on pregnancy, birth and breast/chest feeding during meetings spanning nearly three years in the 1990’s. The MFCI – the cornerstone of our mission – is the first and only consensus document on U.S. maternity care. The MFCI is recognized as an important instrument for change both in this country and abroad. Acknowledging the need to ensure the ongoing education and promotion of the Mother-Friendly childbirth model of care defined in the MFCI, CIMS was established as a non-profit corporation in 1997.


A cohort is a group of students who work through a curriculum together to achieve the same academic degree together. Cohortians are the individual members of such a group.

Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC)

The Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC) is The only accrediting organization dedicated exclusively to the quality of the operation and services of all birth centers regardless of ownership, primary care provider, location, or population served. The CABC is an independent not-for-profit organization that accredits developing and existing birth centers in the United States of America, according to established national standards.

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public’s health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.

CCNE serves the public interest by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. As a voluntary, self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuing self-assessment by nursing programs and supports continuing growth and improvement of collegiate professional education and nurse residency programs.

Community-Bases Practice

Midwives are primary caregivers in autonomous practice within their communities. Where possible Midwives are encouraged to acquire admitting and discharge privileges at hospital maternity units and, where available, birth centers, enabling them to provide care in all settings. Midwives may offer their services within small group practices, enabling them to share call while providing 24-hour availability to their clients.

Antepartal care may be provided in midwifery clinics, offices, or pregnant people’s homes. Midwifery care for labor, birth and early postpartum will be provided in a setting chosen by the birthing person. For most pregnant people and their newborns, Midwifery care during the early postpartum period is generally best provided in the home.


The knowledge, understanding, skills, and attitudes that an individual develops or acquires through education, training and work experience, which can be used to describe particular occupational roles or functions against which individual performance may be assessed.

Competency-Based Education

Teaching, learning and assessment activities that are sufficient to enable students to acquire and demonstrate a predetermined set of competencies as the outcome of learning.

Continuity of Care

Continuity of care is midwifery care provided in accordance with the Generally Accepted Practices of professional midwives and other midwifery providers and available during all trimesters of pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period, on a 24-hour on-call basis. This principle is fundamental to the model of practice. Continuity of care is both a philosophy and a process that is facilitated through a partnership between a birthing person and their midwife/midwives.

It requires a time commitment from each midwife that enables them:

  • To develop a relationship with the birthing person during pregnancy
  • To be able to provide safe, individualized care
  • To support the woman during labor and birth
  • To provide comprehensive care to the birthing person and newborn throughout the postpartum period.

Ideally, midwifery services will be provided by the same principal (i.e., primary or “midwife of record”) midwives throughout pregnancy, labor, birth and the first six weeks postpartum. Family planning services may be provided postpartum. The full scope of midwifery care will be provided, including education, counseling, advocacy and emotional support.

Although continuity of care is usually facilitated by a one-to-one or a one-to-two relationship between a birthing person and their midwife/midwives, continuity of care can be achieved by a small group of midwives (idea is 4 or less), as long as all members of the group share a common philosophy and a consistent approach to practice, and meet together regularly to coordinate care. [1] The woman must have the opportunity to establish a relationship with the midwives providing her care. A primary ‘midwife of record’ who is responsible for coordinating the care will be identified. A second midwife should be identified who would normally take over this role if the primary midwife is unavailable. In exceptional circumstances another midwife may attend the birth as the principal midwife.

The primary and second-call midwives would normally be responsible for providing the majority of prenatal and postnatal care, and for attending the birth, assisted if necessary by other midwives in the group. The midwifery practice will ensure there is 24-hour on-call availability, preferably with one of the midwives already known to the childbearing person.

In situations where transfer of care to a physician is required during labor, the midwife is expected to continue providing supportive care after transfer and may resume primary care if appropriate. Supportive care involves education, counseling and advocacy throughout the course of care and also includes labor support and postpartum assistance and instructions to the birthing person about infant feeding and newborn developmental needs.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

A range of learning activities through which health professionals maintain and develop throughout their career to ensure that they retain their capacity to practice safely, effectively and legally within their scope of practice.


A credential is an attestation of qualification, competence, or authority issued to an individual by a third party with a relevant or de facto authority or assumed competence to do so.


A systematic process that defines the theoretical and practical content of an education program and its teaching and evaluation methods.


Designed or intended to teach childbearing people something.

Direct-Entry Midwife

Direct-entry midwives typically attend home births, although some work in birth centers. They may learn their skills through self-study, through apprenticeship, or at an independent midwifery school or college. The way in which direct-entry midwives are licensed and regulated varies from state to state. Those who have met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) are called certified professional midwives (CPMs). A few direct-entry midwives are certified according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and are called certified midwives (CMs). Midwives who are not certified or licensed are commonly known as lay midwives or traditional midwives.


