Course Information


It is with deep appreciation that I welcome each and every new student to Via Vita. The goal of Via Vita is to provide the highest quality education at an affordable price to guide you through the process of becoming a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM).

Becoming a midwife is a journey. You are about to embark upon one of the most fulfilling, life-changing, and challenging of careers. For most, becoming a midwife is a “calling.” It is a deep yearning to help women and families at one of the most sacred moments of life. To be the guide for women in childbirth is a privilege. It is my desire to assist you with your academic education, you the future midwives for our grandchildren. Your success is of paramount importance.

Please find enclosed the course outline, course instructions, resource list and student contract. Please document and sign the student contract (sent separately) and return the entire file via email by changing the name to include your initials. (Example: contractSE)

I am available to answer your questions and assist you with your coursework every step of the way.

Here to assist you in your journey,

Darlene Dorries Scrivner


UNIT I – Midwifery

  • Module 1: History of Midwifery
  • Module 2: Study of Midwifery
  • Module 3: Ethics
  • Module 4: Laws, Regulations and Consumers
  • Module 5: Protocols
  • Module 6: Community Health Issues
  • Module 7: Business & Professional Communications
  • Module 8: Cultural Competence for Health Care Providers

UNIT II – Antepartum

  • Module 9: Basic Skills
  • Module 10: Basic Reproductive Anatomy & Terminology
  • Module 11: Basic Embryology & Fetal Development
  • Module 12: Early Pregnancy
  • Module 13: Pregnancy Changes
  • Module 14: Prenatal Tests and Genetic Screening
  • Module 15: Risk Screening
  • Module 16: Counseling & Psycho-Social Issues
  • Module 17: Pharmacology A
  • Module 18: Nutrition & Prenatal Care
  • Module 19: Homeopathy for the Childbearing Year
  • Module 20: Antepartum Skills

UNIT III – Antepartum Complications

  • Module 21: Antepartum Complications
  • Module 22: Antepartum Complications Skills

UNIT IV – Intrapartum

  • Module 23: First Stage of Labor & Management
  • Module 24: Normal Labor & Pain Management
  • Module 25: Herbology & Alternative Therapies in Labor
  • Module 26: Intrapartum Skills

UNIT V – Intrapartum Complications

  • Module 27: Labor Complications
  • Module 28: Pharmacology B
  • Module 29: Labor Complications Skills

UNIT VI – Birth

  • Module 30: Second & Third Stage of Labor
  • Module 31: Birth Skills

UNIT VII – Birth Complications

  • Module 32: Birth Complications
  • Module 33: Birth Complications Skills

UNIT VIII – Postpartum

  • Module 34: Fourth Stage of Labor & Postpartum Care
  • Module 35: Observational Skills & Charting Postpartum
  • Module 36: Postpartum Skills

UNIT IX – Postpartum Complications

  • Module 37: Postpartum Complications
  • Module 38: Hemorrhage & Related Complications
  • Module 39: Diagnostic Lab Tests and Procedures
  • Module 40: Pharmacology C
  • Module 41: Postpartum Complications Skills

UNIT X – Newborn

  • Module 42: Observational Skills & Charting
  • Module 43: Provision of Care of the Newborn
  • Module 44: Newborn Care & Breastfeeding
  • Module 45: Newborn Diagnostic Lab Tests
  • Module 46: Newborn Skills

UNIT XI – Newborn Complications

  • Module 47: Newborn Complications
  • Module 48: Neonatal Resuscitation
  • Module 49: Newborn Complications Skills

UNIT XII – Advanced Skills

  • Module 50: Advanced Skills

UNIT XIII – Well Woman Reproductive Health Care

  • Module 51: Family Planning
  • Module 52: Well Woman Care
  • Module 53: Well Woman Risk Screening
  • Module 54: Pharmacology D
  • Module 55: Diagnostic Lab Tests & Procedures

Course Instructions

The VIA VITA Midwifery Foundation is designed as a self-paced at-distance midwifery curriculum that can be done on one’s own (with the exception of skills).

It is your responsibility to find an experienced, qualified practitioner (midwife or preceptor) to apprentice with to learn the Art and Science of midwifery and to obtain the necessary hands-on clinical experiences. In order to complete the program, skills must be verified by an approved preceptor. One can have several preceptors but they must be an expert in the skill subject you are being tested. A preceptor can be a licensed midwife, CPM, CNM, or MD with out-of-hospital birth experience. An RN, EMT III or paramedic can serve as preceptor for skills such as BP, Shock, etc. The student must find an “approved preceptor” to oversee the apprentice and teach her midwifery skills. For more information, please review preceptor requirements on the NARM website at

The program consists of 55 modules. Within many modules are vocabulary words, book review requirements and/or research subjects. All papers you will be writing should be typed and in essay form. Each page must be numbered. Each question must include the names of textbooks with the page numbers from which you obtained your information. All research papers, reports and essays must include information sources. The same applies for website information. Please list your name, the date and the module number on each assignment. When completed, a copy of each module must be presented to VIA VITA for review and feed-back. Change the file name to include your name or initials before returning your work.

