Birth is

The Midwifery Birth Center is accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers. Learn more >

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Hello Mamas!

That first positive test. That hint of queasy. The fluttery feeling of your baby stretching and kicking inside your belly. Seeing your first ultrasound pic, to the decisions (so many decisions) to "wait, is that a contraction?"

There are many milestones along the journey to meeting your baby. At the Midwifery Birth Center, our team is with you every step of the way.

From exceptional prenatal care to natural childbirth to bringing home baby and beyond, our certified nurse-midwives walk the path of motherhood with you with guidance, support, respect and compassion. Keep scrolling and get to know us—and the just-right birth option between hospital birth and home birth. We can’t wait to take great care of you and your baby.

It’s called a birth center, because we’re centered around you.

Your baby. Your strength. The undeniable power of defining this incredible experience for yourself.

Women have been giving birth with very little intervention for millennia. Here, we honor this tradition with an approach that respects normal pregnancy and birth for the natural processes that they are.

The Midwifery Birth Center is not a hospital or a home, but a comfortable, modern facility dedicated to birth. Your labor will be accompanied by the continuous care of a warm and loving team led by a certified nurse-midwife. And you’ll have a natural, unmedicated birth in a safe place that feels like home.

This is the foundation of who we are and what we do. This is about celebrating you as a mother. This is about liberating birth options and trusting the person who knows you best: you.

“I’ve been waiting many years for a birth center like this to open in Portland, and I’m thrilled to be part of it. After 26 years of attending home and birthing center births, and seven years working in hospital midwifery, I believe that an out-of-hospital birth center with qualified nurse-midwives gives women the greatest chance of realizing the transformative power of natural childbirth, with the backing of physician and hospital partners when the need—or desire—arises.” — Nora Tallman, CNM, MSN, WHA Midwifery Birth Center
Kori D. Pienovi
Nora Tallman
Michele Zimmerman-Pike
Laura Bartko
Jennifer Bishop
Meet the Team

We’re a team of certified nurse-midwives. What exactly does that mean? We trust your body knows this journey, and we would love to be with you through it.

Because we have a traditional nursing background as nurse practitioners, we combine a holistic approach with rigorous medical training and the ability to treat disease and prescribe medication. We also work hand-in-hand with hospital-based midwives and obstetricians if you should need—or prefer—a hospital birth at any given point. No matter what comes up, we have the training, expertise and experience to help you have a safe, natural, positive birth experience.

Kori D. Pienovi, CNM, MS

Kori is a devoted advocate of natural birth. With more than 10 years of birth center experience, she feels called to help women and families greet their babies in a peaceful and powerful manner through natural, unhindered childbirth.

Kori supports physiologic birth while ensuring safety, both physically and emotionally, for women and babies. In addition to walking women and families through pregnancy, birth and postpartum, Kori is committed to caring for the LGBTQ community in conception, wellness and health, birth and the transition to parenthood.

Kori received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and her bachelor’s in nursing and master’s in nurse-midwifery from Columbia University. Her experience includes well-woman care, gynecology, family planning, prenatal and postpartum care and attending births in the hospital, birth center and home settings.

Kori and her wife have a daughter. Together, they enjoy spending time outdoors, visiting friends and hosting dinners. Kori also loves to travel and explore new places and cultures.

Nora Tallman, CNM, MSN

Nora believes in the transformative power of birth—and the extraordinary strength of women. With 26 years of experience attending home and birthing center births and seven years as a nurse-midwife at OHSU, Nora knows that the presence of an experienced provider can help women access their inner resources to manifest the extraordinary through unmedicated birth.

Nora received her bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of California, Berkeley. She received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine with a specialty in natural childbirth from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland and her master’s degree in nurse-midwifery from OHSU.

In addition to helping prepare and support women in pregnancy, birth and beyond, she has taught and supervised midwifery and naturopathic students. Nora is also the author of The Inner Work of Birth, a book about coping in labor.

Nora and her horse, Tessa, train in a riding style called dressage (which she says is like ballet, Tai Chi and Pilates on horseback). She also enjoys gardening, quilting, cooking new recipes and daily meditation.

