at home birth cost california san francisco

Welcome Home

I believe you know deep within yourself how to birth your baby by trusting your body and opening your heart. My role as your midwife is to witness you, offer loving and grounding support while using my skills to ensure a safe pregnancy and birth.  I want you to remember you know exactly how to welcome your baby.

It is important to me to foster a trusting and collaborative relationship with you. Confidence and connection are built over the course of spacious prenatal visits. The best outcome is achieved when you feel educated and empowered in your choices.

As your midwife, I encourage and support you while you create your own ways of moving through your pregnancy, birth, and parenting. I am trained to monitor labor and recommend appropriate management should complications arise. 

Many partners choose an active role in the birth of their child and find that the environment of home birth gives them the freedom to be as involved as they’d like. Siblings are welcome and supported at all births. I offer suggestions for how to prepare, support, and integrate children into your home birth.

Feeding and bonding between parents and newborns unfold free from interruption or unnecessary interventions. The first hour after birth is known as the Golden Hour and we prioritize protecting this important and special time. I will keep a watchful eye while prioritizing privacy as you greet your baby.

I believe a healthy pregnancy and birth are best achieved with attention to nutrition, movement, and emotional wellbeing. Collaboration caters to women’s individual needs by creating a net of safety, connection, and support.

The midwives in our practice want the birth of your child to be a life-changing, empowering, and beautiful experience for the entire family.  Each child is a gift and deserves to be born into a safe, loving environment.  We consider childbirth to be a sacred and profound life event and it is our great honor to be a part of your journey.

As your midwives our services are focused on individualized and compassionate care. A relationship with clients is built over the course of prenatal care based on mutual trust and ensuring you feel informed and in charge.  The best outcome is achieved when you feel educated and can make decisions regarding your care in collaboration with your birth team.

Our role as your midwives is to encourage you in your own ways of moving through pregnancy, birth and mothering.  Together with our clients we carefully monitor the progress of pregnancy and labor, and recommend appropriate management should complications arise.  The key elements of this education, monitoring and decision making are Evidence Based Practice and Informed Consent.

Meet The Midwife

Lea Ritter

I am a Mother and an authentic midwife. My home is in the quiet, bohemian town of Fairfax with my daughters, June and Sienna.

My passion for birth work began at a young age, I was born at home and was taught to view birth as a joyous family event.  I have always been drawn to spaces where women are in their full power.  I feel at home in the radical and profound world of untamed pregnancy, birth, and mothering. 

I birthed June at the hospital and Sienna in a birth tub at home.  These two different births enable me to have a personal understanding of both choices.  

My formal training includes 4 years of homebirth apprenticeship as well as international work in both Germany and Haiti. I was a staff midwife and clinical instructor in Salt Lake City Utah before moving back to the Bay Area in 2014.  

I serve families throughout the Bay Area including Marin, Sonoma, Contra Costa counties, and San Francisco. As well as a Midwife I am a certified yoga instructor specializing in pregnancy and body image.

I strive to always practice from the heart.

Serving as a midwife is the greatest privilege of my life. 

 

I was born at home and from an early age viewed birth as a natural process belonging to the family.

As a teen I was involved in women’s health issues including reproductive rights and the positive body image movement.  When I became pregnant I began exploring different options for women and their families. I gave birth unmedicated to my first daughter at Marin General Hospital.  My own experience of pregnancy and birth along with witnessing my best friends home birth, moved me to become a Doula and  Midwife.

My training began with Elizabeth Davis’s Introduction to Midwifery followed by a 10 month internship at a birth center in Germany.  After I moved back to the United States I began apprenticing with several accomplished, highly skilled homebirth midwives.  I spent over 3 years attending home births in the Bay Area developing my skills and learning to trust birth and attend to the unique needs of a woman laboring at home.

I completed 3 months of clinical training at a high volume birth center in Utah where  I was able to gain an immense amount of clinical experience.  

In 2013 I volunteered in a rural clinic in Cap Haitian, Haiti where I was on call 24-7 and often delivered several babies in a night.  My time in Haiti was invaluable and further deepened my love of women and birth.

In 2010 I gave birth to my 2nd daughter, at home in a birth tub surrounded by family and midwives.

Having both a home and hospital birth myself, I have a deeply personal understanding and respect for both options.

Following graduation I was offered a position as a clinical instructor and staff midwife at Better Birth in Salt Lake City, Utah.  As a staff midwife I gained confidence in my clinical skills, caught many babies and was honored to serve a large community of women and their families.  I moved back to the Bay Area in 2014 where I currently have a private practice.