The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the childbearing person before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. Doulas and midwives often work together during a birthing person’s labor. A doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials CD(DONA).

Doulas of North America (DONA)

Doulas of North America (DONA) began in 1992, when a small group of some of the foremost experts in childbirth decided that the time had come to promote the importance of emotional support for pregnant people and their partners during birth and the postpartum period. Convinced by significant evidence of the importance of doulas to a mother’s (and consequently to a family’s) wellbeing, they created an association for a relatively new group of professionals steeped in timeless tradition – doulas.

What they created is an organization that supports doulas who strive to help childbearing people and their partners to have satisfying childbirth and postpartum experiences. Doulas support childbearing families emotionally, and help them feel comfortable and nurtured. Doula care has been studied extensively in scientific trials and the results show remarkably improved physical and psychological outcomes for both mother and baby.

We would like every birthing person who wants a doula to have one. We also want doulas to be well prepared for their important role. Our mission is to provide training and certification opportunities for doulas of varied cultures, educational backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic levels. Also, we aim to educate health care providers, the public and third-party payers of the benefits of a doula’s presence during childbirth and postpartum.


A lasting communication of ideas between two childbearing people for long duration of time or of any intensive duration of deeper impact may be called dyadic communication.

Early Childhood Educator (ECEs)

Early childhood educators (ECEs) work in a variety of settings including, but not limited to: infant, toddler and preschool (including child care and nursery school) programs; before- and after- school programs, kindergartens and primary grade classrooms; special education and intervention programs.

Energy Medicine

Energy medicine, energy therapy, energy healing, or spiritual healing are branches of alternative medicine. Energy Medicine utilizes techniques from time-honored traditions such as acupuncture, yoga, kinesiology, and qi gong. Flow, balance, and harmony can be non-invasively restored and maintained within an energy system by tapping, massaging, pinching, twisting, or connecting specific energy points (acupoints) on the skin; by tracing or swirling the hand over the skin along specific energy pathways; through exercises or postures designed for specific energetic effects; by focused use of the mind to move specific energies; and/or by surrounding an area with healing energies.

Evidence-Based Practice

The use of the best available evidence together with the nurse or midwife’s expertise and a patient’s values and preferences in making healthcare decisions.

Formative Evaluation

On going assessment of learning with feedback to the student to improve while learning is in progress.

Health Professional

An individual who is educated in a health discipline and licensed/regulated to practice that discipline; e.g., midwives, nurses, medically qualified doctors and clinical officers.


Hematology is a branch of medicine concerning the study of blood, the blood-forming organs, and blood diseases. The word “heme” comes from the Greek for blood.


HIPAA: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 which established laws and ethics regarding patient confidentiality.

Holistic Midwifery

Midwifery is holistic by nature, combining an understanding of the social, emotional, cultural, spiritual, psychological and physical. Midwifery care is centered upon a respect for pregnancy as a state of health and childbirth as a normal physiological process, and a profound event in a birthing person’s life.


Homeopathy, also known as homeopathic medicine, is an alternative medical system that was developed in Germany more than 200 years ago. Homeopathy is a safe, gentle, and natural system of healing that works with your body to relieve symptoms, restore itself, and improve your overall health.

It is extremely safe to use, even with very small children and pets, has none of the side effects of many traditional medications, is very affordable, is made from natural substances, and is FDA regulated.


Combining or involving two or more academic disciplines or fields of study. The term interdisciplinary is applied within education and training pedagogies to describe studies that use methods and insights of several established disciplines or traditional fields of study. Interdisciplinarity involves researchers, students, and teachers in the goals of connecting and integrating several academic schools of thought, professions, or technologies—along with their specific perspectives—in the pursuit of a common task.

International Center for Traditional Childbearing, Inc. (ICTC)

The International Center for Traditional Childbearing, Inc. (ICTC) is a non-profit infant mortality prevention, breast/chest feeding support, and midwife training organization, comprised of parents who want to improve birth outcomes and provide training opportunities in their communities.
Incorporated in 1991, ICTC was founded by Shafia M. Monroe in concert with the national support of educators and midwives. For more than a decade, ICTC has built bridges that link national organizations with grassroots movements, and professionals with lay health workers. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, chapters are forming throughout the world and country.

ICTC is:

  • An infant mortality prevention, breast/chest feeding promotion, and midwife/ doula training organization
  • A capacity building organization
  • An advocacy & policy organization
  • A birth justice organization
  • A culturally competent organization & is culturally specific on the African Diaspora.

