Neva Gerke Licensed Midwife (2)

NEVA GERKE, Licensed Midwife

Families often ask me: What drew you to Midwifery care in the first place? In 2010, my sister was pregnant with her first baby. She was absolutely set on having her baby at home. When she first mentioned this, I was shocked and said, “You can’t do that! It’s too dangerous.” She only slightly rolled her eyes at me and patiently asked me to read some books and learn with her.

Fast forward 41 weeks and I was sitting in my sister’s candle-lit bedroom watching the midwife quietly set up equipment and supplies for her birth. As I listened to my sister laboring in her own bathtub, I began to reflect on my own much less peaceful birth experiences. It hit me, quite suddenly, and with absolutely no doubt that becoming a midwife was THE meaningful work I was meant to do in this life.

Only a few hours later I witnessed my niece emerge earth-side and take her first breaths. As I witnessed her first gasps and gulps of air, she looked out into the world around her. That moment was absolute magic. My sister was now a mother and there was a new little person for everyone to fall in love with. Even more than a decade later, my sister remembers her experience as magical and empowering.

What keeps you coming back to midwifery?

Guiding families to that magic has truly become my life’s work. It’s an honor to watch parents fall in love with their babies and to witness the pure humanity of that struggle and triumph. Ask your grandmothers and elders about their most transformative life events, almost without fail, the birth of their children will be at the very top.

Midwives can truly make a difference in the lives of the people they serve. Our sacrifice can be daunting. We spend time away from our families, sometimes days on end and our crazy irregular schedule continues year after year. However, that time and energy we spend with clients, holding the space for them to be vulnerable and emerge stronger, can actually change how they see themselves and the way they parent their children. I hope that energy can transform the world into a tiny bit of a better place, one birth at a time.

Midwifery training & certifications

  • Licensed Midwife, State of Washington 2014-present
  • Certified Professional Midwife, 2014
  • Bastyr University, Masters of Science in Midwifery 2014
  • Neonatal Resuscitation Program, Advanced Provider (2012-present)
  • Healthcare Provider CPR and First Aide (2012-present)
  • DONA Doula Training, The Birthing Inn 2011
  • Lamaze Child Birth Educator Training, Seattle 2011
  • University of South Carolina, BS in Exercise Science 2002
Midwife Neva Gerke helping new father cut the umblical cord at a home water birth with older sister looking on.
home newborn exam with Puyallup midwife Neva Gerke
New father watches as Puyallup midwife Neva Gerk does the newborn exam after a home birth

A bit more about Neva...

My life tends to lean to extremes. I grew up in Wyoming as the oldest of 5. When I was only 17 I enlisted in the US Marine Corps. I left for boot camp immediately after high school and served for 11 years on both US coasts and in multiple places overseas. I spent a few years in corporate leadership at a logistics company before starting on the journey that led me to midwifery.

When I am off-call for births, I escape into camping, fishing, gardening and just being outside. My greatest accomplishment is growing and then raising two thoughtful young men.

In another life, I'm pretty sure I was… A Shaolin Monk and a Valkyrie

What's the most inspiring part of your job? Watching clients triumph over difficulties and gain confidence in their own strength

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be… Oh, invisibility and super speed for sure!

Who is your hero? The midwives who came before me.

If you weren’t a midwife, what would you be? A world-class rally car driver.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Breakfast, bacon and eggs with fruit for life!

What three items would you take with you on a deserted island? Sunscreen, a KA-BAR knife and large boat to drive home when the sunscreen ran out.