My mission is to serve woman, offering  them  an exceptional level of care and the space to welcome their baby with love and respect as a family.

I live in Marin county and offer midwifery services to families in the greater Bay Area.  I am licensed to practice midwifery by the California Medical board.

Assistant Midwife

Nina Basker

My own journey through the magical and
sometimes mundane experience of pregnancy and motherhood began after I moved to Fairfax
in 2012 to give birth to my firstborn and be closer to family. Not long after his birth (wild, and
many days long) in a children’s playground in San Francisco, a good friend – a midwife – told me
she thought I’d make a good midwife and some piece in me clicked into place. 

I enrolled in the National Midwifery Institute and apprenticed for a number of years with a Licensed Midwife
here in Marin. Eventually, I joined Lea’s practice as her senior apprentice and birth assistant.  Today, as I work towards my goals, my family and I spend our time between Cuba – where my partner is from, and Fairfax, where we live with our children, their grandparents, a large mostly tolerant cat, and my daughter’s loud chickens. 

Ten years of building my life, my family, and my birth work have passed and I approach graduation after nearly a decade of study. These years as a student apprentice have humbled me, exhausted me, ignited me, and deepened my respect for both the incredible people who do this work and those whose pregnancy journeys we witness and support. 

I hope to always honor the ancestors who carried the knowledge in their bones and passed their wisdom on – who advocated, fought for, comforted, loved on, and walked beside women and uterus bearing people through the full scope of reproductive realities so that we may do the same.

Student Midwife

Emma Rae

Emma herself was born at home, as well as her 11-year-old daughter. Emma has known since she was five years old when she was attending a younger sibling’s birth that she wanted to someday be a midwife herself.

Emma believes our greatest gift as Midwives is the chance to witness the power of birth, and how it transforms those who get to bear witness to its magic.

Emma has been a doula and newborn care specialist for many years and has a background in music. When she isn’t attending births, she enjoys writing music at her piano, gardening and playing with her goats, and spending quality time with her daughter.

Holistic Care

Western and holistic practices are combined to offer low risk women a safe and satisfying alternative to giving birth in a hospital.  In our practice we regularly work with many different providers including Chiropractors, Herbalists, Acupuncturists, traditional Obstetricians, Naturopaths and many more.  We believe a healthy pregnancy and birth are best achieved with attention on nutrition, movement and emotional health.

For this reason we take great care to discuss our clients daily diet, family dynamics, access to joyful exercise that invigorates her and resources if there is any barrier to access and services.

Collaborating with other holistic health professionals allows us to help clients find the best way to care for their body and baby.  We balance using “natural” remedies and intervening with western medicine when indicated.

Birthing at Home

Home birth offers women a great sense of empowerment in all aspects of care.  Surrounded by supportive people in a comfortable family environment, a woman may feel remarkably less inhibited in expressing her natural and individual responses to labor.

In addition, when labor and birth occurs at home, there is less interruption of family routine. Many partners choose an active role in the birth of their child and find that the environment of home birth gives them the freedom to be as involved as they’d like.

You can, according to your own values, choose to involve your other children in the birth experience as well. We offer suggestions for how to prepare and support older siblings at your home birth.

 

Western and holistic practices are combined to offer low risk women a safe and satisfying alternative to giving birth in a hospital.  In our practice we regularly work with many different providers including Chiropractors, Herbalists, Acupuncturists, traditional Obstetricians, Naturopaths and many more.  We believe a healthy pregnancy and birth are best achieved with attention on nutrition, movement and emotional health.

For this reason we take great care to discuss our clients daily diet, family dynamics, access to joyful exercise that invigorates her and resources if there is any barrier to access and services.

Collaborating with other holistic health professionals allows us to help clients find the best way to care for their body and baby.  We balance using “natural” remedies and intervening with western medicine when indicated.

bay area midwife

Breastfeeding and family bonding are allowed to unfold uninterrupted in the most natural way. The first hour after birth is kept as peaceful as possible as your midwives respectfully keep a watchful eye but allow for privacy as you greet your baby. Women are free to move from room to room, position to position, often spending time outside in the fresh air or in the quiet peace of their own bedroom.

As the laboring mother and family you are always in charge. If and when we are concerned and or have suggestions we will discuss them with clarity and respect. Midwives expect the process of labor and birth to unfold smoothly, but are also educated in prevention and treatment of complications. We are always vigilant but also non-interfereing. Statistically, fewer complications occur in the home.