Rachel Knudson, CPM, knew from a very young age that she had an enthusiasm for working with birthing families. While getting her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at Grinnell College, she was able to narrow the focus of her passion into midwifery, client-centered and evidence-based care, and out-of-hospital birth. After college, she began her midwifery path by apprenticeship in Albuquerque, NM. Rachel’s academic coursework included studies through the National College of Midwifery and the House of the Matrona. She opened her independent homebirth practice, Gentle Hands Midwifery LLC, in 2006 and enjoyed a decade of traveling across southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, serving hundreds of families and feeling honored to share life-changing experiences as they welcomed new babies into their growing families.
Rachel is excited to be a staff midwife at the River Valley Birth Center and to be able to offer out-of-hospital births in a home-like setting that is more affordable to a greater population (i.e. midwifery care covered by insurance). Rachel and Erika have assisted each other at births for years and always had a great work rapport, so it is a joy to be working together all the time!
Rachel’s many years as a substitute teacher in a local school district, NRHEG, has allowed an interest in teaching to surface. She looks forward to helping guide the midwifery students learning at the RVBC as they become competent and compassionate midwives so the movement of family-centered and empowered childbearing can continue to grow.
Living on her family farm—where her grandfather and father were born—in a century-old house keeps her busy with many upkeep tasks. Rachel’s a DIY-er who loves doing all sorts of crafty projects. She has a deep interest in genealogy and Scandinavian studies and married Martin in June 2016 on a dream trip to Norway and Sweden. She’s a stepmom to Martin’s two sons and hopes to add to their family in the future.