About Jean Hartley & Wildflower Midwifery

My two favorite parts of being a midwife--the moment parents first hear the heartbeat of their baby and later, that first moment they touch their newborn. No other job can compare!

Slideshow photos by Kali Eden Photography

When I was pregnant with my first child in 2002 I had searched out midwifery care. I had done so much reading and educating myself about pregnancy and childbirth that I knew midwifery was the right option for me. I wanted to make the decisions about my care and that of my baby. I wanted a care provider I was comfortable with and wanted to be sure the person I saw for prenatal care was the one I would see at my birth. I lived in a fairly rural area in Minnesota, however, and was unable to find a midwife who would attend a home birth in my community. I ended up having two children in the hospital and being disappointed in the experience.

I moved to Texas in 2006. In 2010, after 10 years as a prosecuting attorney, I decided to switch career paths. I was burnt out on the terrible things people to do each other (and to themselves) and the constant revolving door system. I learned that Texas had a midwife school. I felt strongly that if home birth was something I wanted, other women probably wanted it too. I hoped that I could help make midwifery accessible for more women, especially in rural Minnesota. I was able to enroll in the ATM Midwifery Training Program and I quit working full time as an attorney to concentrate on school and apprenticeship. I studied under four midwives who each practiced quite differently--this gave me a well rounded education. I had the honor of working with over 200 families and assisting families at nearly 100 births during my apprenticeship at home and birth center births. I completed my schooling in December 2013 and passed the NARM a short time later.

In fall of 2014 I returned to Minnesota and moved to the small town of Zimmerman where I started Wildflower Midwifery. I have welcomed more than 280 babies and have made many friends along the way. Many families have welcomed me back to help with their next birth!

My husband told me one day, "I have seen you come home from jury trials and I have seen you come home from births. It is very clear to me which one you should be doing". It is certainly a job I couldn't do without the support and understanding of my family. (Those unpredictable hours!) I truly love collaborating with my home birth families. It becomes such a personal connection to join someone on their journey to parenthood. I didn't always feel like I was helping people when I was prosecuting. Everyday as a midwife I can see the difference I make and I love my new career. Now I know too what a home birth is like. I did manage to have a home waterbirth with my third child after returning to Minnesota.

I come to midwifery care with a feminist view; the belief that birth is a normal process and that a woman is the ultimate caregiver for her own child. She should be given the opportunity to educate herself about pregnancy and childbirth and should be able to make the decisions regarding her care and the care her infant receives after birth. I believe a woman is capable of making those decisions and should be allowed to do so! My job is to guide my clients through normal pregnancy, birth and postpartum and to advise when it is no longer normal and a higher level of care is needed. Until that need arises, intervention in the birthing process is not necessary! 

If I'm not busy with work, I am going on adventures with my three children (sometimes my husband tags along). I also enjoy gardening, cooking, hiking, and pretty much any outdoor activity including just sitting and watching my chickens peck around the yard.

Apprenticeship

The art of midwifery is traditionally passed down through the apprenticeship model. A student midwife candidate must complete an apprenticeship with a qualifying midwife and master particular skills before being allowed to sit for the exam. I have welcomed Nikki Kako into my practice. I hope you will enjoy working with her as much as I do.

Meet Nikki:

I’m Nikki, a nursing student at St. Cloud State University and a future midwife. My graduation date for nursing school is December 2021 and I plan to continue on to become a midwife! My journey towards homebirth midwifery began with my love and fascination of birth, especially birth that is untouched. I will forever be amazed at the beauty of a child being brought into the world! I began following Jean after the homebirth of my nephew (July 2020) where Jean was the attending midwife and I was the doula. She agreed to take me on as a student even though I am currently a nursing student and can only attend prenatal visits and births when my school schedule allows. I am loving learning everything I can about pregnancy and birth and appreciate the experiences Jean has allowed me to gain.  I am thankful for the opportunity to attend client appointments and births as a student. When I am not studying, I love traveling (mostly to Alaska), hiking, mountain biking, reading, and being outside. 


I graduated from the Association of Texas Midwives School of Midwifery and passed the national exam created by the North American Registry of Midwives. I am certified in CPR and NRP. I am also an IBCLC. I carry oxygen and anti-hemorrhagic preparations in the event they are needed at the birth. I do a thorough exam of the baby after birth and can complete the newborn metabolic screening (PKU), hearing screen, congenital heart defect screening and birth certificate and social security card request.

Please contact me to arrange a no obligation interview. I would love to answer your questions.

Insurance billing available

Some companies exclude homebirth from coverage and some do not. Recently, Blue Cross and United Health Care have covered. Many companies may cover the prenatal portion of the care even if they won't cover the birth portion. Your reimbursement from insurance depends largely upon your out-of- network deductible and co-pay amounts. I can assist you with getting an estimate of what your out-of-pocket cost may be as well as helping with requests to cover home birth care at in-network rates. I do not know of any home birth midwives that are in-network with insurance companies, however, some birth centers are in network with several companies.

I am on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Midwives Guild (MMG) and a member of the Minnesota Council of Certified Professional Midwives (MCCPM). MMG manages the standards of care for midwives in Minnesota. MCCPM is a professional group that supports peer review, continuing education and public outreach.