Kimberly A. Johansen, CNM, MSN, ARNP
When I started my journey as a birth professional 23 years ago I never thought I would end up as a midwife. I graduated from Purdue University in 1997 and immediately began working with women and babies. I was a Labor and Delivery Nurse in El Paso, Texas for a year before we moved to Ohio. I loved working as a labor nurse, but when we moved, a position opened up in the Perinatal ICU (High-Risk Labor and Delivery) in Dayton, Ohio and I jumped at the opportunity. Working in that environment taught me how to act methodically and calmly in high-stress situations. It also taught me that there is such a difference between high risk, medicalized pregnancy care, and normal birth care. The patients that we saw were in the hospital for a very good reason, and the doctors and nurses in the hospital knew the steps to address high-risk medical issues. I began to recognize that most of the patients that I saw as a labor and delivery nurse were not high-risk patients, but the hospital system treated them very similarly to my ICU patients. When I became pregnant with my second child, I began searching for an alternative to the traditional hospital OB care. In 1990 I gave birth to my second child with a Certified Nurse Midwife and my life was changed. The differences between how I was listened to and cared for was striking. With my CNM, I felt empowered to make decisions about my care, and I felt like I had agency over my own body and birth experiences. I decided at that point that I would begin to pursue midwifery as a career.
In 2002 I was accepted to the University of New Mexico’s Nurse-Midwifery graduate school. I earned my Masters of Nursing in 2004 and began catching babies as a CNM that year. I worked for 13 years as a CNM in hospitals and clinics and helped to bring over 1200 new babies into the world. During this time, I could not shake this nagging feeling that as a CNM in a traditional medical setting I was not living into the values I had around women’s healthcare. The restraints of institutionalized healthcare forced me, as a midwife, to behave like a physician treating sick patients. My birth patients weren’t sick, they were pregnant! I wanted pregnant people to have a say in their care, I wanted 60 min appointments where my clients could really get comfortable with me, I wanted to have time in my day so that new parents could stop by and see me easily if they had questions, and I wanted women to truly feel empowered by their healthcare. This just really wasn’t possible in most clinics and hospitals. So, in 2017 I began planning and building Empowered Pregnancy. We opened in 2019 and for the first time in my career, I feel like I am providing people with care that is humane, safe, and client-centered. I am so excited that you are considering Empowered Pregnancy for your care and look forward to working WITH you to create the empowering health care experience you deserve.
Front Office Manager and Birth Assistant
Mary was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Anthropology in Dublin, Ireland where she discovered her passion for the midwifery model of care and working with new families. In 2005 Mary began working as a Simkin Center trained Birth and Post-Partum doula. She brings this wide set of birth knowledge and experience to her work at Empowered Pregnancy.
“Bringing a baby into the world and caring for them can feel like a monumental task. No matter how many books you read, when the day comes, having a helping hand and listening ear can make all the difference in the world for new parents. My goal as a birth assistant and office manager is to ensure new families feel cared for, educated, and empowered through their birth experience.”
13114 120th Ave NE
Kirkland, WA 98034