Karen Brown is a Certified Nurse Midwife serving Orange County, California.
Why Home Birth
Birth is a transformative process. My goal is to make it an empowering, strengthening, positive transformation. I believe that bodies know how to birth, and if left undisturbed, your body will show you just how powerful it is. I try to help every birthing person feel safe, confident, and like they have control over what happens to them. People have a right to birth how, and where they want to. For some people, they feel safest in their own home. That's why I offer in home prenatal care, birth, and postpartum care. I have the training, skills, and experience to assist when things don't go according to plan. I bring all of the equipment and supplies to deal with emergencies that may come up. But most of the time my main job is just to help clients and their partners to support each other, and feel confident that they can do it, and are safe.
Why a Certified Nurse Midwife?
A Certified Nurse Midwife is first trained as an RN, typically working on a labor and delivery unit for a time, and then completes their Masters Degree in Nurse Midwifery. They are experts at normal childbirth and labor support. Nurse midwives in California have prescriptive privileges and are able to prescribe medications as needed during pregnancy, and for well person care. They also must have a collaborative agreement with a physician. Empowered Care Midwifery works with Dr Moniak, OBGYN, MD. We are able to consult with him for any questions, and, rarely, transfer care directly to him if a pregnancy/birth becomes high risk. This allows for smooth transfers to a care provider that is supportive of midwifery care, instead of transferring to whatever physician is on call for the ER, not knowing their stance on Midwifery care and out of hospital birth.
What I provide
I offer free consultations, to see if I am the right provider for you, and if we work well together as a team.
After that I conduct all prenatal visits in your own home. I bring all of the equipment I need to make sure that mom and baby are doing well. I take the time to answer all of your questions, and plan for your birth. These visits take time, because there is a lot of education, and planning involved.
When it is time for your baby to come, I come to your home, and bring all of my equipment with me. I also have a birth assistant to help support everyone through the process. I stay with you throughout labor and birth. I offer as much or as little support as you want/need. Some women need a lot of encouragement and suggestions in labor, and some women withdraw into themselves and like to be left alone. Either way, I am there to support you, and make sure that you and baby stay safe during the process.
After the birth, I give your family some time to soak in your baby, catch your breath, breastfeed if desired, and bond. Then I conduct a newborn exam on the bed next to you, where I do all of the weights and measurement, and a head to toe assessment of your baby. Once your family is tucked in, and ready for some well deserved rest, I make sure everything is cleaned and ready for you, and leave. I stay in close contact, assist with any issues or concerns, and then conduct an in home assessment 1-2 days after the birth. I offer as much support as is needed during the postpartum period, with a minimum of a visit at 2 and 6 weeks postpartum.
Rarely, the services offered at a hospital are needed, for yours or your baby's safety. I have an agreement with a wonderful physician that will take over your care on transfer. Having this option ensures your care is transferred to someone that supports the midwifery model of care, and will continue to support your birth in the way that you desire. I also come with you to support you for as long as you want.
About the Midwife
My name is Karen Brown. I have been supporting families through childbirth since 2005, when I first started as a labor and delivery nurse at a busy hospital in Seattle. I went on to Graduate School at the University of Washington, where I got my masters in Nurse Midwifery in 2010.
I moved down to Southern California, and after the birth of my second child, became interested in out of hospital birth. I fell in love with the beauty of a birth left undisturbed, and how primal, and normal birth should be. I started working at a birth center, where we assisted in either home birth, or birth center births. When my third child was born, I was able to have a completely different experience, with a home birth surrounded by people that loved me. I was left in awe at the power of my body.
I currently work at a hospital part time, and have my own practice offering home births the rest of the time.
I have 3 beautiful children, and a loving, supportive husband. When not at births, I love to garden, take photographs, and hang out with my family.