Full-Scope Midwifery

Childbirth the Way Nature Intended is a full-scope midwifery practice providing licensed home birth, holistic well-woman care, doula services, and childbirth education. The company is run by Debbie Boucher, APN, CNM and has an office in Gurnee, Illinois. The home birth coverage area includes northeast Illinois and southeast Wisconsin.

Our Staff

Debbie Boucher, Midwife

Debbie Boucher, APN, CNM is a certified nurse-midwife licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin. She started providing labor support in 1993 as a doula and a childbirth educator (Bradley Method). After several years she realized that there were no licensed midwives in Lake County, and very few home birth options, so she decided to go back to school to become a CNM.

After completing an undergraduate nursing degree in 2005 at Loyola University Chicago, she became a licensed RN that same year and started attending home births, working under the supervision of two MD practices and two CNMs. She completed a master’s degree in nursing in 2008 at University of Illinois at Chicago which enabled her to become a certified nurse midwife (CNM) and receive a license to practice. At that point she started her midwifery private practice, in July 2008.

Elissa Larkin, CNM, RN

A native of Sumter, SC Elissa earned her nursing degree at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, she served as an officer in the United States Navy Nurse Corps and completed assignments at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD and at the Marine Corps base in Twentynine Palms, CA. Elissa completed studies to become a nurse-midwife and earned her master’s degree in nursing through the Frontier School of Nursing University and worked with Midwifery Care Associates, a home birth practice in Pennington, NJ.

Elissa enjoyed serving the members of the military and their families as a navy nurse and loves supporting women at their home births. She has had two of her own babies at home.

Elissa recently moved to the area and is very grateful to be working with Childbirth the Way Nature Intended. Elissa is married to Matthew Larkin. They have two sons and a daughter and are expecting their fourth child.

Gina Rooney, Doula & Midwife Assistant

Gina Rooney has been providing labor support as a doula and a midwife assistant, and postpartum doula services for women, children, and families since 1992.  She is the mother of four daughters, ages 5, 7, 16, and 18 years. Gina personifies a strong combination of knowledge and experience making her an invaluable resource and advocate for women and families, with a well thought out perspective on parenting, childbirth, breastfeeding, and women’s health issues.  She has taught several different styles of childbirth classes.  She is a certified doula and an accredited La Leche League Leader for La Leche League International. She is well associated with the field of alternative healthcare and has relationships with many reputable professionals including chiropractors, herbalists, acupuncturists, homeopaths, pediatricians, massage therapists, midwives, and obstetricians. Gina has designed and presented nutritional workshops, focusing on pre-natal, lactating, and childhood nutrition.

Julie Irvine, Nurse

Julie Irvine, RN earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 2007 and began her nursing career in a hospital labor and delivery unit. Julie fell in love with OB nursing when she witnessed her first midwife-attended birth in nursing school. After gaining several years of experience in the hospital, she joined Debbie’s team as a home birth assistant in 2013. She quickly discovered that she has a passion for the more intimate and peaceful style of labor and birth that staying at home provides. She is excited to work toward her goal of becoming a CNM in the future. Julie is married and is the mother of two small children.

Jane Dorado, Nurse

Jane Dorado, RN holds an Associate Degree in Physical Therapy as well as her nursing degree. She has four children, all born at home, and two of her five grandchildren were home births also. She was a breastfeeding mother for a total of fourteen years. After her first baby, she became a childbirth educator and taught for 24 years and has attended hundreds of births in the assistant role. Drawing on her Physical Therapy background, she has always been interested in facilitating the body’s own healing power, rather than depending on substances or technology which are extrinsic. She believes that with support we can do the most amazing things. Women are wonderfully and powerfully made.

Sarah Skelton, Nurse

Sarah Skelton, RN is a registered nurse with a passion for childbirth and maternal/neonatal care. She has worked in the healthcare setting for two years at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital. She is a recent doula and will be assisting at home births as well. She is ecstatic about being involved in the home birth community, and looks forward to her journey in becoming a Nurse Midwife. She believes every woman has a right to the birth experience of her choice, and loves being a part of the miracle of birth.”