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Offering licensed and professional maternity care to Wallowa and Union Counties in Northeastern Oregon.

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What is Midwifery?

Midwifery is a medical profession specializing in pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, newborn care, and women's sexual and reproductive health. Traditionally, midwives offer skilled services and treatment to women from puberty through menopause. This is still how midwifery is practiced in most of the world. In this country, midwives provide maternity care in the childbearing year. Like most medical professions, there are many colleges that train midwives and there are rigorous apprenticeships, tests, licensure, peer review and continuing education requirements. 


The Midwifery Model of Care is based on the belief that pregnancy and birth are a natural life process that can occur at home and does not require hospitalization. Midwives work with low risk pregnant families to offer personalized care that builds trust, is centered on safety, evidence based results and values informed choice and autonomy. Midwifery offers individualized in depth counseling, education and continuity of care, which builds trust and improves personal experience and safety outcomes.     


Midwives are trained to stabilize emergency situations. These are rare because with proper prenatal care and labor management most complications can be predicted ahead of time and are handled so that they do not become emergencies. Licensed midwives are certified in neonatal and adult CPR and carry oxygen, IV equipment, antibiotics for GBS+ mothers, anti-hemorrhagic medications, neonatal resuscitation equipment, warming trays, suctioning devices and suturing supplies. 

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About Nora Hawkins CPM, LDM, IBCLC

I grew up in Wallowa on a cattle and timber ranch, I moved to Portland in grade school and continued to spend my summers and holidays and some of high school in Wallowa. I have been interested in being a midwife since childhood. It wasn't until after I had started attending births and training to be a midwife that my dad told me that my great grandmother was one of the few midwives in Wallowa County in the early 1900s, traveling to births on horseback and bartering births for farm equipment some of which we still have!   


After receiving a BA from Smith College in Massachusetts in 2004, I returned to Eastern Oregon to take an active role in my family ranch. Over the years I volunteered as an EMT, became a member of Search and Rescue, was a brewer at a local brewery and worked primarily as a wrangler and guide into the mountains. Knowing that my life would be tied to my community once I was ready to work as a midwife, I spent part of those years volunteering, working and traveling abroad to all seven continents. 


I started attending births in 2005 as a doula. In 2016 I graduated from Birthingway College of Midwifery with a Bachelor of Science in Midwifery. My college training included years of coursework, as well as two years interning at two high volume birth centers in the Portland area. After graduating, I took the national exam to became a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and received licensure as a Direct Entry Midwife (LDM) from the state of Oregon. I have attended home and birth center births that have included both VBAC and breech births. 


I believe that all families should have access to trained professional birth workers and have a choice of where and how they want to birth their babies. I value that love is what makes a family and I support and am happy to serve families of all races, religions, sexual orientations and non-traditional birth partners.


In addition to being a midwife I am also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) offering lactation support and services. Please see "Services" page for more information about Lactation care.