Michele Zimmerman-Pike, CNM, MSN

Michele remembers her own birth experiences—one in an in-hospital alternative birth center and four at home attended by midwives—as some of the most vulnerable and paradoxically powerful moments of her life. The tenderness with which her husband helped her through the intensity of childbirth, guided by their birth team, is the space she hopes to hold for families during their own experiences at the Midwifery Birth Center.

Michele has spent her career as a midwife facilitating individualized support for women and families to achieve their optimal birth experience in a variety of settings—home, birth center and hospital. She promotes wellness during pregnancy and beyond through practical nutrition, exercise and mindfulness.

Michele grew up in Jersey City, a train ride away from Manhattan and all the cultural experiences it offered. She attended Emory University in Atlanta for her bachelor’s degree in nursing, and Frontier University in Kentucky for her master’s in nurse midwifery. Her birth center experience also includes three years as a site visitor for the Commission for Accreditation of Birth Centers.

With five children, Michele spends a fair amount of time at athletic and musical performances outside of work. She also enjoys permaculture gardening and cooking.

Laura Bartko, CNM, MN

Laura spent seven years as a nurse-midwife helping women and families realize the awesome power of natural birth at home, and her own three beautiful children were born the same way. She loves working with amazing women, getting to know them and their strengths and being with them as they birth and become mothers. She also enjoys sharing her knowledge of complementary/alternative medicine, including nutrition, herbal counseling and lifestyle support as she encourages and empowers women to learn about their healthcare options.

Laura grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She attended Duquesne University on a full academic scholarship for her bachelor’s degree in psychology, graduating with highest honors. She attended OHSU for her master’s degree in nurse-midwifery. Laura is currently working towards certification in herbal education through a continued education program endorsed by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Laura was a teacher for the Peace Corps in Turkmenistan and has traveled throughout Europe and Asia. These days, she and her husband keep busy playing with their three young children. Laura also enjoys hiking, reading and playing the cello. She serves as the pharmacology instructor at Birthingway College of Midwifery and is involved in Common Ground, a group of midwives in Portland who organize workshops and community building.

Jennifer Bishop, CNM, MSN

Hearing the steady beat of a baby’s heart inside the womb is just one of the things that Jennifer loves about being a midwife. Learning about each woman’s unique story, helping them understand their health and choices and, ultimately, helping them feel comfortable making informed decisions are what guides her practice of midwifery.

Jennifer believes every woman should be able to choose the birth setting in which she feels most comfortable and safe—and working at the Midwifery Birth Center is one way she helps safeguard that choice. Her out-of-hospital birth experience includes a unique AmeriCorps volunteer fellowship at the celebrated Holy Family Services Birth Center in Texas, the longest licensed free-standing birth center in the state. 

Jennifer grew up in Newport, Oregon. She attended the University of Oregon for her bachelor’s degree in human physiology and Seattle University for her master’s degree in nurse midwifery. She’s happy enjoying a cup of tea and cooking from scratch, and also loves spending time outdoors and with friends and family.

What to Expect

DURING PREGNANCY

· Congratulations! This is the start of something great—and the perfect time to start thinking about your birth options.

· Thinking about an out-of-hospital birth, but want the safety and security of an experienced medical team? Call to schedule a tour to check out our birthing suites and meet your team.

· Let’s say you love the Midwifery Birth Center. (And we think you will.) Now let’s see if it’s your best option based on your health, history and pregnancy during an appointment with one of our certified nurse-midwives.

· If you’re good to go, you’ll start prenatal care with us. This means appointments with our certified nurse-midwives both individually and with other women who are due around the same time, giving you personalized care and ample time to get comfortable with birth outside of the hospital.

· We’re next door to our Gateway OB/GYN/midwifery practice, so you have access to ultrasound, genetic testing and a complete range of support services if you want or need them.

Labor + Birth

· When the big day comes, you’ll arrive at the Midwifery Birth Center in active labor. (P.S. We’ll cover what that means beforehand.)

· Because our whole team knows you, you can expect the same level of support you’ve come to cherish, regardless of which smiling face you see on your baby’s birth day.

