About

I’m Kari Michalski APRN CNM, the owner and lead clinician at Thrive Midwives. I live in a shabby cool area of Minneapolis, where I enjoy raising my son. The metro is my hub for its limitless restaurants, cycling culture, and multiple recreational trails and museums. When I travel, Lake Superior is often my grounding space, for kayaking, night fires, and a chilly swim.

I have 18 years of experience as a women’s health care provider, first as a labor and delivery nurse at a major metro hospital, then as a nurse-midwife. After 10 years as a hospital and then birth center clinician, I started my home birth practice in 2016. Attending home births safely and independently requires years of experience, having a firm grasp of evidence-based practice, choosing highly qualified support staff, and a commitment to family-centered care. Independent practice gives me the ability to innovate and provide the safest care to birthing families that desire low intervention labor and birth. I am also able to provide continuity of care over a woman’s lifetime.

The name of my practice “thrive” was chosen because I want everyone in the birth environment (birthing woman, partner, loved ones, doula, and midwives) to be enriched by this journey, to be strengthened, respected, and honored. Birth is not about surviving a medical experience, it is about stepping into motherhood from a place of wholeness.

At Thrive Midwives, you will work with someone who knows you, your values, your story. Visits are longer and more comprehensive than conventional clinics, so that nothing is missed, and your health priorities are fully addressed. Other advantages to choosing care at Thrive Midwives include receiving unbiased information and truly informed consent, the availability of integrative care (nutrition, supplements, essential oils, bodywork, medical referrals, prescription medications, and herbal therapies) to address your health needs, and access to a highly qualified provider. I have a master’s degree in nurse-midwifery from the University of Minnesota and am board certified nationally.

Because of my extensive professional experience, I also have a list of wonderful care providers in various specialties (family medicine, lactation, imaging, physical therapy, endocrinology, chiropractic, obstetrics, etc) to refer you to for all of your health needs.

Honors, Awards, Certifications & Trainings

Adult Basic Life Support and Neonatal Resuscitation Program certified since 2000
Recipient DHHS Professional Nurse Traineeship grant and Dineen Scholarship in 2005
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse in the State of Minnesota since 2006
Member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives since 2004
Board certified by American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) since 2006
Member of AMCB Certification Maintenance Committee from 2009-2012
Member of Regions Hospital OB Safety & Practice and Perinatal Committees from 2009-2012
Trained colposcopist American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology mentor program 2013
Blooma Provider of Distinction Award in 2016
Member of the Minnesota Council of Certified Professional Midwives and the National Association for Certified Professional Midwives since 2016

About Nurse-Midwives or CNM’s

Certified nurse-midwives (CNM) are licensed by the state of Minnesota, and board certified nationally to provide women’s health care from the teen years through menopause. Minnesota law supports the autonomy of CNMs as independent care providers, without the necessity of physician supervision, with the ability to prescribe medications. At Thrive Midwives, I assess, diagnose, and treat a variety of health concerns. I can refer clients to necessary specialists, have comprehensive lab services, and collaborate with a larger health and wellness team as necessary (family medicine, endocrinology, chiropractic, physical therapy, obstetrics, and mental health.)

Types of Midwives Practicing in Minnesota

Sometimes it is confusing for consumers to understand the differences between the types of midwives practicing in the home setting in Minnesota. Here is a link to a publication by the America College of Nurse-Midwives exploring the different credentials. Midwife comparison chart-ilovepdf-compressed (1) There are CNM’s or certified nurse-midwives, CPM’s or certified professional-midwives, LM’s or licensed midwives, and TM’s or traditional midwives. In terms of academic training and scope of practice, certified-nurse midwives are the most highly trained to provide comprehensive women’s health. In order to become a CNM, one must have a university level master’s or doctoral education in the discipline of nursing and/or midwifery. We are the only type of midwife who can practice in hospital, as well as birth center and home.

 

Interviewing home birth midwives

When you are interviewing midwives, there are a number of important things to ask:

Video about my path to midwifery

Families Thrive Midwives

I loved the ease and convenience of using Thrive’s telehealth option. My daughter and I had developed a nasty case of thrush and with three kids and a busy schedule, I had no time to travel to an appointment to get it taken care of. Not to mention, it was a Saturday! In about 10 minutes, Kari had asked me the necessary questions, diagnosed the problem and had a prescription sent to my local pharmacy. It could not possibly have been easier. Thrive definitely has a patient for life!

−Catherine

As a doula practicing for 20 years, I can attest that the physical, emotional, informational and midwifery care that Kari provides is truly phenomenal. She cares so deeply about the families that she serves, which is evident in the countless births I have attended with her. From the moment you meet Kari, her knowledge about and trust in normal birth is infectious. On top of all of that she has an amazing sense of humor! As a doula, it is a joy to watch her hold space for all of the fortunate families that have entrusted her with their care.

−Jessie, doula

When I think about who I trust to deliver my baby, my mind automatically says, Kari. In 2015 I delivered my first son in a local hospital, and the tender care and attention I received from Kari during labor, delivery and post postpartum, I knew I wouldn’t be able to find in anyone else. The amount of respect you have between the boundaries of culture and medicine manifests itself in your practice, as I witnessed it during my first delivery. You place your patients wants and needs before yours. You are there any time of the day or night via phone, email or text message. During the hard times of struggle and when my life caused me stress, I turned to you to help me get back on track to improve or maintain my health. When I was going through my miscarriage, I trusted in your expertise and wisdom. Even though I was far away from home when it occurred, you made me feel comforted as I knew you were just one call away. When I think of you Kari, it brings tears to my eyes to have known such a wonderful person and knowing my family trust you whole heartily. What I can say about you is endless. Thank you for all you do.

−Mai

I have known and practiced with Kari for a long time, and trust her implicitly to provide top-notch care for her patients. She stays current in evolving research regarding women’s health and demonstrates a growing knowledge base regarding use of supplements and herbal therapies. Kari is also really innovative in providing care in low resource settings, such as international health.

−Robyn, MD

Kari’s care is exceptional! Not only does she provide stellar whole woman care, she listens and truly forms a bond with each of her clients. Never feel like a number or meet an impersonal provider again. Kari takes the time to get to know you and your family’s health needs and provides you with the tools and knowledge to make well-informed and practical health choices. Thank you, Kari, for being my advocate!

−Suzanne

Kari provides a one-of-a-kind blend of compassion, attention to detail and well researched medical knowledge. She believes strongly that pregnancy and birth is a natural process for most women, recommending both natural remedies and evidence-based Western medicine when it was indicated.

−Melisa

I am so impressed by how Kari keeps up with current research. You can rest assured that the care you get at Thrive will be rooted in the latest evidence and tailored to your needs. Kari is a strong communicator and will be your advocate. I will gladly refer families seeking home birth, gynecological care, and intrauterine insemination to Thrive Midwives.

−Emily, nurse-midwife

Kari is extremely knowledgeable, her clinical judgment and decision making are spot on, she is easy to talk to, and has a comforting and peaceful presence.

−Christy

Kari offers the perfect balance of medical knowledge and personal care, while also trusting a woman’s body and addressing overall wellbeing. She believes that women’s bodies know what they’re doing. She helps you believe that, too.

−Maggie