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Queer Indigenous Midwifery Education

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Hi Everyone,

I am writing to ask for support with the last phase of what has been a long Midwifery Education Journey for me. On April 24, 2023, I was having a pretty severe mental breakdown to the point where I felt like my body was about to go into paralysis. I got a call from my friend Maria Teresa @laceibamidwifery in the middle of the breakdown because she got an intuitive feeling to give me a call. In our conversation, I shared how overwhelmed and stressed I was feeling with all that I needed to do to complete this last phase of the licensing process. I shared with Maria that something I am moving through at the moment is recognizing the ways I have learned that I always have to work for or earn everything I have. This internalized notion that I need to figure things out on my own has deeply impacted my ability to ask for support, especially when things have been difficult in my life. Maria encouraged me to start a GoFundMe and reach out to the community. So here I am. Surrendering. Unlearning. Reaching out. Asking for your support. Sharing that I can't do it alone anymore because it is, at this point, impacting my health.

Venmo: BereniceDimas
CashApp: $BereniceDimas

About my midwifery journey:
I enrolled in Midwifery school in October 2020 and moved to San Diego, CA to start my clinical practice. At the time, I did a very small fundraiser to help me get some of the supplies I needed to start my clinical experience and pay for my enrollment fees. Since then, I have moved three different times and have also changed midwifery schools three times trying to find the right learning environment for me. To say that this whole process has been difficult is an understatement. I know that there are not enough licensed midwives that look like me in the field. I know that my story is far too common for BIPOC and Queer midwives. Our dropout and NARM passing rates are alarming but even more alarming is all the data (and stories) of folks in our community experiencing injustice in birth settings which is why I am deeply committed to midwifery.

Currently, I am in the final "primary" phase of this process that is requiring me to move one last time so I can be close to the birth center where I will complete my clinical experience. I've had to manage a lot and work full-time to pay for school all while attending births and supporting a clinical practice through my preceptorship. I want to immerse myself in this last phase so I can finish all my requirements and study for the NARM exam.

Unfortunately, there is very little financial support for midwifery education and the LM/CPM lisencing process.

Your contributions will help cover:
1. Midwifery School Tuition
2. Supplies that I need to complete my "primary" bag. This bag holds all the supplies needed to receive babies, tend to the birthing person, and tend to the baby immediately postpartum.
3. My basic needs while I finish all the clinical hours at the birth center this next year.
4. The application process to submit all my paperwork to take my CPM licensing exam with The North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) 

You can support by:
1. Donating
2. Amplifying my request for support by sharing the link with your networks/ fairy funders/ people wanting to support the education of midwives (specifically Queer & BIPOC midwives), and people with an abundant flow of money to share.
3. Sending over any scholarships available for queer indigenous midwifery students through my website

Venmo: BereniceDimas
CashApp: $BereniceDimas

Fun Facts about my work in the community:
1. I got a beautiful feature in the Los Angeles Times about the Herbal Education Project that I founded called Hood Herbalism + my Birthwork. You can read it here. You can learn more about my work in the community by visiting my website and IG @hoodherbalism. I recently published a piece in the Fall 2022 Journal of the American Herbalist Guild where I shared the journey that led me to start Hood Herbalism.
2. I'm a published writer and have written about plant and birth-related things in several books, magazines, and journals. You can get the list of my print features here

Thank you!

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Berenice Dimas
San Diego, CA

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