The Pacific Northwest! If I had to narrow it down to one city, I'd say Portland, Oregon.
I live in Saint Paul with my husband Andrew and our two cats,
Member of Health Foundations Team since:
Please explain your role at Health Foundations:
I work at Health Foundations as a certified nurse-midwife. In addition to attending births, I see women at the clinic for prenatal visits, postpartum visits, and well-woman visits. Well-woman visits can range from annual exams to birth control visits like having an IUD inserted. I really enjoy being able to see women for preconception counseling before they ever become pregnant and then being able to continue seeing our moms for their health care needs long after their babies are born. I love being a resource for women in understanding their bodies and partnering with women to take ownership of their health throughout their lives.
What is your educational background and training?
I graduated summa cum laude with my bachelor of science degree in nursing from Bethel University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. After serving families through the transition of their loved ones passing away naturally at home as a hospice nurse, I decided to continue on to graduate school. I studied nurse-midwifery at Vanderbilt University, where I received the faculty choice award for most outstanding student. I was able to focus on the birth center model of care for my final clinical experience, which gave me a real love for promoting pregnancy and birth as natural processes. Following graduation I attended home and birth center births in Seattle, Washington, and then I moved back to Minnesota to help launch Bethel University's nurse-midwifery program. I am currently full-time nurse-midwifery faculty at Bethel University and practice midwifery part-time as part of the Health Foundations team.
Tell us a little about your own birth:
My favorite details are that my mom cried and that I knew my dad's voice instantly. :)
What is one of your favorite things to do when you are not at Health Foundations?
It's hard to pick just one! I most love hiking with my husband, gardening, and cooking. I'm constantly picking up new hobbies (currently thinking spinning is next!). Knitting and crocheting have been staples all my life, and I also enjoy upcycling, furniture, and painting.
If you could get on a plane tomorrow and travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Oh my list is so long! I recently checked New Zealand off my list, and it did not disappoint! I'd love to backpack Italy - perhaps that's next.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation. It would fuel my love for travel while ensuring I never miss a birth!
What inspired you to get into your field?
In nursing school, I remember most loving to work with moms and empowering them to care for their families though at the time I wasn't sure how this would unfold in my career. Then one summer I had the opportunity to work in a rural hospital in Indonesia and again found myself drawn to mothers. Working alongside a midwife, I had my first real exposure to natural birth - witnessing newborns crossing the threshold and mothers feeling empowered was so moving! I was drawn to midwifery by the amount of time available to build relationships throughout their pregnancies and by the incredible experience that is birth.
What do you love about Health Foundations and what is your favorite part of your job?
I love that Health Foundations has such a holistic view of health. As a clinician, I feel the freedom and support to explore and recommend healing modalities across the spectrum - from acupuncture to herbs to antibiotics. :) As for my favorite part of my job, it's basically impossible to top birth! Being present and welcomed into such sacred space is continually an honor.
What is your philosophy on birth?
I have the deepest respect for birth as a sacred and empowering event. It's a normal, natural process that brings forth not only babies but families. As the gateway for this transition affecting so many lives, I believe giving presence, compassion, and support with reassurance are what families most need.
What advice or wisdom can you share with pregnancy or new mama readers? Pregnancy, birth, and parenting come with so much advice! It really can be overwhelming. My advice is to listen to everyone's advice, and let whatever doesn't naturally resonate with you and your family simply roll off your shoulders. Trust yourself. :)
I'd love love love to work with you too, so please set up a free consultation and learn more!