International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. (ICAN)

The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. (ICAN) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).

International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA)

The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) is a professional organization that supports educators and health care professionals who believe in freedom to make decisions based on knowledge of alternatives in family-centered maternity and newborn care.

International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is an accredited non-governmental organization that works closely with the WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and other organizations worldwide to achieve common goals in the care of pregnant people and children. Its beginnings center around a group of Belgium midwives in 1919 that decided to communicate with other countries’ midwives on a regular basis. ICM has grown to a major confederation of more than 90 autonomous member associations from countries in every part of the globe. ICM envisions a world where every childbearing person has access to a midwife’s natural medical care for themselves and her newborn, in order to enhance the reproductive health of birthing people and the health of their newborns and their families.


During labor and delivery or childbirth.

La Leche League

The mission of the La Leche League is to help birthing people worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breast/chest feeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and birthing person.

The basic philosophy of La Leche League is summarized in the following statements:

  • Maternal care through breast/chest feeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of the baby.
  • Mother and baby need to be together early and often to establish a satisfying relationship and an adequate milk supply.
  • In the early years the baby has an intense need to be with their birthing parent which is as basic as his need for food.
  • Human milk is the natural food for babies, uniquely meeting their changing needs.
  • For the healthy, full-term baby, breast milk is the only food necessary until the baby shows signs of needing solids, about the middle of the first year after birth.
  • Ideally the breast/chest feeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need.
  • Alert and active participation by the birthing person in childbirth is a help in getting breast/chest feeding off to a good start.
  • Breast/chest feeding is enhanced and the nursing couple sustained by the loving support, help, and companionship of the baby’s father. A partner’s unique relationship with their baby is an important element in the child’s development from early infancy.
  • Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.
  • From infancy on, children need loving guidance which reflects acceptance of their capabilities and sensitivity to their feelings.

Lactation Educator

Lactation Educator Counselors teach breast/chest feeding classes, usually in hospitals and clinics. Lactation Educator Counselors may work with pregnant people and their families in community perinatal health programs such WIC. Lactation Educator Counselors may be employed in hospitals and work in hospital breast/chest feeding centers and boutiques. In this role they may facilitate breast/chest feeding support groups, triage phone calls and warm lines, and manage breast/chest feeding stores that rent breast pumps and sell breast/chest feeding clothing and products. They sometimes are the triage agent for all patients who have delivered their babies within a facility. Lactation Educator Counselors can function as private practitioners and/or maintain a private practice that augments Doula work.

Nurses who work with parents and babies often extend their skills by becoming Lactation Educator Counselors.


Lamaze is a nonprofit organization that promotes a natural, healthy and safe approach to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting. Knowing that pregnancy and childbirth can be demanding on a birthing person’s body and mind, Lamaze serves as a resource for information about what to expect and what choices are available during the childbearing years.

Lamaze education and practices are based on the best, most current medical evidence available. They can help reduce the use of unnecessary interventions and improve overall outcomes for mothers and babies. Working closely with their families, health care providers and Lamaze educators, millions of pregnant people have achieved their desired childbirth outcomes using Lamaze practices.

The mission of Lamaze International is to promote, support and protect natural, safe and healthy birth through education and advocacy through the dedicated efforts of professional childbirth educators, providers and parents.

Forming the foundation of the organization are the Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices. These evidence-based practices, adapted from the World Health Organization, promote, protect and support natural, safe and healthy birth.

Lay Midwife

Lay Midwives can also be called “traditional midwives,” “community midwife,” “Granny midwives,” or “direct-entry midwives.” They practice in out-of-hospital settings like homes. There is no one method of becoming a traditional midwives but most pursue training as an apprentice with a practicing midwife. Most states and insurance companies do not recognize traditional midwives.

Some direct-entry midwives choose not to pursue any credential, license, or registration and complete their training through apprenticeship and self-study. Other names for a lay midwife are traditional midwives, granny midwives, traditional birth attendants or independent midwives. Occasionally, the media will use the term “lay midwife” to mean any non-nurse midwife.

Licensed Midwife

Some direct-entry midwives are state-licensed and in some states, national certification is optional. A midwife who holds a license but may or may not have attained the CPM credential are called licensed or registered midwives. They are legally allowed to practice without being a CPM or CM, as long as they are licensed or regulated by the state.

Medical Board of California

The mission of the Medical Board of California is to protect health care consumers through the proper licensing and regulation of physicians and surgeons and certain allied health care professions and through the vigorous, objective enforcement of the Medical Practice Act, and to promote access to quality medical care through the Board’s licensing and regulatory functions.

