Black Student Midwife: Sumayyah Franklin


Who are you and why midwifery?
My Name is Sumayyah Franklin and I am a midwife. I did not choose to be a midwife, it chose me. From a young age life has prepared me to serve in this capacity. I come from a lineage of healers and I firmly believe that this is something one is called to do, not taught or chooses. 

What structural and institutional barriers have you encountered that has made your student CPM journey difficult?

It took me a while to enroll in to an institutionalized school. I intentionally unschooled and home schooled in a traditional apprenticeship for the first couple of years. The school i eventually chose to attend did not take financial aid nor payment plans. Therefore i needed to have the full payment in one lump sum which was a challenge for me. I eventually received a private loan from a midwifery organization that then a random white midwife paid off for me. Besides that my path has been smooth and easy. 

How long have you been a student midwife?

When are we ever not a student of midwifery? However, i am entering my 6th year. 

Has it been difficult finding a preceptor? If so, why?

It took me about 6 months to manifest my preceptor. After asking all the midwives i knew and being told they did not have capacity at that moment. I decided to reach out to midwives i did not have a personal relationship with. Before dong so i wrote out all the things i would love in a preceptor. I then met my current preceptor and dear friend 1 month later. It was truly love at first sight!

How do you feel about the recent NARM changes?
I feel like it is dangerous and oppressive to not include us at the table where these decisions are being made. Coincidentally, our well being will not be considered at best and be detrimental at worst. 

What can people who are reading this do to support you?

People can support my fellow student midwives not only get into school but also keep them afloat as they study. 

Anything else you would like to add?