Our Origin Story

I co-founded Quilted Health to build something new. Something for our future. Something for all of us. Our growing team is passionate and committed to building and championing a new model of pregnancy care. One thoughtful standard of care that is accessible to everyone. One flexible system that can provide the highest quality care whether you live in the biggest of cities or smallest of towns. One service that brings care back to the childbearing experience, and an organization that, at its core, is committed to transparency, equity, and collaboration with the communities we serve.

Although I’ve been working in healthcare for 20 years, my true path to Quilted Health started in February 2014 when I found out I was pregnant for the first time. Thirteen weeks later I learned there was no longer a heartbeat. I remember barely getting through the following months, trying so hard to control my emotions. I assumed that I was the one who did something wrong. A year later, I was pregnant again, terrified that my pregnancy would end in the same way.

Hands holding heart

After birth, I remember being in tears from the pain of breastfeeding, not knowing it wasn’t supposed to hurt like it did and up all night trying to console my baby. Fifteen months later I welcomed a second baby boy, along with thousands of dollars in medical bills, because I switched to a “better” insurance plan just in time for my deductible to reset.

“Our current system of care leaves too many people without access, and fails to provide the equitable, compassionate care needed during one of the most important times of our lives.”

My experience was riddled with heartbreak, uncertainty, and challenges – but it was an experience underscored in privilege. I was able to access medical care just a short drive away. I saw doctors who looked like me and spoke my language. My pain was acknowledged, respected, and treated. I never feared that my care would be compromised because of my race. I never once fathomed that I could die.

Pregnancy care is broken in the United States. What has been built is simply not good enough. We live in an unequal and racist society. This is reflected in the birthing experience and its outcomes, and the fact that the U.S. ranks worst in maternal outcomes and mortality out of all developed nations. Our current system of care leaves too many people without access, and fails to provide the equitable, compassionate care needed during one of the most important times of our lives.

In 2019, I pursued doula training and found myself surrounded by midwives. I learned more about my mother-in-law’s birth with a midwife in Ethiopia. I chatted alongside my sister-in-law as she gave birth with a midwife in Sweden. I gained insight about my great-grandma who was certified as a midwife in 1899. I will never forget the feeling when I realized that birth has a story, it has beauty, and there is something different out there. This dramatically different birthing experience – one rooted in history, inclusion, and intention – is something we can and should have. My experience was transactional and cold... and I assumed that was the best. I soon realized that what many of us think is the best, might not be the best at all. That inspires what we do at Quilted Health.

Needle and thread

why, "quilted"

Our name, “Quilted,” honors communities, friends, and generations of women and families past and future. To us, Quilted means something loved and handmade. It means stories that are told over time–passed down and loved, yet capable of change. It evokes safety, warmth, wisdom, and timeless, homemade strength. Quilted is the strong, steady stitch behind a patchwork of experiences and perspectives, threading better pregnancy care for all.

With gratitude,
Christine

Christine Henningsgaard is the CEO and co-founder of Quilted Health.

Christine spent 15 years as a senior executive in healthcare organizations ranging from small startups to large public companies including Amazon Care, Hometeam, and One Medical.

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