What my midwife mentor taught me

My best tools are my hands.
— Janet Dirmeyer

Janet Dirmeyer had been practicing for over 30 years when I started my clinical placement with her. She served on the Texas Board of Midwives and required her students to attend meetings. Here are the three most important things I learned from her:

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How to balance work and play

  1. Enjoy life. Janet Dirmeyer loved the beach. She would go down every chance she had. She showed me how to enjoy life and lighten up in the midst of busy midwife life and being on-call.

  2. If you aren’t going forward in your profession, you are going backwards. If you don’t get involved in the rules and legislation, somebody else is going to do it for you and you won’t have a say. There are things I learned sitting in those meetings that are burned in my mind and changed who I am.

  3. Midwifery pure and simple. My first home birth attended with Janet was for a 10th baby. She had a lot of clients from a variety of backgrounds and a lot of them had many children. Janet Dirmeyer showed me how simply a midwife could practice, without fancy technology, electronic charting, or bags and bags of equipment. Her best tools were her hands she said.