The Birth Center Believes
Women have the right to seek care that is medically safe, that fits their lifestyle, and that recognizes and respects their individual, physical, spiritual, psychological, and economic needs.
Women and their families have the right and responsibility to assume an active role in their own healthcare.
Childbirth is a normal, healthy process. The role of the caregiver is to support and promote this normal
The family is the cornerstone of the social structure; therefore, maternity care must support and promote family unity and development. Family members, including siblings, should have the opportunity to be involved in the childbearing experience.
Education is an essential part of quality healthcare. With knowledge freely exchanged, clients are encouraged to make informed choices about their healthcare.
“To empower and support women and families by providing quality and holistic women’s health care, education, and community.”
Holistic, Empowering, & Supportive
Meet Our Midwives
Dorinda Dove, MS, CNM
With more than thirty years experience working as a nurse and a midwife in hospital and birthing center environments, Dorinda’s gentle and thoughtful manner inspires confidence in birthing families. As OB/Gyn faculty, she taught at Baylor College of Medicine. She graduated summa cum laude with a BSN from the University of Delaware and was awarded an MS in Nurse Midwifery at SUNY Stonybrook. She is a member of the American College of Nurse Midwives and the Delaware Perinatal Cooperative task force. Dorinda published the results of a research study on the efficacy of using Evening Primrose Oil during pregnancy. Dorinda also worked with the Peace Corps helping to implement and evaluate the oral rehydration program for children in Malawi, Africa. She joined The Birth Center in 1995.
Dorinda says, “I love sharing the joy and excitement of an expectant family and feel it’s a privilege to be a part of their experience here.”
Kathleen McCarthy, MSN, CNM
Kathleen has been practicing as a nurse midwife for over fourteen years. She received her Masters degree in nurse midwifery at University of Pennsylvania. Kathleen is one of the co-owners, but has retired from catching babies. Currently, Kathleen’s focus is on holistic women’s healthcare, women’s health education, holistic menopause, childbirth education and empowerment workshops.
Kathleen says, “Practicing as a nurse midwife is one of the most rewarding journeys I have ever taken. It has brought me from hospital birth to my beloved home at The Birth Center. I have learned much from my experiences with women and families. Most importantly, it has taught me that we all have the right to make well informed educated choices and that all women are powerful beyond measure and have an innate ability to know what is best for them.”
Sarah-Grace Webster, MSN, CNM, WHNP-BC
Sarah-Grace has loved caring for and helping women with their health and pregnancy since she was in high school. She graduated with her Bachelor’s in nursing from Messiah College, and worked as a nurse for 5 years. She first worked as an ICU nurse, than spent several years as a labor and delivery nurse in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Sarah-Grace then went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania as a Certified Nurse Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. She loves to travel and has been to Guatemala, Belize, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Portugal and many different places across the United States. Sarah-Grace says, “The Birth Center feels like home to me and I am very excited to work here!”
Julia Paulus, MSN, CNM
Julia came to Delaware to attend the University of Delaware and never left! She graduated with her Bachelor Degree in Nursing from the University of Delaware and then received her Master of Science in Nurse-Midwifery from Frontier Nursing University.
Starting in middle school, Julia knew she wanted to care for women during labor and birth. That desire eventually morphed into a strong calling to midwifery. While at UD, she sought GYN care from Nicole at The Birth Center and instantly fell in love with the care that TBC provides. Julia and her husband have now welcomed two babies at The Birth Center! In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family, drink hot tea, and sew.
Julia is so excited to be a part of the The Birth Center family as a Certified Nurse Midwife and is passionate about family-centered care that focuses on empowering the birthing person to be an active participant in their health care decisions.
Leigh Ferguson, MSN, WHNP-BC
Leigh grew up in Delaware and is excited to join a hometown practice at The Birth Center. Prior to coming aboard, Leigh spent thirteen years as a clinical nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). In 2013 she obtained her BSN from Gwynedd-Mercy University. In 2015 she felt the passion to take her education further to encompass all areas of sexual and reproductive health by enrolling in the University of Pennsylvania’s Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program. In 2018 she graduated with her MSN and is now a board certified WHNP. She is passionate about providing excellent prenatal, postnatal, GYN and post-menopausal care. In her spare time, she likes to travel, spend time with family, friends and her pride and joy Fergus, her very handsome English bulldog.
Allison Butler, MSN, CNM
Allison grew up in Maryland and has always been fascinated by the mystery and magic of bodies. In retrospect, everyone should have realized she might go into birthwork when, at five years old, she spent over 10 hours sitting with a laboring cow and helping to feed the newborn calf. After completing an undergraduate degree in journalism; political science; and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies she worked in reproductive justice and health advocacy. After starting work at a reproductive health clinic, she fell in love with direct care – specifically holistic, patient-centered, trauma-informed care, which to her, is the essence of midwifery. She attended Yale School of Nursing to obtain her MSN in their midwifery and women’s health nurse practitioner program as well as a concentration in Gender and Sexuality Health Justice. She has also worked as a facilitator for lifespan sexuality education and is a member of Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health. Outside of work, Allison enjoys baking, hiking, and snuggling with her dog, Bug.
Laurel Miller, CNM
Laurel, a Delaware native, has been practicing as a midwife since 2010. The large majority of her deliveries at Kent General Hospital with Dr. Nasareen Khan and Dedicated to Women. Laurel’s first experience with birth actually started at the Birth Center during a rotation in nursing school at University of Delaware and then again as a midwife student with the University of Pennsylvania. “My first birth I was a part of happened in the Blue Room. It was a huge family affair with all the siblings, the baby’s aunt and cousin too”. Laurel’s second daughter was born at the Birth Center with her husband and older daughter, 3 years old at the time, in attendance.
“I feel like I am coming home. I spent many years practicing midwifery in practices and hospitals that were managed by physicians. What I have learned is that all women deserve good midwifery focused care. It feels good to come to a place that values the holistic nature of care. We are not just here to give good prenatal care or an unmedicated birth; we are here guiding women on a journey of good health. I take the meaning of midwife, with women, literally. When I am with them for a visit or in labor, my focus must be with them. What are they saying, what is my exam telling me? If I keep my focus on being with them, we can work together to find the best possible outcomes. I am so excited to be here where I can be the midwife I always have been in a setting that shares my same values.”
Laurel enjoys time spent raising her daughters, tending to her garden, and crafting (mostly crochet and sewing).
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“I highly recommend TBC because of the high standard of care and the one-on-one attention that each staff member gives to each client.”