Lea Ritter, Primary Midwife
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.
Nina Baskar, Senior Apprentice
Bio coming soon!
Savanna Star, Junior Apprentice
My passion for birth started when I was a child. I witnessed my baby brother’s homebirth and even helped our midwife cut the cord. I was always very passionate about babies and liked taking care of them. I read Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin and Artemis Speaks by Nan Koehler when I was 16 years old. They both reinforced that birthing at home was both safe and a wonderful option for families.
I had my first baby in 2011 at home in Petaluma. River was born fittingly in water surrounded by loved ones. This sparked my inspiration to begin birth work.
In 2013, I attended the Heart and Hands Intensive series and Advanced series for doula certification and midwifery skills. I believe in the midwifery model of care, which sees pregnancy and childbirth as normal life events, not medical emergencies.
In the summer of 2014, I started my formal midwifery training at Midwives College of Utah, studying for the Associates degree. My knowledge about childbearing and assisting families has grown immensely since entering the program. Informed consent and evidence based research has become two of the core foundations to my training.
I received Doula certification through a Midwife College of Utah DONA training in 2015. I trained with a midwife in the Napa area on and off for two years, before having my second son, Canyon. He was born at home in Fairfax with Lea Ritter. I took some time off from birth work to enjoy my postpartum time with baby Canyon.
I am now back in school and working to become a licensed midwife in California. I am currently certified in Neonatal Resuscitation and Basic Life Support for Healthcare Provider. I have financially supported and been a member of the California Association of Midwives (CAM) since May 2014. I continue to actively take workshops and attend conferences to maintain and expand my knowledge about all things birth.
Caitlin Ryvlin, Doula