The Medical Board of California is a state government agency which licenses and disciplines medical doctors. The Board provides two principal types of services to consumers: public-record information about California-licensed physicians, and investigation of complaints against physicians.


Mentoring is an essential leadership skill. In addition to managing and motivating childbearing people, it’s also important to help others learn, grow and become more effective in their jobs.


Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi and protozoa. This discipline includes fundamental research on the biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, ecology, evolution and clinical aspects of microorganisms, including the host response to these agents.


A person who has successfully completed a midwifery education program that is duly recognized in the country where it is located and that is based on the ICM Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice and the framework of the ICM Global Standards for Midwifery Education; who has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery and use the title “Midwife” and who demonstrates competency in the practice of midwifery.

Midwifery encompasses care of pregnant people during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period, as well as care of the newborn. It includes measures aimed at preventing health problems in pregnancy, the detection of abnormal conditions, the procurement of medical assistance when necessary, and the execution of emergency measures in the absence of medical help.

Midwife Clinical Preceptor/Clinical Teacher

An experienced midwife engaged in the practice of midwifery who is competent and willing to teach, observe, and evaluate midwifery students during their practical/clinical learning.

Midwife Teacher

A qualified, competent midwife who has successfully completed a program of study and/or demonstrated competency in teaching that includes the art and science of curriculum development, methods of theoretical and practical teaching of adult learners, and methods of measurement and evaluation of student learning.

Midwifery Censure

The official rebuke of a midwife by a Midwifery Regulatory Authority.

Midwifery Code of Conduct

The rules or standards governing the professional behaviour of a midwife.

Midwifery Competency

A combination of knowledge, professional behaviours and specific skills that are demonstrated at a defined level of proficiency in the context of
midwifery education and/or practice.

Midwifery Continuing Competence

The ongoing capacity to demonstrate the knowledge, professional behaviour and specific skills necessary to work within the Midwifery Scope of Practice.

Midwifery Education

The process of preparing individuals to meet the competencies and the educational qualifications required for midwifery registration/licensure.

Midwifery Model of Practice

The midwifery model of practice is autonomous, community-based primary care, and incorporates the principles of continuity of care, informed consumer choice, choice of birth setting, collaborative care, accountability and evidence-based practice. Together with the Philosophy of Midwifery Care and the Code of Ethics, these fundamental principles define the midwifery model of practice as embraced by professional midwifery providers in jurisdictions throughout North America.

Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC)

The Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) is an independent, nonprofit organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an accrediting agency of direct-entry midwifery institutions and programs.MEAC believes that midwives provide care that is essential to the health of the nation.

The future of midwifery depends on the education of midwives who are prepared to provide high quality care that is responsive to the needs of childbearing people, and who can participate effectively in the transformation of our system of maternity care.Midwifery schools and programs accredited by MEAC prepare midwives for national certification as Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs). These midwives are earning recognition in ever-widening circles.

We are pleased to report that the number of students enrolled in accredited midwifery programs has been growing each year. MEAC currently accredits eight freestanding institutions and one program that resides within a university, providing excellent midwifery education for more than 600 matriculating students. Two new schools have applied for accreditation within the last year and at least two others have indicated their intent to apply.

As the number of midwives is growing, legal recognition is also expanding. Over half of all states now regulate direct-entry midwifery, and at least fifteen other states are considering legislation. At the same time, midwives are working to improve access to care by tackling the complex challenges of insurance coverage, equitable reimbursement, and employment opportunities.

Midwifery Faculty (Teaching Staff)

The group of individuals who teach students in a midwifery program, including midwife teachers, midwife clinical preceptors/clinical teachers,
and experts from other disciplines.

Midwifery Fitness to Practice

Evidence that a midwife has the knowledge, skills, professional behaviours, character and health status necessary to meet the standards or competencies required for entry to the midwifery profession and for the practice of midwifery.

Midwifery Practical Experience

Student time in midwifery practice settings for acquiring and applying knowledge, skills and behaviours and demonstrating competency in the
practice of midwifery.

Midwifery Regulation

Regulation includes registration/licensure, approval and accreditation of midwifery education programs, setting standards for practice and conduct and processes for holding midwives to account in relation to professional standards.

Midwifery Student

An individual who has met the criteria for selection and enrollment in a midwifery program.

Midwifery Supervision

Overseeing and supporting the practice of one midwife by another in order to ensure the provision of safe and competent midwifery care.

Midwife’s/Birthing Person’s Autonomy

The freedom of a birthing person and their midwife to make choices about care and for those choices to be respected. It implies that individuals have competence to make informed decisions and that they should not be coerced or forced during the decision-making process.

Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA)

The Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), established in 1982, is a professional membership organization that promotes excellence in midwifery practice, endorses diversity in educational backgrounds and practice styles, and is dedicated to unifying and strengthening the profession, thereby increasing access to quality health care and improving outcomes for pregnant people, babies, families, and communities.

MANA’s vision is that midwifery is an essential maternity care option that must be fully integrated into the U.S. healthcare system. MANA asserts that investing in midwives and midwife-led care is fundamental to delivering high quality maternity care. MANA is unique and innovative in that it is the only professional midwifery organization in the U.S. that is inclusive of all midwives regardless of their educational route to midwifery. MANA supports the diversity in educational backgrounds and practice styles within the profession as a means of making midwifery available to more childbearing people and their families. If you are a midwife, MANA can provide you with a forum for professional dialog with your peers about practice and political issues you face daily.

Midwives Coalition of Greater San Diego

The intention of the Midwives Coalition of Greater San Diego is to educate parents about midwifery care and to provide information for those interested in seeking the care of a midwife in the San Diego area.

We are held together by:

  • Our common link: Licensure by the State of California
  • Our common belief: The power of childbearing people AND the empowerment of childbearing people through maternity-centered health care
  • Our common cause: Promotion of safe, satisfying and supportive care

Midwives Model of Care

The Midwives Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes. The application of this maternity -centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.

The Midwives Model of Care includes:

  • Monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the birthing person throughout the childbearing cycle
  • Providing the birthing person with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
  • Minimizing technological interventions
  • Identifying and referring pregnant people who require obstetrical attention.


A self-contained segment that with other such segments constitutes an educational course or training program. Each module in the midwifery program is completed in one month and the knowledge gained in each module provides the foundation for the next module’s learning activities. There are 38 required modules.

National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM)

The National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM) is the membership organization specifically representing Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) in the United States. Certified Professional Midwives provide unique and critical access to normal physiologic birth, which profoundly benefits birthing people and newborns. Founded in 2000, NACPM ensures a powerful and unified voice for Certified Professional Midwives. NACPM directs its influence toward improving outcomes for childbearing people and their infants, developing and strengthening the profession, and informing public policy with the values inherent in CPM care.

National Association of Birth Centers of Color (NABCC)

The mission of the National Association of Birth Centers of Color (NABCC) is to increase the number of maternity clinics and birth centers owned and/or operated by practitioners of color who are committed to serving communities of color. We support the growth and development of maternity care models that ensure access to timely and quality perinatal health-care, by providing practical, social, educational, and emotional support to improve positive outcomes.

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)

The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM®) is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization established in 1982. The NCCAOM is the only national organization that validates entry-level competency in the practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) through professional certification. NCCAOM certification or a passing score on the NCCAOM certification examinations are documentation of competency for licensure as an acupuncturist by 43 states plus the District of Columbia which represents 98% of the states that regulate acupuncture.

All NCCAOM certification programs are currently accredited by the National Commission for Certification Agencies (NCCA).

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is the Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.

National Center for Homeopathy (NCH)

Founded in 1974, the National Center for Homeopathy (NCH), is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting health through homeopathy by advancing the use and practice of homeopathy. NCH supports education in, awareness of, and increased access to homeopathy. NCH has the largest, most diverse membership in the homeopathic community and are the national go-to resource for all who are interested in learning about homeopathy.

NCH educates consumers and play an important role in the continuing education of practitioners and are dedicated to making homeopathy more accessible to the public.

National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission

The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) is responsible for the specialized accreditation of nursing education programs (Clinical Doctorate, Master’s, Baccalaureate, Associate, Diploma, and Practical programs). The Commission has authority and accountability for carrying out the responsibilities inherent in the application of standards and criteria, accreditation processes, and the affairs, management, policy-making, and general administration of the NLNAC. The NLNAC is nationally recognized as a specialized accrediting agency for both post-secondary and higher degree programs in nursing education.

Naturopathic Midwife

Naturopathic midwives make up a small minority among midwives. They are naturopathic doctors who practice midwifery either in conjunction with a larger practice, or as their primary practice. Naturopathic midwives are the most extensively trained natural childbirth providers and are trained to provide you with safe and effective midwifery care and their background as licensed naturopathic doctors broadens the scope of care you will experience from pregnancy and birth to full family natural health care.

Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)

The Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) is an educational program jointly sponsored with the American Heart Association (AHA). The course has been designed to teach an evidence-based approach to resuscitation of the newborn to hospital staff who care for newborns at the time of delivery, including physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists. Since the inception of the NRP in 1987, over 3 million individuals in the United States and a countless number of individuals abroad have been trained in NRP. The 6th Edition, released in 2011, is based on simulation methodology, enhancing development of critical leadership, communication and team work skills.


