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What brought you to the Flathead Valley?
What didn’t bring me to the Flathead?! My husband grew up here, and we always talked about how–with all the lakes, rivers, and mountains–there isn’t a better place to raise a family. My father-in-law, Jack Lavin, was another draw. While in my nursing doctoral program, I did my final 8-week clinical rotation in Kalispell and having Dr. Lavin be a resource and mentor was such a blessing. The final piece was getting to work with Jana Sund during the rotation; she practiced exactly how I wanted to practice and she is just someone who is really easy to be around. When I learned that there was going to be an opening at Family Born, which is now Logan Health Midwives, there was no question where I was meant to be.

What’s your specialty of practice? 
My specialty in women’s health care is providing patient-centered, holistic, and evidence-based obstetric and women’s health care … basically my ‘magic’ power is being a midwife! I am a Certified Nurse Midwife or CNM, which means that I am a registered nurse that has an advanced degree in midwifery. Other types of midwives aren’t registered nurses and cannot prescribe medication. Being a CNM gives me the ability to be a midwife but also have the most tools at my disposal to independently care for women. Most CNMs practice in a hospital setting, which of course is where I practice. I see women for any type of well-woman, gynecologic or prenatal care in our midwifery clinic and then perform all of our deliveries at Logan Health Kalispell.

Historically, the word “midwife” means “to be with women” and that is what our promise is to women. We are committed to being with you through all the stages of your life. We want to know what makes you laugh, smile, and perhaps even cry, and use that knowledge to provide personalized, meaningful care throughout your lifespan.

What school did you graduate from?
I graduated from the University of Utah with a doctorate in midwifery. I’m also a proud graduate of Carroll College and Darby High School.

What is the best part of your job?
Delivering babies! I love being a part of bringing a child into the world. It is such an honor to be present at birth. To see the strength and love of women, what our bodies are capable of doing… it is just incredible. Every birth is unique and has its own story. I’m so grateful that my career allows me to be a part of those stories.

What are some of your professional interests?
While I love delivering babies, I also love helping women take control of their reproductive life! I find joy in helping women learn about their bodies, providing access to reliable birth control, and making sure that pap smears, while never anyone’s favorite thing, are not some traumatic event that women dread.

Do you work alone or in a team during labor?
Labor is truly a team effort in terms of supporting the mother. Ideally, in a normal healthy labor, there are two of us caring for the mother: the midwife and a nurse. We are fortunate at Logan Health to have some of the most incredible nurses I’ve ever met. Of course, there is also the mother’s partner and/or other family members that are part of the team. When something complicates labor, the medical team can quickly grow to include an OB/GYN as well as a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor. Sometimes staff from the NICU join the effort. You never want those situations to happen, but one of the reasons why I choose to practice in a hospital setting is so if an emergency happens, I’m still part of the expanded team that provides the care needed to do what’s best for mom and baby.

What is your #1 tip for new moms?
My number one tip for new moms is remembering that you are exactly what your baby needs … you are enough, just as you are. Despite the steep learning curve that is motherhood, always remember that you are what is most important to your baby. It does not matter if the swaddle is just right or the house is a complete mess, what matters is that your baby is loved and cared for by you, the mother! You are not alone navigating your new identity as a mother. There is a sisterhood of millions of other women discovering the highs and lows of motherhood, just like you. Regardless of how good the highs are or how bad the lows are, know that all your baby needs is your strength, your love…you.

What do you like to do in your free time?
There’s nothing better than sipping coffee. Well, maybe reading a good book and sipping coffee. When I’m not at our clinic or the hospital, you can often find me at Ceres Bakery or Montana Coffee Traders. Or in line at Copper Mountain Coffee. I also love to spend my free time rafting and camping with my family, watching movies, and traveling.