of Sacred Body Midwifery
I was just 19 years old when I discovered that there was such a thing as midwifery and homebirth. I knew right then that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up.
It took me many years and several adventures including moving to San Francisco and having my own homebirth before I felt ‘grown up’ enough to pursue my calling. I made a 10 year plan and said I was becoming a midwife from the inside out. 11 years later — thanks to many wonderful teachers, an apprenticeship, and graduation from the National Midwifery Institute — I achieved my goal.
I’ve been in practice since 2005 and take 2-3 primary clients a month.
SF Birth Center
San Francisco Birth Center provides comprehensive midwifery care in a safe home-like environment. We offer intimate, personalized care tailored to each family’s needs. Our midwives are trained to support normal birth and know what to do if complications develop.
Lidia Fong Waggone
of Whole Story Studios
A little over 20 years ago I became one of the primary caregivers for a loved one — taking them to the emergency room, scribbling notes about symptoms and treatments, keeping track of medications, accompanying them to physical therapy, leading them through prescribed exercises at home, and assisting in their daily hygiene needs.
Since then I have supported other family members through phases of acute need, and I know how grueling it can be — the concentration it requires to keep track of all the details, the sometimes odd and less-than-ideal ways the body strains and contorts to physically help someone who has lost skills that once came easily to them, the disrupted sleep, the trauma of witnessing a beloved in distress, and the overwhelm of carrying these responsibilities.
Without a deliberate way of processing the emotional and physical tension, it accumulated in my mind, heart, and body.
Bay Area Homebirth Collective
The Bay Area Homebirth Collective is a group of independent Midwives in the Bay Area. We are healthcare professionals who specialize in homebirth and the natural physiological processes of healthy pregnancies, birth, bodies and babies.
We dedicate ourselves to healthcare that is rooted in respect, education, love, informed decisions, self responsibility and interconnected support systems.
We believe that midwifery care is an essential way to contribute to the health and wellbeing of all communities. We are an anti-white supremacy group committed to offering inclusive and confidential care to LGBTQ+ families, immigrants and communities of color.
Birth and postpartum
My passion for birth actually began the day I was born! It was Thanksgiving Day, the whole family was waiting downstairs in my grandmother’s home, while my mom labored upstairs, assisted by two wonderful midwives, her two best friends, and her sister. That birth story became an integral part of my life and eventually led me to a deep interest in childbirth from a historical, social and feminist viewpoint. I learned what a doula was at the age of 17, immediately thought, “That is my DREAM JOB!” and have happily been fulfilling that dream since 2009.
My educational background includes Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in Social Action, Certified Birth Doula (DONA), Birthing From Within Mentor, Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor (UCSD), Postpartum Doula (Cornerstone), and Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training (Mama Tree). In addition to attending births, I also teach childbirth classes, work for the non-profit SisterWeb SF Community Doula Network as a mentor and program assistant and encapsulates placentas.
I live in Mission with my daughter Marlowe (who I gave birth to in July of 2020), husband Jim, and our fluffball pup, Ellie.
Some fun stats reflecting my experience: over 400 births supported, about 500 placentas encapsulated, and over 500 couples taught in birth classes. Outside of doula work I can be found exploring nature with my family, cooking and eating delicious meals, dancing in the kitchen, and rock climbing.
Birth Doula, Yoga Teacher, and Placenta Encapsulator
It’s an honor to have served mothers at home (with a homebirth midwife), in all five SF hospitals (St. Lukes, CPMC, Kaiser, SFGH, and UCSF) and the San Francisco Birth Center. I’ve been in practice full time since 2012 and have completed the Heart and Hands midwifery intensive with Elizabeth Davis, APPA’s PE certification, and an OSHA compliant bloodborne pathogens training. Currently insured through CM&F #702926 and registered with the city of San Francisco.
Maria Iorillo is a California Licensed Midwife (LM) as well as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and Certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). She has been in a San Francisco home birth practice since 1986. She has served on the Board of Directors of the California Association of Midwives and the Midwives Alliance of North America. Having given birth at home herself, Maria knows the path that lies ahead. Maria feels honored to attend the birth of a child, always feeling that it is a very special invitation to a private celebration. She suspects that her highest appreciation of spirituality emerges from the repeated witnessing of miracles.