Nizhoni is a Navajo word that conveys the spirit and practice of “the beauty way” as experienced and expressed through living in balance and harmony with the world.

Non-Physician Clinician

A professional health worker who is NOT trained as a physician or as a midwife but who is capable of many of the diagnostic and clinical functions of a medical doctor. These health workers are now known variously as health officers, clinical officers, assistant medical officers,técnicos de cirurgia, physician assistants, nurse practitioners,nurse clinicians, or more generally as mid-level providers. They are present both in high-income and low-income countries.

Non-Profit 501(c)(3)

A 501(c)(3) or 501c3 organization, also colloquially known as a 501c3, is a United States nonprofit organization that has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service to be tax-exempt under the terms of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Most charitable nonprofits in the United States that Americans commonly know of, and often make donations to, are 501c3 organizations.

An approved 501(c)(3) exemption allows donors to the organization to reduce their own taxable incomes by deducting the amounts of their donations given, and thus to reduce their personal income taxes. And it allows the 501c3 organization to avoid federal income taxes on the difference between revenues (donations, grants, service fees) received vs. expenses (wages, supplies, state & local taxes paid, etc.) in its main operations. In a for-profit business, that difference would represent taxable income and be taxed at Federal corporate tax rates of 15 to 39 percent. 501c3 status may also provide exemption from state and local corporate income taxes that range from 0 to 12 percent.

501(c)(3) exemptions apply to corporations organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or for testing for public safety, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals. 501(c)(3) exemption applies also for any non-incorporated community chest, fund, cooperating association or foundation that is organized and operated exclusively for those purposes. There are also supporting organizations—often referred to in shorthand form as “Friends of” organizations.

North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)

The North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) supports a health care system where every family in North America has access to skilled and responsible midwives. The individualized attention provided by the CPM in practice is of critical importance to her role as guardian of normal birth, and to the value of her compassionate maternity care. NARM sets standards for competency-based certification that allow a midwife to support a woman’s right to choose her birth attendants and place of birth and to involve those she identifies as her family in the birth experience. CPMs practice as autonomous health professionals working within a network of relationships with other maternity care professionals who can provide consultation and collaboration when needed.

Nurse Practitioners (NP)

Nurse practitioners (NP) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) who are educated and trained to provide health promotion and maintenance through the diagnosis and treatment of acute illness and chronic condition.

Official Transcripts

An official transcript is a comprehensive record of your academic progress, including transfer courses, credit earned by exam, and earned degrees


The term oncology literally means a branch of science that deals with tumours and cancers. The word “onco” means bulk, mass, or tumor while “-logy” means study.

Perinatal Nursing

A Perinatal Nurse is a nurse who cares for childbearing people during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. They also care for infants and families starting at the beginning of pregnancy throughout the first month of the infant’s life. Perinatal nurses educate pregnant people about their unborn child, teach them how to have a healthy pregnancy and relaxation techniques to help with stressful times during pregnancy. They also teach family members how they can be supportive to the patient during pregnancy.

Perinatal nurses teach labor and delivery classes, so couples can be prepared as much as possible for this life-changing event. They collaborate with obstetricians, perinatal nurse practitioners and midwives on many occasions throughout the day for the health of their patients.

Physician Assistant (PA-C)

Another route to working with birth and maternal health care involves becoming a Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C) with a specialty in obstetrics and gynecology. Physician Assistants must have a supervising physician and are allowed to practice to the full extent of their training, although in most states they have less practice autonomy in comparison to advanced practice nurses. Physician assistant programs are university-based but the prerequisites, length of training, and degree earned varies.


Physiology aims to understand the mechanisms of living – how living things work. Human physiology studies how our cells, muscles and organs work together, how they interact. Physiology, sometimes referred to as the “science of life”, looks at living mechanisms, from the molecular basis of cell function to the whole integrated behavior of the entire body. The word “physiology” comes from the Ancient Greek physis, which means “nature, origin”, and logia, which means “study of”.

Placenta Encapsulation

Placenta encapsulation is the practice of ingesting the placenta after it has been steamed, dehydrated, ground, and placed into pills. Traditionally, this is taken by the birthing person and is believed to impart numerous health benefits. It is frequently taken shortly after giving birth, during a woman’s menstrual period, or during menopause with the belief that it helps counter some of the symptoms of menopause.

Plant Medicine

Also known as herbal medicine.

Policies and Procedures (POP)

Policies and procedures establish the rules of conduct within an educational organization, outlining the responsibilities of both Students and Faculty.


