About

Remember

My fundamental belief is that we do not need to be taught how to birth. I believe we remember. We know deep within ourselves how to trust our bodies and open our hearts. My role as your midwife is to witness you, offer loving and grounding support and use my keen skills to ensure a safe pregnancy and birth.

My goal as your midwife is to foster a trusting and collaborative relationship with you. Confidence and connection is built over the course of consistent prenatal care. The best outcome is achieved when you feel educated and empowered in your choices.

My role as your midwife is to encourage and support you as you create your own ways of moving through your pregnancy, birth and parenting. I will monitor the events of your 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.

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. Your midwives will respectfully keep a watchful eye but allow for privacy as you greet your baby.

Holistic healthcare practices in conjunction with midwifery care offer low risk women and pregnant people a safe and satisfying alternative to giving birth in a hospital or clinical setting.

As midwives we often work with many additional providers including but not limited to Chiropractors, Herbalists, Acupuncturists, Naturopaths, and Nurse Practitioners.

We believe a healthy pregnancy and birth are best achieved with attention on nutrition, movement, and emotional wellbeing. Collaboration caters to women and family’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.

Evidence-Based Practice 

Refers to a thoughtful integration of the best and most recent evidence combined with clinical expertise.  As such it enables Midwives and their clients to address health care questions with an evaluative and qualitative approach.  Evidence-based decisions flow from a process that includes assessment of current and past research, clinical guidelines and other information resources in order to determine the best course of care.

Typically, Informed Consent refers to the rights of health care consumers to be informed with the best possible evidence.  This includes risks and benefits about testing or treatment options so that they can then make a shared decision with their provider among those options.

Meet The Midwife

Lea Ritter

I was born a midwife.

My story as a midwife began when I was born in my parents bedroom on a warm spring day. This is how I knew birth to be. Birth stories were told to me as a child that held joy, family, love and humor. I was born into the hands of a midwife and I knew from a young age I would become one.

I am an intuitive and community-based midwife. My home is in the Redwoods of West Marin with my daughters, June and Sienna. 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. I am not anti-hospital but I believe low risk birth is safer at home. I serve families in Marin, San Francisco and Sonoma counties. As well as a Midwife I am a certified yoga instructor specializing in pregnancy and body image.

My training includes 4 years of homebirth apprenticeship with bay area midwives 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 strive for exceptional service and to 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 2 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.  I was blessed to grow as a midwife under the guidance of Suzanne Smith LDEM, a pioneer of midwifery legislation and the first licensed midwife in the state of Utah.

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.

During midwifery school I gave birth to my 2nd daughter, at home in a birth tub.

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

Sophia Williams

My name is Sophia and I am a radical birth keeper, and authentic Midwife. I am located in northern California and a beautiful little town called Forestville. Sonoma County is my home with my partner and our two young children who love to explore. I enjoy being active and going on hikes or dancing with friends.

I first learned about homebirth and Midwifery when I nannied for a family that had a homebirth. Though, at age 5, I told a friend that I wanted to “watch babies be born” when I grew up…so clearly I knew my path early on.

I have enjoyed every minute of my education and love the midwife I’m growing to be. I have devoted my heart into learning all the ways I can continue to put women and other birthing people first over the system. Licensed midwives are still a part of the medical system that many families are trying to escape. As a licensed midwife myself, it’s my duty to always center the birthing person, their choices, and their family.

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.

Laboring women can, according to their own values, choose to involve their 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.

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.

Many clients chose to labor in water as this offers an alternative to drugs for pain relief. 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.