Meet the Midwives

Lea Ritter, Primary Midwife

 

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

img_0286-1As 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.amy_thompson_photography_289455

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.

 

IMG_0294

 

Sasha Hood, Senior Apprentice 

Sasha is a Senior Apprentice Midwife, finishing her final months as a student with the National Midwifery Institute. She has been passionate about birth work since attending midwife assisted births in Durban, South Africa in 2006. Sasha had worked in birth centers, and homebirth practices In San Francisco, Austin, Texas and as a Doula with Carriage House Birth in New York City. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon in Human Physiology.

image1-2

Sasha will be a candidate for her California License and National CPM in the summer of 2017. It is her belief that through midwifery care, women are empowered to make choices about what is right for their own bodies, and for their babies and families. She is passionate about women’s reproductive rights and health, and believes that in all phases of a woman’s life she should have choice and sovereignty over her body and her health. Sasha believes in safe, woman centered care for women/persons of all races, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities. Sasha has also been a sex education teacher for young women as well as adults and a teacher or healthy relationship/sexuality development through the lifespan and studied with Nicole Daedone, author of Slow Sex.

image2-2

Women should give birth wherever and however they feel safe with the right to a skilled caregiver of her choosing. Sasha has had the honor of attending more than 275 families across the world welcoming their babies. She believes educating women and partners so that they feel empowered to make their own choices about the wellbeing of their newest family members.

Sasha is thrilled to be working with Lea and Bay Area Homebirth

Megan Wood, Assistant Midwife, IBCLC

“I cannot start my bio without mentioning that I am one of seven children – six girls and one boy. Being part of such a big family, especially such a female-dominant family, helped prepare me for my career as a midwife and lactation consultant.” Megan is known among her sisters and friends for her calm presence and ability to listen without judgment.

megan weighs the baby

Megan’s deep trust and ease with birth and breastfeeding is rooted in the knowledge that her own mother chose drug-free labors with all seven of her children, and breastfed each child, in a time when breastfeeding was discouraged and it was hard to find support. When she became pregnant at the ripe young age of 21, it was her mother’s birth stories that assured her that she could have a positive childbirth experience.

Megan’s first pregnancy and birth were her calling to midwifery. Megan hired a midwife to shepherd her through my childbearing year and took to educating herself with a passion unlike any she had experienced before.  Megan wanted to pass on the loving care and gentle guidance given to her, which is so deserved and needed during the childbearing year.

After giving birth to her daughter in 2002, she embarked on the journey toward becoming a birth support professional, a path that would take many years and a few big moves to complete. Along the way, Megan earned an undergraduate degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology from Stanford University in 2006, and a graduate degree in Midwifery from Bastyr University in 2012.

Megan has attended over 200 births and supported more than 500 families with breastfeeding and early postpartum care.  As her midwifery career took off, Megan also started honing her craft as a breastfeeding specialist. Megan loves attending births, but over the years she has discovered great fulfillment in helping new families adjust in the postpartum period and learn to breastfeed and care for the newborn with confidence and ease.

megan the baby holder

Megan is a nationally Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).