Occurring after childbirth, with reference to the birthing person.

Postpartum Doula

Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders. A postpartum doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials PCD(DONA).

A Postpartum Doula:

  • Offers education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester
  • Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
  • Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary.


A course of study designed especially for the preparation of teachers and clinicians that involves the supervised practical application of previously studied theory.


A preceptorship is a one-to-one relationship between a midwife mentor or “preceptor” and a midwifery student. Preceptorship is an accepted and established model in the health care professions and is considered to be a highly effective method for teaching clinical skills. Preceptorship provides students with directed, supervised experience in the real world of midwifery, allowing students to have the opportunity to safely bridge the gap between midwifery theory and clinical practice.

Preceptor-Student Dyad

The Preceptor-Student dyad is an important relationship that facilitates the student’s progression toward clinical learning outcomes. To be successful, this relationship must be founded in mutual trust and respect, clear expectations, open communication, and real commitment. To achieve the best possible learning outcomes, clear definitions of each person’s roles and responsibilities must be established. Open and ongoing communication between the student and the preceptor is critical to the success of the relationship and the learning experience. The preceptor’s first responsibility is to the client, then to the student. Midwifery students are responsible for their own learning and actions.


Pregnancy, also known as gravidity or gestation, is the time during which one or more offspring develops inside a birthing body. A multiple pregnancy involves more than one offspring, such as with twins. Pregnancy can occur by sexual intercourse or assisted reproductive technology. It usually lasts around 40 weeks from the last menstrual period (LMP) and ends in childbirth. This is just over 9 lunar months, where each month is about 29½ days. When measured from conception it is about 38 weeks. An embryo is the developing offspring during the first 8 weeks following conception, after which, the term fetus is used until birth. Symptoms of early pregnancy may include a missed periods, tender breasts, nausea and vomiting, hunger, and frequent urination. Pregnancy may be confirmed with a pregnancy test.

Pregnancy is typically divided into three trimesters. The first trimester is from week one through twelve and includes conception. Conception is followed by the fertilized egg traveling down the fallopian tube and attaching to the inside of the uterus, where it begins to form the fetus and placenta. The first trimester carries the highest risk of miscarriage (natural death of embryo or fetus). The second trimester is from week 13 through 28. Around the middle of the second trimester, movement of the fetus may be felt. The third trimester is from 29 weeks through 40 weeks.

Prenatal Care

Prenatal care is the health care a pregnant people receives during pregnancy. It also involves education and counseling about how to handle different aspects of your pregnancy. Prenatal Visits will include discussions, such as healthy eating and physical activity, any necessary screening tests, and what to expect during labor and delivery. Prenatal care improves pregnancy outcomes.

Primary Caregiver

A primary caregiver is a practitioner who may be the first point of entry to health services for pregnant people seeking pregnancy-related health care. As a primary caregiver, the midwife functions under her own responsibility. For each client, the midwife provides a continuum of midwifery services throughout pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period.

Registered Midwife

Some direct-entry midwives are state-licensed and in some states, national certification is optional. A midwife who holds a license but may or may not have attained the CPM credential are called licensed or registered midwives. They are legally allowed to practice without being a CPM or CM, as long as they are licensed or regulated by the state.

Skilled Birth Attendant

An accredited health professional – such as a midwife, doctor, or nurse – who has been educated and trained to proficiency in the skills needed to manage normal (uncomplicated) pregnancies, childbirth, and the immediate postnatal period, and in the identification, management, and referral of complications in pregnant people and newborns.


Socioeconomics (also known as socio-economics or social economics) is the field of study that examines social and economic factors to better understand how the combination of both influences something. Also known as the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general, it analyzes how societies progress, stagnate, or regress because of their local or regional economy, or the global economy.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)is a standardized test of English language ability for non-native speakers wishing to enroll in American universities. The test is accepted by many English-speaking academic and professional institutions. TOEFL is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being the IELTS.

TOEFL is a trademark of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), a private non-profit organization, which designs and administers the tests. ETS issues official score reports, sent independently to institutions, for two years following the test.

Therapeutic Relationship

The relationship established and maintained between a person requiring or receiving care and a nurse or midwife through the use of professional knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to provide nursing or midwifery care expected to contribute to the person’s health outcomes.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) originated in ancient China and has evolved over thousands of years. TCM practitioners use herbal medicines and various mind and body practices, such as acupuncture and tai chi, to treat or prevent health problems. In the United States, childbearing people use TCM primarily as a complementary health approach.

