Looking for midwives in SE Washington State

A reader sent me this via email:


I’ve been a reader of your blog and feministing for some time now. I always really enjoyed reading about doulas, midwives and reproductive rights, but it was in the abstract for me. I am currently pregnant(!) which changes alot for me.

Suddenly I am alot more passionate about these topics. Right now I am lined up with a doctor to give birth in our local hospital, but the more I read and the more I talk to other women I am convinced I want to give birth at home.

I am wondering if you knew any midwives in the SE corner of WA (I live in Walla Walla), and if not, if you knew the regulations on a homebirth not attended by a midwife. Can I even do that?
Thanks for your time and writing!

If you are (or know of) any midwives in the Southeastern part of Washington state, email me at radicaldoula@gmail.com and I will pass the information along to this reader! Or feel free to post in comments. Thanks!


42 thoughts on “Looking for midwives in SE Washington State

  1. Anne September 6, 2008 / 12:35 am

    I would have her check here: http://www.washingtonmidwives.org/
    homebirth midwives ARE legal in Washington State, but they are regulated. Because Walla Walla is so close to the Oregon border, she might want to consider giving birth in Oregon, as the laws are much looser, although I don’t know what her comfort level is with traveling to another state.

  2. Bonnie September 6, 2008 / 2:03 pm

    Anne, thanks for the info, I may have found a midwife, yay!
    The situation here is pretty bad, the midwife that I have an appointment with next week is retiring at the beginning of next year, she is trying to sell her practice but so far has not had any luck.
    The midwives listed on the website aren’t really up to date. Some of them are not practicing any more and some have moved.
    There really is a need here, so any midwives looking to move, this is a great place.
    After Fran (the midwife in Tri-Cities) retires there will only be one lay-midwife in the greater area, and she is quite swamped, and no nurse-midwives.
    I am not sure if it is because of the OB community or just because the area is not really well known.
    Being too far from Portland and Seattle (about 5 and 7 hours respectively) you cannot really contract out from either city.
    Thanks again!

  3. Kelli September 20, 2008 / 11:37 am

    have you looked into what used to be Columbia birth center (now Kids R Us and moms’ too)? Rebekkah does not do homebirths, but one of the attendants at my friend’s birth does. I know one other midwife in the area that does homebirths as well, but I can’t remember her name off-hand. I believe she works out of Blue heron (a homeopathic store).

    Anyway, I had my last baby at the birth center and it was a good experience. I am also planning a homebirth for my next baby, but haven’t started talking to midwives yet. I didn’t know Fran was retiring… that’s sad 😦

    Let me know if you want me to find the names of the other two that I have heard of.

  4. Anne September 22, 2008 / 11:02 pm

    Yay! I’m thrilled that you found a midwife! I empathize with the problem out there, I wish some of the Portland midwives would move East and fill the void!


  5. Jenn Amann September 28, 2008 / 2:56 pm

    I ran into this post when searching for direct-entry midwifes in the Walla Walla area, I am a student midwife who is looking to move up to WW in a year or so and am very happy to hear there is a need. My question is does anyone know a midwife who is willing to take on an apprentice starting summer – fall of 2009? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  6. Kristina October 6, 2008 / 5:06 pm

    Long-time reader of your site, but just now came across this…I’m a doula in SE Washington!

    Jenn – as far as I know, there are no midwives in Walla Walla, but I could be wrong about that.

    Kelli – Moms R Us and Kids 2 (formerly Columbia Birth Center) closed in July. 😦 Rebekah still practices, though in hospitals only now – at KGH and Lourdes. I too am very sad Fran is retiring and moving away. She’s been a great help to me getting my business off and running. Also she’s had me attend two homebirths, the experience of which I’m incredibly grateful.