Without a deliberate way of processing the emotional and physical tension, it accumulated in my mind, heart, and body.
Journeywoman Home-birth & Postpartum Care
As a Certified Hypnotherapist through the Foundation of the Sacred Stream in Berkeley, CA, Sandra has received expert training in Depth Hypnosis, Shamanism, Buddhist Psychology, Energy Medicine and Hypnotherapy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology.
Sandra’s path of healing service has been informed by two separate diagnoses and recoveries from cancer, as well her work since 2004 providing hands-on, unconditional support and advocacy for pregnant and birthing women navigating the complexities of the initiation of birth and passage into motherhood. Energetically “holding space” in the birth environment, and grounded in her connection with spiritual allies, she has been privileged to assist the safe and empowering passages of hundreds of new lives into this world.
Birth and Postpartum
Our Birth Doulas work together as a team to make sure that you have an experienced doula for your labor. You will have a primary doula who meets with you during your pregnancy to make sure you have the skills and confidence to begin your journey into labor. Our Senior Labor Doulas have years of experience and have attended hundreds of births in the Bay Area. The Associate Labor Doulas are trained and certified doulas who are building a strong start into their doula careers. They work directly with the Senior Labor Doulas in our practice to provide you with evidence-based information for your pregnancy and birth.
Birth and Postpartum Doula & Prenatal Yoga Teacher
My interest in birth began with the first time I witnessed a birth at home at the age of two. It was so peaceful that I fell asleep at the birth. I completed my birth doula training through DONA (Doulas of North America) with Debbie Lavin in 2015. In 2016 I completed my abortion doula training with the Bay Area Doula Project (BADP) and I continue to take trainings in postpartum care and pelvic floor health with Tema Mercado and Leslie Howard to gain experience to provide more complete care. I truly believe in the intuitive powers that women/birthing people posses. My goal is to support and empower women/birthing people and their partners through all the different choices that are involved with reproduction.
Birth & Postpartum Doula
Beth Rees (she/her/they), IBCLC CD serves the San Francisco Bay Area as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, certified birth & postpartum doula and mentor doula. Beth has over 20 years experience working with families and has loved being a doula for 14 years. In her doula practice, she incorporates evidence-based lactation and newborn care methods, laughter, mindfulness meditation, perinatal herbal medicine, acupressure/massage, and sustainable parenting tools. She teaches at Natural Resources as a newborn care and parenting and prenatal breast/chest feeding educator, and offers in-home lactation, parenting and infant feeding consultations as well.
Beth is a co-founder and doula with Doulahood – a community of doulas dedicated to client continuity of care, community-based doula collaboration and doula partnerships. DH believes that by strengthening our doula community, we can offer a deeper level of quality of care to clients. DH use 10% of our doula fees to expand access of postpartum support and pursue racial justice within our communities. All postpartum contracts go through Doulahood.
Beth creates home in San Francisco with her spouse. During COVID-19 quarantine, Beth finds joy in gardening, making herbal medicine, hiking along the SF coast, cooking, sewing, and dismantling white supremacy.
Full Spectrum Doula
I was born into a long line of activists, artists, teachers, yentas, horse thieves and general rabble rousers. I honor that lineage in the way I approach my work. I am grateful to my mother for birthing unmedicated at Kaiser SF, and for always framing birth as something empowering. I practice as a full spectrum doula, a social work associate in the Women’s Options Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital, a student midwife in a home-birth apprenticeship, and I am studying midwifery through the National Midwifery Institute. I have been working in reproductive health since 2005.
Birth & Postpartum Doula, Prental/Postnatal Yoga Teacher
My training as a doula began in 2017, though I’ve been engaged in women’s empowerment and social justice work for much of my life, both personally and professionally. I was initially inspired to learn more about birth work and reproductive justice while working alongside a group of entrepreneurs creating social enterprises to improve maternal and child health outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa.
Birth and postpartum
Like many birth workers, when I heard the call to show up as a support person at births in 2013, I immediately knew I was where I was meant to be. I have been working as a birth and full spectrum doula since then and have had the great privilege of supporting 400 births to date.