It is not mandatory that each module be done in order, although exams can only be issued in numeric order after having completed all the modules covered in the exam.*
You will be making a file of 3×5 cards with a vocabulary word/definition/term/ acronym on one side and the definition on the opposite side. These will be used for your study, so definitions should be thorough and in words you can understand. If necessary, write out difficult-to-pronounce words phonetically.

The book reviews and essays are to expose you to a wide range of ideas and the background of the childbirth reform movement. Book reviews should be 2 – 3 pages long, double spaced, detailing the contents of the book, your opinion of its strong points and weaknesses, and how you found it helpful. Essays are generally 1-2 pages in length, but should be double spaced and have an introduction, body and conclusion. Books used should be listed at the end of the essay. Your grammar and writing skills are reviewed on reports, reviews, and essays in addition to the content. Please note: All assignments must have your name on it and be dated.

Several topics of study herein may not be allowed in the state you reside. If a skill is not allowed (i.e. IV antibiotics or well-woman care), the skill may be waived but the subject matter should be studied. You are encouraged to complete the modules in their entirety, regardless of state requirements, for the sake of education in the matter.

Return all modules, essays, book reviews, quizzes and exams to Via Vita at:

Every skill in all the skills modules must be initialed and dated by the preceptor. A copy of the signed pages must be returned to VIA VITA for verification of completion. The student must take responsibility for assuring the signed pages are copied and sent to Via Vita.

Quizzes are to be completed open or closed book. You will correct your quiz by looking up the answers. Be sure to write down the sources for your answers i.e., book title, edition, and page number(s) if applicable. You can then use the quizzes to study for the final exams.

A total of three exams will be issued; the first should be requested after completion of module 21, the second at the completion of module 40, and the third after completing the coursework or module 55.

Return exams as before, by changing the name of the file to include your initials. The exams are either “complete” or “incomplete”. You will receive feedback on questions missed but will not be issued a grade.

*To qualify for each exam, complete the following:
1. Modules 1 through 22 (including skills modules signed, dated and submitted to school)
Book Reviews, Essays, Drawing Exercises (for the above modules)
Quizzes: Units I-IV
Once completed, you qualify for the first exam.

2. Modules 23-33 (including skills modules skills modules signed, dated and submitted to school). Book Reviews, Essays, Drawing Exercises (for the above modules)
Quizzes: Units V-VIII
Once completed, you qualify for the second exam.

3. Modules 34-55 (including skills modules signed, dated and submitted to
Drawing Exercises
Quizzes: Units IX-XIV
Once completed, you qualify for the final exam.

Once the program has been successfully completed and reviewed by Via Vita, including all skills modules returned dated and initialed (having been tested with an approved preceptor), and once all exams have been completed, you will receive a Certificate of Completion (diploma).

Please note:

The Birthsong Midwifery Workbook can be ordered from:

The program was revised in 2007 by Sharon Evans. Should you find redundancies or discrepancies, please contact Via Vita administration with the information. Revision included rearranging the existing course and attempting to eliminate redundancies. As a result, some of the later modules are very short, with fewer than 5 questions. There have been three subject additions: Cultural Competence, Herbology and Homeopathy.

In January, 2010 exams were revised to be issued open-book. Module 21 (Antepartum Complications) was revised and a new text is required for its completion: Birth Emergency Skills Training by Bonnie U. Gruenberg. It can be purchased online at:

In June, 2012 a new module 8 was added in compliance with NARM requirements: Cultural Competence for Health Care Providers. The textbook required for this module is Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness, Rachel E. Spector, 8th. edition.

Reference List

Your three main texts book for this course include:

Myles Textbook for Midwives, Myles,Margaret, 16th edition, Elsevier, 2014
Mayes’ Midwifery, MacDonald, Magill-Cuerden, 14th edition, 2012
Varney’s Midwifery, King, Brucker, Kriebs, 5th edition, 2014

Additional Reference List

Davis, Elizabeth. Heart and Hands: A Midwife’s Guide to Pregnancy and birth, 5th. edition, Celestial Arts, 2012

Frye, Anne. Holistic Midwifery: A Comprehensive Textbook for Midwives and Home Birth Practice, Vol.1, Care During Pregnancy, Labrys Press, revised 2010

Frye, Anne. Holistic Midwifery: A Comprehensive Textbook for Midwives and Home Birth Practice, Vol.II, Care During Labor and Birth, Labrys Press, 2004

Frye, Anne. Understanding Diagnostic Tests in the Childbearing Year, 7th edition, Labrys Press 2007

Gaskin, Ina May. Spiritual Midwifery, 4th edition, The Book Publishing Company, 2002

Page, Lesley Ann. The New Midwifery, Churchill Livingstone, 2006 Simpkin & Ancheta.

