Laura Kuhs, LM, CPM
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  • about

    Laura Kuhs has been a Certified Professional Midwife since 2010.

    Since 2006, Laura has served families in many communities and settings, from the Amish
    of Pennsylvania and Maryland to home birthing families in urban centers.

    In 2013, Laura moved to Kitsap County, WA where she continues serving women and their families.

    Laura's Philosophy of Care:
    My practice of midwifery is based on the belief that pregnancy and birth are states of health
    and not states of illness or dysfunction. Our bodies are made to give birth and nourish our young; a system which works astonishinly well when untampered with. Ideally, my role is to
    help my clients create a safe space to grow and give birth to their babies without intervention.

    Midwives are experts in caring for normal, healthy women. Physicians are experts at intervening in cases of abnormality. I highly value the care that physicians have to offer people when it's needed, but believe it should be reserved for cases where it's truly necessary. I am dedicated to spending time with my clients and monitoring their pregnancies in such a way that abnormalities and concerns can be recognized, evaluated, and dealt with appropriately.

    I support the rights of birthing women to make decisions about their care and the care of their children. Rather than simply seeking consent
    for routine procedures, it is my practice to provide balanced information to parents and support them in using that information to make choices which best suit their family. The principles of informed choice and evidence based practice are the backbones of the care I provide.

  • services

    From your first positive pregnancy test to your 6 week postpartum visit, you're in good hands.

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    As soon as your laboring body sinks into the birth tub, you'll see what all the fuss is about.

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    Including encapsulation, tincturing, print making, and biological waste disposal.

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  • Safety

    When making choices about how you will give birth, safety is the primary concern. In American culture, childbirth is often seen not as a safe and normal rite of passage, but as a medical event frought with risk.

    Normal birth is not a medical event, and does not need to be presided over by a doctor. Well nourished, healthy women whose labor is not unduely interfered with, generally give birth normally and without complication. There are some risks that come along with pregnancy and birth. However, in most instances, a skilled midwife can help to keep the liklihood of those risks low. The midwife can also recognize those abnormalities if they should arrise, and has the resources to ensure that they are handled properly and with the safest means possible.

    Please refer to links on the right for scientifically based information about planned home birth. I am happy to provide more research and evidence on specific topics such as VBAC.

    Research

    British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, February 2009
    "...home birth does not increase the risks of perinatal mortality..."

    Canadian Medical Association Journal, September 2009
    "Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with... comparable... outcomes..."

    British Medical Journal, 2000
    "Planned home birth... was associated with lower rates of medical intervention but similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to... low risk hospital births..."

  • Cost

    Insurance
    Laura accepts many insurance plans and is a preferred provider for Group Health PPO, Premera, Regence, First Choice, WA Medicaid, and Cigna. Medicaid clients will be assisted in choosing CHPW for their coverage during pregnancy.

    Self Pay
    Discounts are available for military, financial hardship and prepayment.

    Placenta Encapsulation
    Please refer to Northwest Placenta for the cost of placenta services.

    Birth Tub Rentals
    Basic Rental: $150,
    plus deposit and accessories

    Birth Kits
    All clients are required to purchase a birth kit, available through Radiant Belly. The base cost is $79.

    discounts

    Pre-payment discount if you pay in full by 30 weeks

    West Sound Midwifery clients receive discounts from Orchard View Photography

    Clients with skills for trade may offer barter for some services


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  • Education

    In 2001, I began my pursuit of midwifery by devouring every book on the topic I could find. I studied on my own until 2006 when I attended a midwifery conference and met the woman who would be my first preceptor. She lived 4 hours from me, and I spent 18 months commuting back and forth for a week or two at a time while attending births and study groups.

    Finally in 2007, I was invited to apprentice with a practice much closer to home, which I excitedly accepted. Concurrently, I enrolled at the National College of Midwifery and began earnest pursuit of a Certified Professional Midwife credential. During my role as a student midwife I also obtained a doula certification (CD) throught Childbirth International (CBI) in 2007. After attending births for 4 years and finishing school, I obtained my CPM in 2010.

    I continuously enrich my education with midwifery conferences, trainings, and workshops. I hold current certifications in Basic Life Support, Neonatal Resuscitation, and am a Helping Babies Breathe Master Trainer.

  • Practice

    After earning my CPM in 2010 and becoming a New Jersey Licesed Midwife (LM) I opened my independent practice, Sunrise Midwifery, in Southern New Jersey. For three years I served the "Tri-State" area, covering a large geographical area.

    In 2013, answering the call of family ties, I moved from Northern Delaware to Kitsap County, WA where Sunrise Midwifery gave way to West Sound Birth Services. I am proud to be a Washington LM, and am very happy to work in a political climate that is more welcoming to midwives and women choosing out of hospital birth, and to have the opportunity to serve the women in my new community.

    I believe deeply in the power of women to give birth and nourish their babies without intervention. I feel so privileged to witness and honor the incredible transformative process that is pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. It is a great gift to serve the families that I work with, and continuously humbling and affirming.

  • Professional

    Increasing access to midwifery care, and access to professional resources for midwives are important to me. I am a professional member of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), the Midwives Association of Washington State (MAWS), and of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN).

    I have served as a member of the Governing Council of the Midwives Alliance of Pennsylvania (MAP), and have worked as a CEU Reviewer for the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC). I currently serve on the Board of Directors of MAWS.

    I support the mission of The Big Push for Midwives.

  • Associate Birth Workers

    Primary Birth Assistant, Kelly Souza

    Kelly's entry to birth work began with inspiration from her own home births in 2002 and 2004. In 2006, Kelly earned her certifications as a doula and breastfeeding education through Purebirth, a non for profit agency. As a doula, she has experience across settings, from home to hospital, and with a variety of circumstances including natural and medicated vaginal births, VBAC, and cesarean.