    For anyone else looking for a midwife in SE Washington state:
    – Fran Wilson, CNM (was hospital/homebirth, now just homebirth; retiring in December 2008)
    – Julie Walker, CNM (at KGH – hospital births only and shares call with OBs only)
    – Rebekah Pierson, CNM (at KGH and Lourdes – hospital births only – not sure how her call schedule works)
    – Virginia (Ginger) Frasier, naturopathic doctor and licensed midwife. Homebirths only. She also has a CPM at the same practice that attends homebirths.
    – Sherry Dress – lay midwife out of Hermiston, OR (legal in Oregon)

    Choices are now much more limited, with only hospital/OB or very regulated CNM on one side, and CPM/lay midwife homebirth on the other, which makes me pretty sad. Any CNMs out there want to come out this way and start a practice? I think there’s enough demand…and a birth center in need of starting up again…

  7. Janet Bentley October 7, 2008 / 12:25 am

    I am a doula who lives out of walla walla in waitsburg. I know of a midwife who does home births and transports her own water tub. I would like to hook up with more doulas in this area, so maybe we could meet? Please feel free to email me anytime, then we could maybe make arrangements to meet.


    • Lanaya December 9, 2010 / 3:13 am

      If you still have the information about the midwife that does waterbirths can you please send me her information. I am due in early April of 2011 and would love to have a water birth.
      Thank you!!

  8. Theresa Rencken October 13, 2008 / 12:56 am

    Hi Janet,
    I am currently going through the certification process with DONA to become a Doula and I live in Milton Freewater, OR. If there are a network of Doula’s in Walla Walla I would love to make contact with you all. Please let me know.


  9. Kristin November 8, 2008 / 5:59 pm


    There is soon to be a new midwifery practice starting in Goldendale, WA! The two midwives will both be licensed in WA and have the certified professional midwife (CPM) credential. They are looking to start taking homebirth clients in January 2009. They plan on eventually starting a birth center in Goldendale that will compliment their homebirth practice.

    You can contact me at sunrisedoula@cableone.net for more info.


  10. crystal November 20, 2008 / 7:16 pm

    Hi there,
    I found this site looking for a birth center (water birth friendly) near Walla Walla. We are planning on making some babies and I am definitely interested in water births! Is this only available for home births? Any time frame for the Goldendale birth center to be up and running? Can we do anything to help it get started?

    Cant wait to be a mommy, Crystal

  11. crystal November 20, 2008 / 7:41 pm

    I found this place while researching water births in the Walla Walla area…The Birth Place, formerly BirthWise Alternative Birthing Service..http://amidwife.tripod.com/….anyone know of anyone who’s delivered there or worked with any of the ladies there??

    Curious, Crystal

  12. Rebecca Parker, CNM, FNP, certified nutritional therapist November 22, 2008 / 5:11 pm

    Greetings All!
    Rebecca Parker here- nurse midwife, Family Nurse Practitioner and certified nutritional practitioner. In Portland currently, but will very likely be relocating soon. Possibly December. It could be to your area- due to your need, and thanks to Kristina French, doula, who posted the need for a CNM with the local Portland ACNM chapter.
    I have assisted with home deliveries for decades- Indiana, Illinois, California, Texas ( with Sister Angela @ Holy Family Birth Center), Oregon and a few in Washington, as I am licensed in both WA and OR. Homebirths have always been my love. I use herbs, homeopathy, and a lot of nutritional counseling and have always had excellent results.
    I will know within the month which way I will be going. I am talking with 2 different doctors about working with them (Miami Beach or Medford, OR). They both have holistic pracitices where they treat autisitic children with a biomedical model- which uses lots of nutrition and detoxification work with the kiddos, and they get great results (DAN doctors). Pretty exciting.
    A birth center would be nice. Anyone out there interested in investing in one?
    Feel free to call me @ 503-819-3712 or email parkerre@teleport.com.
    Blessings to you all out there. I trust you will all find your way- naturally!

  13. Amy Osterman December 3, 2008 / 2:47 pm

    The Birth Place was Jannelle Wahlman and she has relocated to the East Coast. Ginger Frazier does home water births. She will travel to Walla Walla. Kathryn Austin, CNM works with the Walla Walla General Hospital and was previously a doula. That would make it a hospital birth, but Kathryn comes highly recommended if you need to go that route.