Labor Progress Handbook, Blackwell, 2005

Sinclair, Constance. A Midwife’s Handbook, Blackwell, 2003

Singingtree, Daphne. Birthsong Midwifery Workbook, 6th edition, Eagletree Press, April 28, 2010

Spector, Rachel E. Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness, 8th. edition, Pearson Education,

Terk, Natasha. Professional Writing Skills, A Write It Well Guide, 3rd. edition, Write It Well,

Tritten, Jan, et all. Paths to Becoming a Midwife: Getting an Education, 4th edition, Midwifery Today, 201

Coad, Jane. Anatomy & Physiology for Midwives, 3rd. edition, Mosby, 2011

Foster, Illysa R. and Jon Lasser, Professional Ethics in Midwifery Practice, 2011, Jones & Bartlett Publishers

Frye, Anne. Healing Passage, 6th edition, Labrys Press,

Goer, Henci. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Birth, Penguin Putnam, 1999

Gruenberg, Bonnie U. Birth Emergency Skills Training, Manual for Out-ofHospital Midwives, Birth Guru Publications, 2008

Hall, Jennifer. Midwifery Mind and Spirit, Elsevier, 2001

Johnson & Taylor, Skills for Midwifery Practice, Churchill & Livingston, 2010

La Leche League, International. The Breastfeeding Answer Book. Mohrbacker and Stock, 2003

Renfrew, Fisher, Arms. Breastfeeding: Getting Breastfeeding Right, 2nd edition, Celestial Arts, 2004

Wickham, Sarah. Midwifery, Best Practice, Eisevier, 2003

Tabor’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, a resource for terminology

NOTE: Additional book references for specific modules are listed within the module. It is optional whether the books are purchased or borrowed.

Be sure to check out google books for specifics about your references (down to the page number), which is a valuable resource.

Recommendations on collecting textbooks:

To start, you should have the following for module 1:

*Birthsong Midwifery Workbook by Daphne Singingtree
*Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born, Tina Cassidy, Grove Press, 2006.
* Lying In: A History of Childbirth in America, Richard W. Wertz & Dorothy C. Wertz, Yale University Press, 1989.
*Witches, Midwives & Nurses by Ehrenreich/English *Midwifery: Community-based Practice by Walsh

Be sure to check out google books for specifics about your references (down to the page number), which is a valuable resource.

Module 2 book reviews are:
a. Birth as an American Rite of Passage by Robbie Davis Floyd
b. A Midwife’s Tale by Ulrich

By Module 3
Myles Textbook for Midwives, 16th. ed.
Mayes Midwifery, 14th ed
Varney’s Midwifery, 5th ed.
Professional Ethics in Midwifery Practice, 2011, Jones & Bartlett Publishers
Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine, Steinbock
Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realities (optional book review but recommended)

Module 4 book review:

*Brought to Bed: Childbearing in America by Judith Leavitt

Module 6 book review:

Motherwit: An Alabama Midwife’s Story by O.L. Logan

Module 7:

Professional Writing Skills: A Write It Well Guide by Natasha Terk, 2010

Module 8:

Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness

Module 9:

Practical Skills Guide for Midwifery, by Pam Weaver and Sharon K. Evans, 5th edition, 2012

Module 11:

Clinical Embryology, A Color Atlas and Text

After module 9 you should have all the reference texts that are required.

For Herbology:
Any Herbology book for pregnancy.

For Homeopathy:
Any Materica Medica or other Homeopathy books for pregnancy. Refer to the internet or Cascade Healthcare Products book catalog.

The program includes 55 Modules (lesson plans) within 13 Units and quizzes. Copies of completed assignments must be sent to Via Vita for assessment.

If you are starting this course prior to finding a preceptor (licensed midwife), you are taking responsibility for securing an apprenticeship. This
course alone does not fulfill the requirements for becoming a midwife.

Therefore it is recommended that the student make arrangements for an apprenticeship within a year of starting the coursework.
Several of the modules are skills modules, intended for your preceptor to document your having mastered those skills. A copy of the skills modules must be returned to Via Vita with the initials of the preceptor and approximate date of mastery for each skill listed. If you are not in an active apprenticeship, set aside the skills modules until you are apprenticing with an approved preceptor.

Students are required to join the Via Vita Yahoo Group when invited, after enrollment. Quizzes and a growing number of “help” files are located in the Yahoo Group files. All quizzes must be completed and returned as part of the requirements of course completion. They can be done open book, but it is recommended that you test yourself by trying to answer without looking. All quizzes can be used as a study guide for your licensing or NARM written examination. It is permissible to retain a copy of the quizzes.

Three examinations are included in the cost of the program and are issued open-book via the internet after finishing the Antepartum Complications section, the Intrapartum Complications section and at the end of the course.

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