    Kelly is trained and certified in Neonatal Resuscitiation through the American Academdy of Pediatrics, and Basic Life Support through the American Heart Association. In 2014 she completed the intensive Birth Emergency Skills Training with Andrea Dixon.

    In addition to her work with West Sound Birth Services, Kelly is a staff Midwife's Assistant at The Birthing Inn in Tacoma. She is a tremendous asset to the birth team, and we feel lucky to have her!

  • Educator

    Just as the midwives who taught me their trade did, I believe in the philosophy of "each one teach one"-- that is, that unless midwives are taught by midwives, this art will go away, as it very nearly has in America's recent history. For this reason, student midwives are welcome in my practice and are an integral aspect of client care.

    I am preceptor for Birthwise Midwifery School, National College of Midwifery, Midwives College of Utah, and Ancient Art Midwifery Institute. I have served as a clinical preceptor site for Drexel University's Nurse Practitioner program. I support midwifery education by the traditional model of apprenticeship and also by classroom and didactic training. Midwives of all experience levels should strive to keep current in research and engage in continuing education appropriate to their experience level.

    I am certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a Helping Babies Breathe Master Trainer, enabling me to teach out of hospital birth attendents all over the world the skills necessary to help rescusitate newborns in the critical moments after birth.

  • Free Consultations

    The beginning of your midwifery care begins with a free consultation. This meeting is a mutual interview; you should see if I'm the right midwife for you, and I should learn about whether I think I can serve you well.

    Before your consultation, I'll send you a packet of information about my background, philosophy, and experience. Please read these before our meeting. They'll help you to form an idea of what I have to offer and will probably help you come up with questions to ask.

    During our visit, you'll have plenty of opportunities to ask questions. We'll talk about your health and childbearing histories and whether or not out of hospital birth is a good option for you. Consultations may take place in person or over the phone. Please contact me to set up your consultation!

  • Maternity Care

    Maternity care is the corner stone of my midwifery service. Visits take place in our Port Orchard office overlooking Sinclair Inlet. Visits are scheduled every 4 weeks from your first visit until 28 weeks, every 2 weeks from 28-36 weeks, and once weekly from 36 weeks until the birth. Laura attends out of hospital births in her clients' homes and at The Birthing Inn in Tacoma, WA. After the birth, you'll have 2-3 home visits during the first 2 weeks and another visit at 6 weeks in the office. Home visits are available for an additional fee.

    Routine lab testing and referral for ultrasound is available when appropriate. In some circumstances, you might be referred to an obstetrician for testing or ultrasound.

    Out of hospital birth is appropriate for healthy mothers with low risk pregnancies. If you think that you would like to explore the option of midwifery care and out of hospital birth for yourself, please get in touch with me!

  • Tub Rental

    Aquaborn Professional birth tubs are available for 30 day rental for $175. The rental comes with everything you need for to use the tub, and can be picked up at 37 weeks or later. Within 12 hours of the birth, just call and I'll come pick up the tub so that your family has one less thing to worry about.

    For those who prefer full service, I can bring the tub to you when labor starts, set it up and fill it. I'll return within 24 hours of the birth to clean, pack, and pick up the tub so that it isn't taking up space in your home. Full service tub rental costs $275.

    All tub rentals include:

      •Aquaborn Professional birth tub with lid and storage bag
      •Disposable tub liner
      •Inflation pump (to inflate tub and lid)
      •Water pump (to empty tub)
      •New 25' hose (to fill and empty tub)
      •Hose adapter (to attach hose to indoor water source)
      •Tub thermometer
      •Small aquarium net (to remove debris during labor)
      •Cavicide germicidal spray (to clean tub after use)

    Although last minute rentals may be occasionally available, I recommend calling for birth tub reservations early. A 50% deposit is due at the time of reservation to hold a tub.

  • Placenta Services

    I offer placenta services including encapsulation and raw smoothie kits.

    For more information on the placenta services I offer, please visit Northwest Placenta.

  • Tub Rental

    Aquaborn Professional birth tubs are available for 30 day rental for $150. Tubs may be picked up at 37 weeks or later. Within 24 hours of the birth, just call and I'll come pick up the tub so that your family has one less thing to worry about.

    All tub rentals include:

      •Aquaborn Professional birth tub with lid and storage bag
      •Inflation pump (to inflate tub and lid)
      •Water pump (to empty tub)
      •Cavicide germicidal spray (to clean tub after use)

    All tub rental must provide the following accessories:

      •Disposable tub liner
      •New 25' hose (to fill and empty tub)
      •Hose adapter (to attach hose to indoor water source)
      •Tub thermometer (optional)
      •Small aquarium net (to remove debris during labor)

    Accessories may be purchased from YourWaterBirth.com (use coupon code LKuhs for 10% off!), Precious Arrows, or Radiant Belly.

    Although last minute rentals may be occasionally available, I recommend calling for birth tub reservations early. A 50% non-refundable deposit is due at the time of reservation to hold a tub.

  • Placenta Services

    I offer placenta services including encapsulation and raw smoothie kits.

    For more information on the placenta services I offer, please visit Northwest Placenta.

  • Photography

    Laura is partnered with Orchard View Photography to bring her clients the highest quality professional photography services. Maternity, birth, newborn, and family photography is available.

    Dan Kuhs is a special kind of birth photographer: He is intimately familiar with the ins and outs of pregnancy, birth, and living on call.

    Orchard View Photography offers specially priced packages to West Sound Midwifery's families. For more information, please contact Dan Kuhs through the Orchard View Photography website.