I am Kate Novotny: a registered nurse, birth and postpartum doula, parent, poet, and author.


I was 19 years old, in film school at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, when I first heard the call.

I realized the simplest way I could serve my fellow humans was to start at the beginning … through BIRTH. I cold-called every midwife in a 15 mile radius of my East Village apartment. This is how I met my mentor, a seasoned homebirth midwife.

In 2004, I attended Connie Sultana’s birth doula workshop through DONA. During my first years as a doula in NYC, I volunteered with Bellevue Hospital’s doula program, helping recently immigrated, uninsured and non-English speaking people achieve human-centered, and family-honoring births.

AS A BIRTH WORKER I’ve learned to honor this passage as a sacred, magical event. I learned that birth is a Portal. Birth work has taught me how to serve people through the most intense experiences in life: the hardest, longest labors and most awe-inspiring first breaths. I am grateful for each person who invited me to care for them. Birth is sacred, no matter where it happens.

In 2007, I got my first job as a Labor & Delivery Nurse, a role I’ve served for fifteen years now. As an L&D nurse, I’ve worked in five states; from rural community hospitals to world-renowned academic research institutions. In 2009, I was blessed to travel to Guatemala for six months through the organization Midwives for Midwives. I lived, learned and worked with Indigenous midwives, including my mentor Odilia Raxjal, serving their rural highland communities.

I’ve served birthing and postpartum people as a high-risk OB nurse in Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Omaha, California’s Central Valley and the Navajo Nation. Each setting taught me new lessons. Every single person-baby-family I’ve served has opened my heart and changed my life. That’s why I’ll keep reminding you that #yournurselovesyou. Love is the foundation of my care.

In October 2022, I was thrilled to publish my first book, co-authored and created by my beloved hero and friend, Erin R. Williams.

Learn more about HOW TO TAKE CARE.

When I’m not working, I am researching trauma-informed care, uplifting world-changing Black and Indigenous revolutionaries and healers, and cooking Midwestern casseroles. My most important role is to help raise a funny, compassionate and radical child. I live with and love a mountain-climbing man who makes me belly laugh, and two poorly-trained dogs. I like survival shows, stand-up paddle-boarding, camping and hiking. I am proud to be my family’s herbalist, studying via a year-long Herbal Intensive held by Kate Bodmann of Land of Milk & Honey Herbs.

Thank you for joining me here! Community nourishes every aspect of my work.

Love, Kate

One thought on “WHO I AM

  1. Pingback: 5 Things Your L&D Nurse Wishes You Knew | THE TAPROOT DOULA PROJECT

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