I am one of the founders of SisterWeb, San Francisco Community Doula Network, and Currently serve as Director of Evaluations. It is my biggest honor to walk side by side with all of the doulas, mentors, staff, and birthing families in the SisterWeb family as we envision and create community transformation.
Prior to birthwork, I worked as an arts educator, somatic movement therapist, coordinated Early Education programs serving Latinx families, designed early literacy and somatic movement curriculum as well as taught in public schools and preschool settings. As a white identified parent and birth worker, I strive to be a lifelong learner, continually studying and searching for ways to use my privilege to dismantle white supremacist systems, support movement building and leadership among people of the global majority, and fight for equitable access to full spectrum reproductive care – especially for those who are most targeted by racism.
I live and play in the Excelsior District of SF with my wacky, intergenerational family (my parents, partner, kids, and pets) and spend as much time as possible dancing, crafting, walking on the beach, and snuggling up on the couch eating popcorn.
Birth and postpartum
Her empathetic nature and generous spirit has allowed her to share a time and space that is often fiercely guarded and protected, an opportunity she has fully embraced. Something about Suzannah causes others to open up, let their guards down and invite her to share and witness parts of their intimate lives. This makes her a natural fit for the role of support, coach, partner and friend that is “doula”. After spending more than half a decade focusing solely on the photography side of child birth she has been drawn out to apply her gifts and energy to the role of birthing companion. She received her birth doula certification through Naturual Resouces in San Francisco and continues to grow compassion for all aspects of the birth process.
An interest in wellness and natural medicines has also led her to study the benefits and healing properties of essential oils. Her knowledge and exploration of aromatherapy has brought relief, stimulation and benefit to her personal life as well as her doula practice. She is dedicated to educating and sharing what she has learned with family, friends, clients and all in her circle.
Every birth Suzannah has attended has provided her strength, motivation, inspiration and LOVE. She feels truly blessed to have found a true calling, a true community and a true purpose that does not feel anything at all like work.
Birth and postpartum
Jen began as a doula in 2011 after experiencing her own loss, which led her interest to holistic approaches in maternal health and wellbeing. She soon learned what a doula was and never turned back! Jen believes wholeheartedly in the body’s innate wisdom and a mother’s right to informed consent and unconditional support throughout her experience. Her love for birth, families and connection fuel her work and have helped her serve 500 families in the Bay Area and internationally at home, birth centers and hospitals.
Jen’s formal studies include a Bachelor of Science in Public Health (SFSU), Certified Birth Doula (DONA), Certified Postpartum Doula (Cornerstone), Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training (Yoga Garden), Yoga Teacher Training in Ashtanga, and Licensed Midwife in the state of California. Feel free to check in with Jen about midwifery services if you are interested or looking for homebirth or hybrid care!
Jen gave birth to her daughter Alia in August of 2020 and currently serves as a mentor with SisterWeb SF Community Doula Network. When she isn’t doing birth work, she’s spending time with her loved ones, at the beach, reflecting, eating all the amazing food SF has to offer, trying to stay in shape after eating all that food, and planning her next travels.
Birth and postpartum
I began training as a doula when I was 17 years old, and have been supporting families during the birth and postpartum period since 2015. I also consider myself a lifelong student, learning from my mentors and taking on additional certifications so that I can continue to evolve and provide even better support. When I’m not supporting clients, I enjoy reading, running, and aerial dancing.
I am currently working as a community doula for SisterWeb, providing birth and postpartum support to black mommas all over the Bay Area. I have made it my mission to ensure that the institutional racism present in birthing hospitals is dismantled, and that all women of color are respected, heard and feel safe during their birth journey. In the future, I plan to become a Certified Professional Midwife to give the mommas in my community more choice and power around their experiences.
I believe that all families deserve to be heard, supported, cared for and loved during the birth and postpartum period. I am so grateful for the families that I’ve had the privilege of supporting and for the many more to come.
Certified Full Spectrum Doula, Certified Postpartum Doula, Massage Therapist, Child Birth Educator
Cornerstone intersectional birthwork [doula], advocacy and educator trainings rooted in collaboration, community and anti racism.
Full spectrum, intersectional birthwork [doula]
Together, we are co-creating a global community of skilled birthwork practitioners who are committed to eliminating inequities in reproductive healthcare, and beyond. Join the movement for change!
