Kristin Effland


Kristin Effland Headshot

Department of Midwifery

School of Natural Health Arts and Sciences




Kristin Effland is a core faculty member in the Midwifery Department at Bastyr University. She serves as Program Director of the Maternal-Child Health Systems (MCHS) program. 


Prior to working at Bastyr University, Kristin worked with the Wenatchee Midwife Service as well as working as a midwife at Gentle Hands Midwifery in Bellingham, WA. She trained in Seattle, Portland and Nepal. She has had the pleasure of attending over 500 births (mostly at home or in freestanding birth centers) and has helped to coordinate the primary maternity care of thousands of families. Kristin is passionate about scaling up midwifery and maintains a web resource she developed for educators designed to help promote Equity in Midwifery Education. 

Kristin grew up trusting in the process of birth and in awe of the power women possess. She attributes this to her mother, who still speaks proudly of the gift she gave her children and herself by choosing natural childbirth. Kristin was drawn to midwifery to help persons of childbearing age access their personal strength, believing all pregnant persons and their families deserve to be nurtured and supported throughout pregnancy and labor. More recently, she has also learned first-hand about the critical role of postpartum support after the birth of her own sweet babies at home in the summers of 2014 and 2017.

Kristin very much enjoys teaching and has been doing so since 2013. She entered the profession with the hope of effecting change on both a broad scale and on a more individual level by working directly with pregnant families. Her approach to teaching derives from the spirit of Paulo Freire who deeply influenced both social justice and feminist education pedagogy.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, running, climbing, skiing, and playing outdoors with her kids Levi, Seneca and partner, John.


  • MA in Maternal Child Health Systems from Bastyr University
  • Seattle Midwifery School
  • BA in Philosophy and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland 

Professional affiliations

  • Kristin is active on the Legislative and Health Policy Committee of the Midwives’ Association of WA State (MAWS) and helps to organize Midwife Lobby Day in Olympia every year.
  • Vice President of the Midwives’ Association of WA State (4 years); Board member and Student Rep 2008-2015

Effland, K. J., Hays, K., Zell, B. A., Lawal, T., Grantham, R. L., & Koontz, M. (2021). Increasing access to medications and devices for the care of low-risk childbearing families: An analysis of existing law and strategies for advocacy. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health. 66(5), 604-623.


Effland, K. J., Hays, K., Zell, B. A., Lawal, T., & Koontz, M.. (2021). Medication access & midwifery integration: An Example of community midwifery advocacy for access in Washington state, USA. Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, 48(1), 4-13. 


Effland, K. J., Hays, K., Ortiz, F., & Blanco, B. (2020). Incorporating an equity agenda into health professions education and training to build a more representative workforce. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, 65(1), 149-159.

*Wiley Top Cited Article 2020-2021 


Effland, K. J., & Hays, K. Beyond cultural competence: Equity and social justice in midwifery education. Midwifery Matters, 5(2), 11-17. 


Effland, K. J., & Hays, K. (2018). A web-based resource for promoting equity in midwifery education and training: Towards meaningful diversity and inclusion. Midwifery, 61, 70-73.