  14. Kelli December 17, 2008 / 12:14 am

    From my understanding, Moms R us and kids too did not close, they relocated. Their new facility (not positive if it’s open yet) is located between vista and HWY 395 in Kennewick. I have not been there since the move, but I thought they were still doing midwifery/births there… maybe I’m wrong though…

  15. Kristina January 6, 2009 / 4:58 pm

    I had called Moms R Us when I heard that they were closing…and yes, they did not actually close, but changed clinic locations with no (public) plans to open a birth center. They are doing hospital and home birth and family practitioner services only, although there are rumors that they may be interested in a birth center as part of their new location eventually. Hope this info helps…

  16. Brenda January 19, 2009 / 10:21 am

    Does anyone have Ginger Frazier’s contact information? I think she delivered my little sister. I am looking for someone in the walla walla area too, as I want at least a water birth, if i cant get a home birth. We really do need a midwife in Walla Walla!!

  17. Theresa Rencken January 29, 2009 / 3:27 pm

    Hi Brenda,
    I am a Doula in Walla Walla. As you have read above Kathryn Austin and Susan Collins are both Certified Nurse Midwives in Walla Walla, however both doing hospital births only–they practive with the Adventist Health (formerly Blue Mountain Medical Group), they would be worth contacting. Have you thought about a Doula being present as well to help support your birth? I would love an opportunity to visit with you more about your plans.

  18. Dawn February 27, 2009 / 2:07 pm

    Brenda, I can get you in touch with Ginger, if you haven’t yet. I am in a midwifery program for which she is one of the instructors/preceptors.

  19. Jennifer S. April 27, 2009 / 5:31 pm

    Hi everyone. I recently moved to Umatilla and I need a midwife!! I’ve had a midwife for all my pregnancies, but I can’t find one near me! Any ideas or help is soooo appreciated! Also, I don’t mind if it’s a home or hospital birth, I just want a natural approach with a relaxed atmosphere.

  20. Judi Hull, CD(DONA) May 13, 2010 / 1:08 pm

    Hi, I am a doula working in the Yakima Valley area, and may be moving to Walla Walla in the summer (my husband has been offered a job there). I wanted to let you know the experience I had with Lorri Carr, LM and Kristin Eggleston, LM CPM. This past winter I had a couple looking for a home-birth midwife and I got on-line and found these two ladies web-site. Told the couple to go interview them and see how they felt. So, they came back and told me they really liked Lorri’s calm nature and wanted to give it a go. So, not knowing these two ladies I watched carefully. There were some things that came up during the third stage of labor, and I was thrilled at how professional and confidently they worked – I will definitely recommend them again!

    • Lorri Carr, LM May 22, 2011 / 9:48 pm

      Judi, thank you! I really appreciate reading this, very nice of you to post. I hope to do more births with you soon!

  21. Kat September 27, 2010 / 2:46 pm

    I know this thread is old! But in case there is someone out there searching, I wanted to reply. I know there is still quite a shortage of midwives over in Eastern Oregon so I can drive over to La Grande & the surrounding area once a month for prenatals, as well as childbirth education classes for unassisted birthers. I’m a student midwife in Bend, doing Vicki Penwell’s Mercy in Action program out of Boise, so you folks in Eastern Oregon are right in between! I will attend homebirths as well, as long as the family is comfortable with the possibility of birthing solo due to the long drive. Best of Luck!

    407 873 9174

  22. Becky April 27, 2011 / 6:10 am

    Anyone have any new info on any midwives or doulas near Walla Walla? I’m 7 weeks and want to get started checking out my options. Sherry Lauer-Dress out of John Day seems to be my best option, in fact, she delivered me :). What an awesome cirle of life that would be! I have concerns about the distance though.
    The Birth Place website is still up, but from what I’ve heard, it’s not open anymore. I will be calling soon to find out for sure. I’d prefer to stay out of the hospital, but may not have much choice 😦 The only CNM’s here practice with WWGH and my ins will only cover SMMC and if I had to pick I’d want to be at SMMC. Ugh…. so frustrating trying to find any info about this topic!
    If anyone can help or has any info on this area, please email me.

