Midwife Biography

Dena Moes, CNM, grew up in West Hollywood, CA. She attended Yale College where she received a B.A. in Literature and Women’s Studies. After college she moved to New York City where she worked, explored the vast cultural resources of city life, and pondered her life's purpose. At the age of twenty-three, a friend placed a copy of Ina May Gaskin’s Spiritual Midwifery in her hands. By the time she finished reading it, Dena knew her life's purpose was to be a midwife.

Dena first became a doula, and she volunteered her services at North Central Bronx Hospital. There, she provided labor support for uninsured, recent immigrants from Africa, Haiti, Central America and Albania.She saw certified nurse-midwives run a busy labor and delivery unit with record-breaking low cesarean rates and excellent outcomes. She then attended Yale University School of Nursing's three-year program in nurse-midwifery. She received her RN in 1995 and her MSN in 1996, the same year she was certified in nurse-midwifery by the American College of Nurse Midwives. During her training, Dena studied with a homebirth midwife who served the Old Order Amish in rural Pennsylvania. During her semester living in an Amish farmhouse, she attended thirty homebirths in a culture in which homebirth is the norm and birth is understood as a normal part of farm life.

Since 1996, Dena has served birthing families in a variety of settings.

Dena kisses a new baby

After graduation, Dena worked as a midwife in a small town in Kansas, where she attended almost every birth that happened in two rural hospitals over one year. She and her husband Adam then moved to the Santa Cruz area, where Adam studied Traditional Chinese Medicine. In Santa Cruz , she worked as a labor and delivery nurse for two years, as well as provided primary care, gynecology, and family planning in a women's clinic. Dena's first daughter, Clarabel, was born at home in Santa Cruz.

Dena and her family moved to the Chico area in early 2002. She worked as a midwife for Paradise Midwifery Service at Feather River Hospital until her second daughter Sophia was born. By this time, Dena had attended about two hundred births. When her second daughter turned two, she knew the time for her homebirth practice had come. In 2005, Sacred Ways Homebirth was born. Dena has been honored to attend the births of almost a hundred Chico-area babies since opening her practice. This fall, 2010, she was excited to see her first home-born clients entering kindergarten!

In addition to her passion for midwifery, Dena is a singer/songwriter; her music can be found at www.myspace.com/denamoes. Dena and her husband share a great love of wilderness, and spend many weeks each summer camping with their children . She is also an advocate of attachment parenting and is a very involved parent at her daughter's charter Waldorf school.