Birth is normal! The time-honored place of birth is the home. This is where birthing people and baby have the best opportunity for an organic birth process, which can be beneficial for both. It's where the laboring person is free to work through labor, without unrealistic time or bodily restraints. To allow the body to naturally release the hormones that are conducive to transcendence, which will enable the delivery of the baby. This environment will also allow your newly born baby the time and space it takes to transition unscathed and adjust to life outside of the womb. Therefore, it is reasonable for every low-risk person, who is so inclined, to attempt an out of hospital natural birth.
I offer individualized prenatal care for low-risk clients, with a holistic and humanistic approach that focuses on the whole person. A healthy pregnancy, that ultimately culminates in a home birth, requires a level of commitment and dedication on behalf of the client that is specific to the out-of-hospital setting. Though pregnant individuals are ultimately the ones who make this happen (since prenatal care is what happens between our visits: it's how we eat, sleep, move, think, feel, and take care of ourselves in our every day lives that is the most impactful), sometimes overall well-being be bolstered with small (or big) suggestions that can help optimize one's experience, helping alleviate or even bypass some of the common discomforts or issues that may arise in pregnancy. It is my goal to foster and encourage this inner knowledge and strength throughout pregnancy, during labor, and into new parenthood, whether it’s your first, second, or 5th baby.
My goal is to optimize maternal and child health and strengthen family bonds, and my desire is that all families have a healthy baby and a favorable birth experience. Childbirth is one of life's most significant events and childbirth is a family-centered event, the role of the midwife is to enhance, not usurp, the family's choices.
I view birth as a safe and natural process, honoring that every person's journey to parenthood is unique. It is my goal to safeguard the physical and emotional health of the parents and baby through individualized, evidence-based care.
Kristen Downer, CPM, LDM
I am a professional midwife dedicated to serving families in the Pacific Northwest. Over the last two decades, I have devoted my knowledge, experience, and practical understanding to helping to guide birthing people and their families during the prenatal, birth, and postpartum phase of their lives. I enjoy working closely with my clients and sharing the many different styles, techniques, and skills adapted while working alongside some of the most reputable midwives in Oregon. My immense understanding of childbirth and parenting allows me to find the most specialized approach for each one of my clients.
I am a lifelong advocate for human rights, and I obtained an advanced degree in Women's Studies from Northern Arizona University in 2004. As a DONA trained doula in Austin, Texas I founded Womb Service in 2007 and began leading childbirth classes and serving women during labor and birth, both in their homes, birth centers, and in the hospital settings. Womb Service Postpartum emerged in 2009 providing breastfeeding and postpartum support to Central Texas families. I began my midwifery studies with Madras Midwifery and was an active volunteer for GALS, Giving Austin Labor Support. I am a founding member of the Central Texas Doula Association. I am currently the owner of the Tiny Love Doula Training and Certification Program where I have certified over 1000 doulas and counting.
After relocating to Portland, Oregon in 2011 I began my apprenticeship at a busy waterbirth center. There I attended over 120 births as an assistant and as a primary midwife. I am a Certified Professional Midwife and Registered Preceptor through the North American Registry of Midwives, and a Licensed Direct-Entry Midwife in the state of Oregon. I am a proud member of the Oregon Midwifery Council, the Midwives Alliance of North America, and Oregon Coast Birth Professionals. I have 3 beautiful children and active family life.
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), North American Registry of Midwives
Registered Preceptor, North American Registry of Midwives
Licensed Direct-Entry Midwife (LDM) with the state of Oregon, Oregon Health Licensing Agency
Member of Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA)
Member of the Oregon Midwifery Council (OMC)
Certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, American Heart Association
Certified in Neonatal Resuscitation, American Academy of Pediatrics & American Heart Association
Bachelors of Science in Women's Studies from Northern Arizona University
Volunteer for the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon (SERV-OR)