Lisa Lehrer, CPM, LDM
Lisa Lehrer is the primary midwife at Gentle Beginnings Midwifery Care. Lisa has been actively attending births in Corvallis since 1984 when she began an apprenticeship with Community Homebirth Midwifery. In 1993, Lisa fulfilled the requirements to become a Licensed Direct-Entry Midwife in Oregon. She is also a Certified Professional Midwife through the North American Registry of Midwives. She has attended over 1000 births.
Having our baby at home in 1980 has remained one of the most profound moments of my life. Giving birth was empowering, I was thoroughly in love and all was undisturbed. Our baby was greeted with gentleness, quiet, soft light, and loving sweetness. I recognized how important our welcome here to earth is. So many people talk about home birth only in the context of the mother. I often think it’s the babies who need to be born at home. This time is really embedded in our first impressions of the world.
My idea of a holistic birth honors the work that a mother does to fully participate in the rite of passage that leads into mothering. Birth should unfold. I have been with many women, for many hours, through labor. What you see is that birth is not a linear journey. It meanders, rests, and charges forward, and perhaps rests again. Why do we have such a need to manage this? When you remember that the baby and the mother are doing this dance together, it simply becomes beautiful to watch. Having said that, I feel as a midwife, my role is to be supportive and useful to you. I believe having a relationship with each other is the beginning of good support. Added to that is the idea that normalizing your experience, instead of trying to rescue you from it, is more helpful to mothers. Freedom of movement, respectful quiet, touch, kindness, humor, and simply being present are part of that support. Labor can be monitored in a non-intrusive way to ensure that both mother and baby are managing well or to note if concerns are arising.
If I were a baby being born, I would ask that I have something to say about how I am figuring out this passageway. The rhythmic massage that encourages me, the need to make various turns, the opportunity to shape myself to finagle my way out, are all part of my birthright. This journey that a baby takes needs to be respected. Hurrying them, using routine medications, constant ultrasound use in labor – does anyone wonder how the baby feels about these? My primary memory of becoming a mother was holding my firstborn in my arms immediately after pushing her out. Her wetness, smell, soft skin and sweet movements are tangible to me. While I can’t recount to you my primary memory of being born, I do believe our first moments on earth live within each of us and has some deep effect on who we are. May it be welcoming.
I grew up in a family of 9 children in rural Minnesota. My father was a family practice physician and I spent my teenage years working in his clinic. I also worked in many capacities at a family practice clinic in Corvallis for 7 years and have taught childbirth classes. I have participated in the Oregon Midwifery Council since 1985, serving as president for 2 terms and regional representative for 6 years. I am the mother of 5 grown children and the proud grandparent of Sebastian and Isaac .
Ruby Kiker, Student Midwife
The natural essence of birth has always been a part of my story. I grew up not far from where I now live, on a little farm in the coast range of Oregon, and was myself born at home. I like to think my own journey to midwifery began with this piece of personal history, along with my interest that all people have an opportunity to enter into this time of life in a manner that suits them best.
My background is in Behavioral Science (BS from Oregon State University) and Public Health (MPH from Oregon State University). I also served in the United States Peace Corps as a community health volunteer, an experience that further impacted my awareness of varied health beliefs and practices. After completing my MPH and embarking on my own journey of becoming a mother, I continued to be pulled toward maternal health in general and midwifery in particular. I feel that maternal health and child health, by extension, is a foundation of population health outcomes and is an integral player in the social, cultural, and economic spheres of our local, regional, and global communities. Providing individuals with varied choices in their care and strong collaboration between models of care is essential to ensuring optimal wellness for all.
I embarked on my midwifery education in 2018 by working through a MEAC accredited midwifery program from the Midwives College of Utah and have also had the honor of working with and learning from Gentle Beginnings Midwifery since that date. I hope to complete my program requirements in late 2022/early 2023 and look forward to serving the birthing community as a Certified Professional Midwife.
I am dedicated to a midwifery education and practice that both seeks to understand each individual as unique and to respectfully and holistically support these clients with the care they desire. Our role, as midwives, lies in helping clients navigate choices about their own health through a respectful and inclusive collaboration and ultimately supporting them at every decision within the scope of our practice