    • Kendra May 29, 2011 / 5:23 pm


      I’ll e-mail you this information directly but just in case others are looking for up to date info on doulas and midwives, a great place to start is the Mid-Columbia Birth Network Members page: http://midcolumbiabirthnetwork.org/?page_id=7

      I know of at least 2 midwives that aren’t listed here but of course any of the midwives can tell you how to contact the others. Blessings in your search.

    • Jessie June 22, 2011 / 5:57 pm

      Becky, I’m in the same boat that you’re in. Insurance will only cover hospitals and I’d like to stay at home. Please let me know if you find a midwife in our area.


  23. pastormom October 12, 2011 / 12:00 am

    Does anyone know of a doula in Walla Walla? I’m due in Jan and would like to have a doula along with the midwife (better for my husband!). Thanks in advance

  24. Sherry Dress January 23, 2012 / 5:03 am

    I am a licensed and certified midwife serving the Wallawalla area! I currently am staying in town waiting for 3 more births this next week! I live in John Day Oregon but travel all over eastern Oregon and Washington to serve women and their families to have a wonderful and safe birth at home! I have waterbirth pools available if desired! I am also a homeopathic physician and help the whole family! If you are pregnant and want to have your baby at home please contact me on my cell 541 620-1372! I will be around all thru this week at least until jan 29 or so! I would be happy to meet you and answer any questions you might have about my services! You can go to my webpage sherrydress.com! My first visit is a free consultation so we can get to know each other! Looking forward to meeting you! Blessings!

  25. Sarah Cowart February 4, 2012 / 12:24 am

    Bless you for posting, Sherry! My family and I are relocating to Walla Walla next month and I want another home birth! I’ll be calling you soon!

    • Wende Schultz February 4, 2012 / 12:53 pm

      How funny, Sarah, that we ended up in the same place!! My first question when you emailed about your move was about your birth, so I came here.
      Love you,

      • Sarah Cowart February 4, 2012 / 11:59 pm

        LOL, Mom! What a small world the internet can be! Fancy meeting you here on Racidal Doula’s site. 🙂

    • zentattooedmama April 10, 2012 / 6:25 pm

      Hello sarah!
      Were you able to find a midwife? If not I have a list of homebirth midwives that will come to WW. I would be happy to share.

      • Sarah April 13, 2012 / 10:11 pm

        Hi, zentatooedmama! I have your number (your mom–my midwife!–gave it to me) and I will call you soon, re: plugging into the community. This world just keeps getting smaller and smaller! Thanks so much for replying! I am a CBE (though not currently teaching–something had to give!) and love all things birth. Can’t wait to get in touch w/you. . .

        • zentattooedmama April 14, 2012 / 9:05 pm

          That’s to funny! I just talked to my mom, she told me that she gave you my number 🙂
          I actually just changed phone planes, so please feel free to email me or check out my FB. I can give you my number from there.
          Looking forward to chatting.

  26. zentattooedmama April 10, 2012 / 6:23 pm

    It looks like i’m a little late to posting but here goes anyway! I am a Walla Walla doula (currently working on getting my childbirth educators certification) I have had three home births. My second son was born in Walla Walla, Ginger Frazer and Shannon Bennett attended his birth. My mother is also a home birth midwife that recently started practicing in Tri-cities and Walla Walla. Her name is Marcile Petrilly. I would be happy to talk with anyone. Happy birthing to all! You can email me here: mamanels3@gmail.com or find me on FB https://www.facebook.com/DoulaSarahN

  27. Sarah July 30, 2015 / 6:16 pm

    Please, whatever you do, DO NOT allow Sherry Dress to be your midwife. I attempted a home birth with her. My baby was in distress and she was not able to tell the signs. After 55 hours in labor, I was taken to the hospital for an emergency c-section. My baby died from lack of oxygen. I would have needed a c-secction no matter what as his head was just too big. Sherry is super against hospitals, c-sections or medical intervention of any type. She let her biases get in the way of what was best for me and my baby.

  28. FTM March 13, 2018 / 6:13 pm

    Is there any new developments with midwives in Walla Walla? The two that came up on Google Searches don’t appear to be in practice anymore from what I can tell.

Leave a Reply to Janet Bentley Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s