Gentle Homebirth Services

Birth by Design

Kim is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) working with Peggy Franklin, CPM.  Peggy and Kim's practice, Birth by Design, provides Midwifery Model of Care to all of the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area. 

Peggy Franklin is a Certified Professional Midwife, an RN, and a Naturopathic Doctor. She has been helping childbirthing families for over 30 years, has birthed eight children of her own and is enjoying her eleven grandchildren (so far).  Kim Pekin is a Certified Professional Midwife and mother of seven children.  Kim is a former La Leche League Leader and Coordinator of Leader Accreditation for La Leche League of Virginia and West Virginia.  She is passionate about homebirth, breastfeeding, and about the importance of good parenting.

Peggy and Kim love helping families in this special transitioning time in their lives. They believe that a woman’s body was designed to birth children and with the support and caring relationship that develops with a midwife, a woman can birth without the fear that leads to unnecessary interventions. They believe childbirth is a miracle and that birth is by design.

Peggy and Kim are currently offering homebirths, waterbirths, VBAC births and hope to offer birth center births some day. Please take a look at the website, send an email to ask any questions or to set up a free consultation visit.

Peggy and Kim host The Northern Virginia Homebirth Meetup, a free information class about homebirth and midwifery care, on the first Saturday of each month from 4-6pm. This is a good time to learn more about homebirth, midwifery care, ask questions, watch a homebirth DVD and meet others. Please take a look at the website, send an email to ask any questions or to set up a free pregnancy test or free consultation visit.

Birth Team: We like to work with an experienced assistant, a student or apprentice who has a neonatal resuscitation card. We have several women available and usually recommend one who lives closest to the mom. We are happy to let you choose if you know someone and have preferences. Although the assistant and the midwife usually cover the role of doula, it can be very helpful in some situations to have a doula present, especially for a first baby. There is no additional fee for the birth assistant.

A Note From Peggy:

These notes might answer some of the questions you might have during our consultation or initial visit. I wouldPeggy Franklin like to give you this information to read at your leisure so you can ask additional questions while we are together.

I am an RN (Registered Nurse), an ND (Naturopathic Doctor), and a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife). I went to a hospital based school of nursing directly out of high school and worked as an RN in the hospital and in birth centers. I studied Naturopathic Medicine to augment my interest in natural health and as a foundation for midwifery practice. I am a graduate of Seattle Midwifery School.

I moved to Virginia from Washington State in 2003 where I had my own homebirth midwifery practice for 10 years. I am so thankful that the CPM credential became legal in Virginia July 1, 2005. I am enjoying practicing as a Licensed Midwife in Virginia. I am privileged to be on the Midwifery Advisory Board for the Commonwealth and the Board of Medicine.

I have attended around 1500 births, including my work as an RN in the hospital and in several birth centers; about 500 additional births have been midwife attended home births. I have worked with childbearing families in many ways; teaching childbirth classes, as a LaLeche League leader, homebirth/midwife assistant, as a friend and counselor. I have eight children of my own that give me an additional unique perspective from my personal experiences with birth as well. My transport rate is about 5%. I have had experience with most of the common complications and emergency care measures.

I have seen childbirth practices change and evolve over 35 years, always loving natural birth and concerned about the medical practices that interrupted this fragile physical miracle. I was a pioneer in promoting the early move from the sterile delivery rooms to the more homelike labor/birth rooms many hospitals now have. Our hospital was one of the first in the nation to implement this change and I had my second baby on one of the first labor/delivery beds. I have always encouraged those things that strengthen the mother/child bond, breastfeeding, rooming in, and natural health for the entire family throughout the lifespan.

I believe our bodies were made to birth babies and that most healthy women can successfully birth with a midwife at home given the proper support, education, and experienced guidance. The parents are in charge of their birth. I am a silent observer and encourager, moving into their space only as they request or require. I love teaching couples about the usual childbirth practices, their risks and benefits, and encourage them to make their own decisions about the care they desire. Information is power. FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. Knowing the truth and understanding how to preserve and promote our body’s normal functioning, we can then trust our bodies to do the rest.

A Note from Kim:

I am the mother of seven children, two by marriage and five by birth.  My oldest children are in college, and my youngest child is just three years old.  I’ve had three of my babies in the hospital, and my last two babies were born at home with midwives.  My husband and I have lived in western Loudoun County for over ten years now, but I have lived all over the United States.  I grew up mainly in South Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming, and moved to Virginia in 1995.

My life path has taken many twists and turns over the years.  I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting in 1995.  I did tax and accounting work for several years before starting my own natural parenting products business in 2002.  I became a La Leche League Leader in 2001, and was appointed the Coordinator of Leader Accreditation for Virginia and West Virginia in 2002.  I am a graduate of National Midwifery Institute, a MEAC-accredited school of midwifery.

Helping mothers with birth and breastfeeding has been something I’ve wanted to do all my life.  Even as a child, I was fascinated with birth, babies, and breastfeeding.  The first birth I attended was in 1982, when I helped my friend with her hospital birth.  Back then, moms gave birth in a delivery room, which was basically an operating room – very cold and sterile.  Helping my friend with her birth sparked a fire in me to seek out knowledge about natural childbirth and a more family-centered experience.  Over the years, through my involvement in La Leche League, childbirth education, and my midwifery training, I’ve been blessed to help many friends, La Leche League members, and midwifery clients get their families off to the best possible start. 

As part of my midwifery training, I had the good fortune to apprentice with Peggy Franklin, helping her to serve many families with their home births.  Peggy was my midwife for my last home birth, and as her student, Peggy has been both my mentor and good friend.  Now that I am a CPM, I consider it my great honor to be her business partner and to continue to serve Birth by Design families.  I look forward to meeting you and helping you during this special time in your life.

About Our Birth Team:

Peggy and Kim generally attend all births together, and also work with an experienced assistant, a student or apprentice who certified in neonatal resuscitation and CPR.  They have several women available and usually recommend one who lives closest to the mom. They are happy to let you choose if you know someone and have preferences.  Although the assistant and midwives usually cover the role of doula, it can be very helpful in some situations to have a doula present, especially for a first baby.  Their fees vary and should be paid before the birth.  Some insurance plans may cover that expense.  A minimal assistant fee is included in your discounted fee.  Since they are also students, if you can afford to pay them a “tip” it would be appreciated.  A doula service fee would be separate.

About Our Fees:

We offer professional insurance billing.  However, we request that the early-pay discounted fee be paid by 36 weeks with a $500 non-refundable deposit at your first prenatal visit.  This holds your place for your due date.

We would love to help you plan your home birth, to be observant encouragers and informers as you desire.  Birth is a continuation of the love and intimacy you shared as a couple at the beginning of this journey.  Your love is branching out to welcome a child into your lives.  It is a natural, normal life process that is potentially one of the most powerful experiences you will ever have.  It is an opportunity to build strength into your lives as you grow in new and wonderful ways.
We look forward to being your midwives.


Peggy & Kim