“These women, my midwives, are my heroes. They are strong, smart, fiesty and brave. Time and again, they have taken me to places I never thought I could make it through and brought me out on the other side. They have changed me and my family in profound ways. They have made us better. I adore them now and forever.” — Kirsten S.
We approach pregnancy and birth from an evidence based perspective, while remaining deeply rooted in the art of traditional midwifery.
Aimee Akers, CPM
Certified Professional Midwife
Aimee earned the Certified Professional Midwife credential in 2009. She began her midwifery path after the birth of her first child in 1996. In 1998, after the waterbirth of her second child, Aimee began her midwifery studies in earnest. She trained as a professional labor doula with Doulas of North America in 1999 and maintained her doula certification for several years, as she worked towards her goal of becoming a CPM. In 2000 and 2001, she traveled to The Farm in Tennessee to learn from Ina May Gaskin and The Farm midwives through their midwife assistant workshops. As an accredited La Leche League leader, she enjoys helping women successfully breastfeed and has been leading monthly breastfeeding support group meetings from 2001 to the present. Also in 2001, Aimee formed a support network in Western Central Louisiana for mothers desiring a midwife-attended birth. The group worked to support midwives and their ability to practice autonomously and to affect birth change locally and on the state level. Aimee was a Certified Childbirth Educator with the Bradley Method for 7 years before co-writing a holistic childbirth education curriculum for families giving birth at home. Aimee also participated in a monthly midwifery study group, with Desiree and her senior midwife, for 36 months. In 2009, she completed a nine month apprenticeship in the art and science of herbal medicine with Kathleen Meier of Sacred Plant Traditions, in Charlottesville, VA. Aimee received her clinical midwifery training through apprenticeship with practicing midwives in Virginia and Louisiana, as well as, in Senegal with the African Birth Collective. Aimee is the mother of 3 breastfed children, born under the care of midwives.
Desiree Cripps, CPM
Certified Professional Midwife
Desiree first attended homebirths, as a helper to friends, in Eugene, Oregon from 1994-1996. She felt an innate connection to birth in its natural form and the midwife’s role as guardian. Through these early experiences, her own birth, and encouragement from community midwives she began to study midwifery independently. In 2002, Desiree was an active member and volunteer for the Virginia grass roots organization, Midwifery Options for Mothers. She was invited to sit on the Board of Directors for the 2003-2004 year. Continuing as volunteer, she offered childbirth education and labor support to women through her local pregnancy shelter. Desiree trained through the traditional model of apprenticeship beginning in the Fall of 2005 with a Certified Professional Midwife. She acquired essential midwifery skills during these four years of training. At the request of her preceptor, Desiree formed a midwifery study group moderated by her preceptor. This study group met for 36 consecutive months. Desiree has worked with many of Virginia’s Certified Professional Midwives and is grateful for the knowledge they have passed on. In 2007, she served the birthing women in Senegal through the African Birth Collective. Desiree has attended numerous workshops and conferences related to her studies. Desiree became certified as a CPM in the Fall of 2009. In 2011-2012, Desiree completed a ten month Foundations of Medicinal Herbalism and Herbal Apothecary course with Teresa Boardwine of Green Comfort School of Herbal Medicine, in Washington, VA. During her time at Green Comfort, Desiree also participated in monthly medicine making sessions. From 2010 to 2012, Desiree served as the Northern Virginia Regional Representative for the Commonwealth Midwives Alliance. She is married and the mother of four breastfed children, born under the care of midwives.
Natasha Ossinova, RN, IBCLC
Natasha graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in 1999. She subsequently worked as on obstetrical Registered Nurse in New York City for 11 years. During that time, she completed a dual Masters in Public Health and International Relations from Columbia University. Her first son was born in 2009 via cesarean section. She was committed to and successful in exclusively breastfeeding him. In 2010, upon relocation to Pittsburgh, Natasha was fortunate to work at The Midwife Center (a free standing birth center) where she was able to clearly observe the connection between natural childbirth and successful breastfeeding. This inspired her to make breastfeeding the focus of her public health work. Natasha earned her IBCLC in 2011 and interned at The Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh until the birth of her second son, a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) with a midwife. Natasha tandem nursed her boys. In 2014, Natasha welcomed her third child at home with Ten Moons midwives. Her daughter, who is 3, is still happily nursing. Natasha is grateful for the opportunity to help women breastfeed their children and believes that breastfeeding is a fourth 'trimester' or the natural continuation of giving birth. Natasha was awarded the Hillman Family Foundation Fellowship in 2013 in support of her work towards increasing the rates of exclusive breastfeeding among newly immigrated Hispanic women in Winchester.
I am over the moon to have had care with Ten Moons and homebirths with both my babies! So, so lucky and fortunate to be listened to, valued and given incredible patience during delivery and during appointments. I value and hold dear my experiences. I love Ten Moons! — Kim J.
Aimee and Desiree are truly the best! Caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable at what they do. Their prenatal care kept me calm and unintimidated at what lied ahead. They gave me exactly what I was looking for in labor and delivery, which was to allow me to focus on my body's natural abilities and instinct to pull myself through the hardest task ever without unnecessary disturbance. -Dawn M.
I remember coming home from school when I was younger and consuming myself with birthing documentaries. Growing up and learning more about the birthing experience, I was troubled that it had become over medicalized. Many women weren’t given the opportunity to listen to their bodies, nor vital information regarding their natural options for birth. In spite of my deep interest, I wasn’t exposed to midwifery until after my high school graduation. Since then, I've been pursuing it as a career and it has become my passion.
After almost 3 years of didactic training at Hartland College, I am excited to finally begin my midwifery apprenticeship under the guidance of the midwives at Ten Moons. My mission is to get back to the basics and provide women with as much information and empowerment necessary to make an informed decision concerning the birth of their child. I believe that women should have the power to choose their method of giving birth. Thanks Aimee & Desiree for giving me this opportunity!
Ten Moons Midwives Are Midwives Model of Care™ Providers
The Midwives Model of Care™ is a fundamentally different approach to pregnancy and childbirth than contemporary obstetrics. Midwifery care is uniquely nurturing, hands-on care before, during, and after birth. Midwives are health care professionals specializing in pregnancy and childbirth who develop a trusting relationship with their clients, which results in confident, supported labor and birth. While there are different types of midwives practicing in various settings, all midwives are trained to provide comprehensive prenatal care and education, guide labor and birth, address complications, and care for newborns. The Midwives Model of Care™ is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life events. The Midwives Model of Care includes:
- monitoring the physical, psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle
- providing the mother with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support
- minimizing technological interventions and
- identifying and referring clients who require obstetrical attention.
The application of this model has been proven to reduce to incidence of birth injury, trauma, and cesarean section.