Traditional Midwife

Traditional Midwives can also be called “lay midwives,” “community midwife,” “Granny midwives,” or “direct-entry midwives.” They practice in out-of-hospital settings like homes. There is no one method of becoming a traditional midwives but most pursue training as an apprentice with a practicing midwife. Most states and insurance companies do not recognize traditional midwives.

Vocational Education

Vocational education is education within vocational schools that prepares pregnant people for a specific trade. It directly develops expertise in techniques related to technology, skill and scientific technique to span all aspects of the trade.


Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery is fully accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council, a United States Department of Education recognized national accrediting agency.

Contact MEAC
850 Mt. Pleasant Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
ph (360) 466-2080 ext. 3
Office hours: T-Th, 8:00 am – 2:30 pm (CT)

Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery is licensed by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to operate as a private postsecondary school in the State of California. For more information, please call the Bureau (888) 370-7589.

The curriculum of Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery is approved by the Medical Board of California, the state regulatory agency for direct-entry midwifery.

Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery is an institutional member of the Association of Midwifery Educators and the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools.

Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery is not regulated in Texas under Chapter 132 of the Texas Education Code.

Contact Us

We’re excited to assist you as you take this important step. We welcome your questions and encourage you to contact us and a staff member will reply within 24 hours, Monday through Friday.

Nizhoni Office Hours: Thursday and Friday, 9 am – 5:30 pm.

3944 Murphy Canyon Road
Suite C-200
San Diego, CA 92123

(858) 694-8194


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For California Students: The Student Tuition Recovery Fund

The State of California established the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) to relieve or mitigate economic loss suffered by a student in an educational program at a qualifying institution, who is or was a California resident while enrolled, or was enrolled in a residency program, if the student enrolled in the institution, prepaid tuition, and suffered an economic loss. Unless relieved of the obligation to do so, you must pay the state-imposed assessment for the STRF, or it must be paid on your behalf, if you are a student in an educational program, who is a California resident, or are enrolled in a residency program, and prepay all or part of your tuition.

You are not eligible for protection from the STRF and you are not required to pay the STRF assessment, if you are not a California resident, or are not enrolled in a residency program.”

“It is important that you keep copies of your enrollment agreement, financial aid documents, receipts, or any other information that documents the amount paid to the school. Questions regarding the STRF may be directed to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, (916) 431-6959 or (888) 370-7589.

To be eligible for STRF, you must be a California resident or are enrolled in a residency program, prepaid tuition, paid or deemed to have paid the STRF assessment, and suffered an economic loss as a result of any of the following:

  1. The institution, a location of the institution, or an educational program offered by the institution was closed or discontinued, and you did not choose to participate in a teach-out plan approved by the Bureau or did not complete a chosen teach-out plan approved by the Bureau.
  2. You were enrolled at an institution or a location of the institution within the 120 day period before the closure of the institution or location of the institution, or were enrolled in an educational program within the 120 day period before the program was discontinued.
  3. You were enrolled at an institution or a location of the institution more than 120 days before the closure of the institution or location of the institution, in an educational program offered by the institution as to which the Bureau determined there was a significant decline in the quality or value of the program more than 120 days before closure.
  4. The institution has been ordered to pay a refund by the Bureau but has failed to do so.
  5. The institution has failed to pay or reimburse loan proceeds under a federal student loan program as required by law, or has failed to pay or reimburse proceeds received by the institution in excess of tuition and other costs.
  6. You have been awarded restitution, a refund, or other monetary award by an arbitrator or court, based on a violation of this chapter by an institution or representative of an institution, but have been unable to collect the award from the institution.
  7. You sought legal counsel that resulted in the cancellation of one or more of your student loans and have an invoice for services rendered and evidence of the cancellation of the student loan or loans.

To qualify for STRF reimbursement, the application must be received within four (4) years from the date of the action or event that made the student eligible for recovery from STRF.

A student whose loan is revived by a loan holder or debt collector after a period of non collection may, at any time, file a written application for recovery from STRF for the debt that would have otherwise been eligible for recovery. If it has been more than four (4) years since the action or event that made the student eligible, the student must have filed a written application for recovery within the original four (4) year period, unless the period has been extended by another act of law.

However, no claim can be paid to any student without a social security number or a taxpayer identification number.

Questions regarding the STRF may be directed to: the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, P. O. Box 980818, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818


PLEASE NOTE: Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery will be closing at the end of the 2022 school year, and will no longer be accepting applications. Aspiring Midwifery Students are encouraged to visit the MEAC website and view the list of currently accredited programs in the United States.

Its been a pleasure teaching all of our wonderful students over the years, and we wish you all the best on your midwifery journeys.
~ The Nizhoni Team