Kirsten Kowalski CNM WNHP

Kirsten Kowalksi

Born into this world 1/15/71,
Passed from her body 6/26/23

 

"From one to two. Birth produces two people. The first, a flailing soul struggles to take in a new world, a new way of being as it draws breath against the unknown. The second, a baby." -BUMMI LADITAN

I became interested in midwifery while attending graduate school for public policy in 1999.  While in graduate school, I experienced both my first pregnancy which ended in a miscarriage followed by my second pregnancy and the birth of my son. My birth and the care provided to me by nurse-midwives was so transformative that it forever changed my ways of thinking about what healthcare could look like – equitable, human-centered, evidence-informed, and respectful for all. I chose to give birth to my daughter at home with midwives two years later and was so affected by the wholeness of their care that I answered the call to pursue a career in midwifery.

AS A MIDWIFE I...

My love for midwifery comes from a place of endless delight in the strength of mothers and birthing people and the belief that excellence in maternity and reproductive healthcare is critical to public health. I continue to be fascinated by both the exquisite and the everyday journeys of the people who choose my care whether it be to grow a family or to receive kind, gentle and informed care, their fertility journey, or gynecological needs. My training as a birth professional initially began as a doula. After years of training and apprenticeship, I became a homebirth midwife, serving hundreds of families in western Massachusetts for nearly a decade. To serve a broader population, I returned to school and obtained my CNM/WHNP from Yale University.

My desire to bring a birth center to my community came from the realization that many families who wanted an out-of-hospital birth either did not have the financial resources for a homebirth or they did not feel comfortable in the home setting. Birth centers and insurance coverage represented a solution to both problems. In 2015, I attended a midwifery conference and was told that a midwife would never succeed in opening a free-standing birth center to Massachusetts – too many rules, too dominated by the medical establishment, and insurance would never contract with independent nurse midwives.

Those words left me beyond inspired to prove them wrong and in August of 2020, Seven Sisters Midwifery and Community Birth Center opened its doors and within a year we were taking most major insurers and had secured a contract with MassHealth to take public insurance. Today we are contracted with nearly every major insurer in the state and making community birth a viable option for most families.

A bit more about me...

When not working, I live in Amherst with my husband Jon (who you might see at the birth center assisting with financial matters), my college-aged kids, Grace and Will, who come and go from our home, and our menagerie of cats and dogs. I love planning celebrations with family and friends, spending time near the ocean, writing, gardening, swimming, baking and singing (especially in the car on the way to a birth at 2am!).

OUR MIDWIFE TEAM ALSO INCLUDES:

Kelly Ostrowski CNM

Kelly Ostrowski, CNM

Danielle Warneau CNM WNHP

Danielle Warneau, CNM, WNHP

Ginny Miller CNM

Ginny Miller CNM