· Settle into your birthing suite. Plug in your birth soundtrack, tweak the lighting and get ready to meet your baby. We’ll draw your labor tub for you. This is the birth of a mother as well as a baby, even if you’ve been down this road before. We’re here for you.

· Throughout labor, your midwife and birth assistant will continuously support you, helping your body do what it knows how to.

· Want to eat? Drink? Do the mamba or just walk around? Follow your body’s cues. We’ll guide you in choosing labor and birth coping techniques that are the most helpful (think: laboring positions, labor tub, birthing ball, sling, etc.).

· After welcoming your little one, you’ll enjoy immediate skin-to-skin bonding time with baby while we make you and your family comfortable. Enjoy this peaceful, precious time with your baby.


POSTPARTUM

· Take a hot shower, wrap up in a cozy robe and rest. We’ll take the very best care of you and your little one while you’re here the six to 12 hours following birth, guiding you in breastfeeding, self-care, baby care and recovery.

· When you’re ready to go home with your new addition, know that we’re a phone call away—including on-call access to breastfeeding support 24/7.

· Our birth assistant will come by to check on you and your baby (yes, a house call!) a day or two after you’re home to make sure you’re recovering, check the baby’s weight, provide breastfeeding support and, of course, marvel at the wonder in your arms.

· Within three to five days, you’ll have your first appointment with your pediatric provider. We’ll help make sure you’ve chosen this doctor or nurse practitioner during your pregnancy to make the transition smooth.

· You’ll have your first postpartum appointment at the Midwifery Birth Center one to two weeks after the baby is born. We can’t wait to see you again!

Resources

Birth photographers we love:

Jeanette Lee Photography + Films. Jenny has photographed one birth at the Midwifery Birth Center already and her lovely documentary style captured every special moment and reaction from the whole family. Check out some of her work in our gallery and visit her website for more information.

The First Moments by Coco Photography. We've attended births with Colette Hoekstra in the hospital and her work is amazing. Check out the beautiful gallery on her website and call her to set up a consultation. Colette is offering a $100 discount to clients who mention Women's Healthcare Associates.

Insurance

The facility cost associated with birthing at the Midwifery Birth Center, as well as your prenatal and postpartum care, are covered in-network by the insurance companies listed below, according the terms of your plan. Even if your insurance company isn't on this list, your prenatal and postpartum care may still be covered in-network – visit the WHA website to see a complete list of these companies. (And don't worry if this sounds confusing–our financial counselors are here to help.)

  • Aetna
  • CareOregon
  • Cigna
  • Columbia Pacific CCO
  • Coventry Health Care
  • FamilyCare
  • First Choice
  • Great West
  • HealthNet
  • Humana ChoiceCare
  • Moda
  • Pacificare
  • PacificSource
  • Providence Health Plans
  • Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oregon (effective 9/1/17)
  • United Healthcare
  • Yamhill County CCO
What if?
How come?
Phew!

You’ve got questions. Maybe a lot of them. And that’s more than okay. It’s natural! Here are some of the ones we hear most.

The Midwifery Birth Center sounds great, but is right for me?
Okay, so how is the Midwifery Birth Center different from a hospital? Or other birth centers, for that matter?
What’s the deal with insurance?
Is the Midwifery Birth Center accredited?
I am pregnant and started prenatal care with another practitioner. Can I deliver at the Midwifery Birth Center?
Can I deliver at the Midwifery Birth Center if I’ve had C-section?
Can I have an epidural at the Midwifery Birth Center?
What other ways can you help me cope with the pain of labor and childbirth?
Can I bring my doula?
Can I have a water birth?
What if I need a snack—or more than a snack?
What if something happens during labor and I need to go to the hospital?
Can I bring my family? (And what if my family includes my rescue dog, Larry?)
Can I come to the Midwifery Birth Center for my annual exams?
We’re here for you. Right here.

The Midwifery Birth Center is located just off I-84 and I-205, minutes from our obstetric and hospital partners.

We know the best way to get a feeling for a place is to see it in person, and we can't wait to welcome you. Give us a call at (503) 855-1220 to schedule a consultation and tour. Or feel free to drop us a note with any questions and we'll get back to you shortly.

CONTACT US