Mirra Nerenberg, Certified Professional Midwife, LDM
I was raised back East, spending most of my years living right outside of Philadelphia. I moved to Asheville, NC, for college, which is where I fell in love with both the mountains and my husband. We made our way out to the West Coast, settling in Portland in 2004, ready for a new adventure and community.
The Birth of a Midwife
Thinking back on my journey to becoming a midwife, I always knew I wanted to work in women’s health and truly believed that meant being a midwife at some point in my life. I was raised to believe birth was a beautiful and natural process because that’s what my mother always told me.
My own birth was the first step in guiding my journey as I was born into my grandfather’s hands at the Baltimore Birth Center with my whole family in attendance, including my older siblings. When I was little, I just thought everyone was born out of the hospital!
As an adult, I knew this was far from the truth, which only nudged me further on to find my path to becoming a midwife. After making my way back to Portland after living in Asia for six months and being around strong, beautiful women at ease with motherhood, I knew it was time to start my midwifery education.
I started attending births as a labor doula in 2006 while I started my formal midwifery education at Birthingway College of Midwifery. During midwifery school, I started working at Alma Midwifery as a postpartum doula and office staff. I completed my apprenticeship; and after graduating from Birthingway with a Bachelor of Science in Midwifery in 2010, I continued working as a midwife at Alma where I was fortunate to be a part of so many wonderful families. In the fall of 2014, I decided it was time to start my own midwifery business to offer families in Portland a small, compassionate homebirth practice. By collaborating with Kelley, Portland Natural Birth Midwifery was brought to fruition!
During my own journey as a midwife, I have been blessed with two spirited and beautiful kiddos. After a long first birth, my daughter, Neshamah, was born at home in 2010 with support from my husband and midwives/friends. Three years later, my son, Avi, was born in the same bedroom with my daughter right beside me. After attending so many other strong women giving birth, it was such an empowering experience to truly know what giving birth meant. Giving birth was harder than I had ever expected, but both of my personal births have further validated my belief in the importance of supporting women during this journey to motherhood.
In my free time, you’ll most likely find me with my family getting our hands dirty in our garden, biking around our neighborhood, or trying to find time to sew. When I’m not on-call, I love hiking and camping (although both of these activities have taken on new meaning with little kids!) and going back East to visit my family.