I’m Lauren, the Yakima-based midwife with Sky Valley and The Birth House. What a tremendous gift it is to be part of the Sky Valley team and connect with families in Eastern Washington.
I am a Vermont-to-Washington transplant. The rural mountains of Vermont are my favorite place in the world, but Washington now feels like my home. I'm hoping I brought all my best Vermont-isms to Washington with me! I have been attending births since 2015 and worked in private practice for 3 years serving homebirth families in rural Vermont before joining Sky Valley in April of 2023.
What brought me to midwifery and out-of-hospital birth was, frankly, a frustration and angst around medical experiences that did not make people feel heard, safe, or important. With time, these feelings have evolved into a fierce drive to create a different kind of space for people to exist in during some of the most intense, vulnerable, defining, powerful and natural experiences of life on earth. Pregnancy, birth, and the tender whirl of postpartum CAN be different than what we have been told or what we have seen and experienced. I want to hold a safe and slow-paced space for families to laugh, ask questions, learn, feel, and lead during their pregnancies and postpartum. We know that this care changes the way parents experience pregnancy and postpartum, and contributes to healthier babies and communities.
I have also worked in social work and early intervention and honor that people bring to birth and postpartum a range of formative experiences, from childhood and adult life. No matter what those are, it is the most important part of my job to make sure clients feel safe and respected during care.
My care is based in trauma-informed, inclusive, evidence-based practice--creating a space where clients in recovery and trauma survivors can access out-of-hospital birth is very important to me. Being deep and thorough with informed choice information is one way I do this. I value the role hospital-based providers play in supporting out-of-hospital birth and work collaboratively with doctors and nurses, so that when clients need a higher level of care, it can be accessed quickly and easily. I am a member of the Washington and Vermont Midwives Associations, Northern Vermont Homebirth Providers Collaboration, Northern New England Perinatal Quality Improvement Network, and an Evidence-Based Birth Professional Member.
When I am not visiting with families or attending births, I absorb as much research on up-to-date medicine as I can--I love to read and learn. You’ll also find me growing plants, dreaming up new house and garden projects, making herbal remedies, continuously doing dishes and laundry, writing strongly-worded letters advocating for midwifery care to our legislators, and hiking in the mountains. My favorite outside-of-work pastime at this point in my life is laying in bed with a cat in my lap, sipping coffee, and doing absolutely nothing, when I rarely get the chance to. 😉