Thursday, August 27, 2009

3 Ways to Save Money as a Midwifery Student

Learning to be a midwife isn't easy, but it also isn't free. Whether you're doing PEP or a MEAC program, you have tuition, workshop fees, equipment and textbooks to buy. But, you can ease the pain, pinch your pennies here and there.

1. Go low-tech
Especially as a student, learn to use a stethoscope for labor FHR checks, rather than a doppler, or make your own baby scale sling (I've seen an awesome one--I'll see if I can duplicate it and post a pattern). See if you can barter for the things you need rather than paying top dollar for the machines that go ping. We're midwives, right? Let's act like it.

2. Get it used
Books are the obvious thing here--you can save hundreds of dollars on books shopping around online for used or discounted copies, but you'd be amazed the kinds of stuff you can find on Ebay. One word of caution, do your research before you buy! I've seen many "dopplers" for sale on Ebay that are not professional grade, or even very well built.

3. Get it free
Cheap is good, but free is better. Google books has several common textbooks are on "limited preview" which means you can read a few pages and search them online, totally free. And a few books (like Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth) are actually totally free to download.

Don't forget to use your local library. I mean, not just checking books and videos out (although definitely, don't miss that!) but really USE it. Ask your librarian about interlibrary loan. Some libraries even have access to research databases. For example, the Salt Lake County library system allows you access to EBSCO and several other databases, even from home! If you live near a college of university (or, bestill my heart, a medical school), find out if you can use their research facilities without checking materials out. They have periodical journals that will save you hundreds of dollars! Just bring some dimes for the copy machines.

If you have the type of family or friends who feel it's alright to "make a list" for your birthday or Christmas, you can ask for supplies or books as gifts--just be specific! Your aunt may not know the difference between Holistic Midwifery and Spiritual Midwifery.

What other ways have you found to trim the fat from your midwifery study expenses?

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