Owner, Brainerd Lakes Midwifery LLC

Every opportunity to work with a person in pregnancy and birth is an honor and joy to me.  I strive to respect your experiences, your family, your privacy, and your desires for a healthy, safe, and joyful childbearing year.  Each birth I have witnessed has shown me the vast and diverse ways in which pregnant people are strong, beautiful, tender, and capable of bringing their babies into the world under their own power, surrounded by the people whom they love and trust most.

The experience of bringing my own two children into the world were the first seeds planted in my midwifery calling, a pathway that began in childbirth education and doula work and gradually led me to apprenticeships and training with several midwives (both CPMs and CNMs) in central Minnesota, The Farm Midwifery Center (Summertown TN), and a rural clinic in Senegal, West Africa.  Being guided into responsible, compassionate midwifery practice by these mentors is something I treasure and hold close, as midwives have passed their knowledge along since the beginning of time in this way.  In addition to this traditional apprenticeship model I am also a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), a national certification through the North American Registry of Midwives, as well as a Licensed Midwife (LM) with the state of Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.

Since 2013 I have attended mostly home births, but also maintain credentials at A New Story Birth Center in Milaca, MN.

Midwifery is one piece of a full life for me.  I have a dearly loved husband and two school-aged children, both born at home with the guidance of midwives.  We spend our time together enjoying the outdoors with camping, hiking and skiing, Crossfit, knitting, making music, reading, cooking, watching movies, and tending to our garden and animals.


Abbreviated CV:

Licensed Midwife, Minnesota, 2014-present

Certified Professional Midwife (NARM), 2014-present

Current certifications in Neonatal Advanced Life Support/NRP

Current certifications in Advanced Lifesaving/CPR for Healthcare Providers

Board member, MN Council of Certified Professional Midwives 2015-present

Member, Midwives' Alliance of North America

Member, Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery

Member, National Association of Certified Professional Midwives

Member, Consensus: A capella Vocal Ensemble

MFA, Creative Writing; Warren Wilson Program for Writers (2004)

BA, English, Whitman College (2000); summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa


SAMANTHA FURST, Student Midwife


Sam started as a student midwife in July 2017 at Brainerd Lakes Midwifery.  She plans to complete her midwifery license by apprenticing with Sonya.  Her story with midwifery began 11+ years ago before she was pregnant with her first baby and only intensified when finding out she was pregnant for the first time.  After her last baby was born in 2016 she knew it was time to officially start her path to become a midwife.

Sam is originally from Mankato, MN and has lived in the Fargo/Moorhead area, the cities and now here while her husband taught French.  Besides adding birth work to her life she also homeschools her 3 oldest children and dyes yarn for her business Lavender Lune Yarn Co.  She very much looks forward to helping you on your path to an amazing birth!


Christiana Childers_Starr Reunion-3025.jpg