Website Learn More
Delilah Raybee, CCH
I have always had an appreciation for the healing powers of homeopathy. But several years ago, after seeing a homeopath for my allergies, that appreciation deepened. I decided to become a homeopath myself.
In 2012, I enrolled in a three-year program at the Berkeley Institute of Homeopathy. The training provided a solid grounding in the history, theory, and practice of homeopathy, while offering a compassionate and nourishing environment in which to learn.
Now, as a certified classical homeopath, I bring that safe, nurturing atmosphere to my own practice. I listen deeply and respectfully, giving my clients the space they need to feel comfortable speaking freely about their physical and emotional states. During our conversations I quietly ask some questions to help bring out certain information that will give me a more complete picture. Once that happens, the healing journey begins…
Natalie specializes in women’s health, infertility, pregnancy and postnatal support. She has trained with Rose Glavin, L.Ac, a fertility and women’s health acupuncturist in San Francisco. Natalie has also taken continuing education classes from Claudia Citkovitz, L.Ac., a labor and delivery acupuncturist in New York.
When she is not in the office, Natalie spends her time playing with her 2-year old son, practicing Qi Gong and spending time in nature.
Learn more at NatalieTrousdale.com.
of Spinning Babies
Gail Tully is the midwife who conceived and developed Spinning Babies®. Spinning Babies® went online in 2001. Over 35 years with birth including 20 years as a homebirth midwife, Gail now writes and teaches and supports change in the birth paradigm.
Back in the day, Gail was kept busy organizing doula program development in hospitals and community non-profits in Minneapolis/St. Paul while training doulas with DONA International approval status. Spinning Babies®, Belly Mapping®, Belly Mapping MethodTM, Resolving Shoulder Dystocia, and now Breech Basics are the unique offerings from Gail Tully. Gail and her husband live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Prenatal + Postnatal Fitness
Postpartum Wellness + Beyond
Postpartum Core Awareness + Support
I’m here to share with you, after 15 years of working with women pre- and postnatally, my take on how to restore yourself after giving birth, and how to recover more fully and completely in a reasonable amount of time.
Katie supports women and new families through pregnancy, birth and new parenting. She is a prenatal yoga teacher, a birth and postpartum doula, and a nutritional consultant focusing on healthy pregnancies and healthy families.
Currently she teach prenatal yoga classes and work with clients looking to improve their health through diet and lifestyle shifts, focusing on the childbearing time. Katie works one on one with people to deal with specific health conditions or to achieve specific health goals, and also teach group classes on nutritional principals to support fertility, healthy pregnancies, nourishment for breastfeeding, introducing foods to babies, and feeding toddlers.
Holistic Nutrition Consultant
Kyla Brown is a holistic nutrition consultant specializing in prenatal and postnatal wellness. From pre-conception nutrition to postpartum weight loss, meal planning by trimester or for the whole family, she helps clients develop long-lasting, manageable eating habits that will ensure a lifetime of good health.
Contact Kyla for a free consultation, and mention Jane Austin to get 50% off your first package!
Cynthia Li, MD
Author, Brave New Medicine
She is a contributor to Thrive Global and Psychology Today, and the author of a new book, “Brave New Medicine: A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness.” Learn more at www.cynthialimd.com or buy a copy of “Brave New Medicine” here.
of Chairman Mom
Working women are told that motherhood will make them less productive. Workplaces still discourage motherhood and discriminate against working moms. Working moms often feel isolated and like they have to hide their families while at work. 75% of pregnant working women say they are excited to return to work after giving birth, but only 57% of those women return to the workforce.
The system is broken. We’ve spent the last few decades tirelessly trying to repair it. But we’re tired of small improvements. It’s time for a revolution.
Chairman Mom is a private network for badass working women. For just $10 per month, members get unlimited access to our private community of thousands of members, to ask and answer the toughest questions we face at work and at home. Whatever you’re struggling with, we can get you the answer you need, fast.
Postpartum Core Awareness + Support
My great friend, and fellow teacher Stephanie Forster is the founder of Preggo Pilates, and teaches pilates classes both at EHS Pilates and in Potrero Hill. Her mission is to help women stay in shape while their shape changes through pre & postnatal pilates, safe core work, pelvic floor support + more.
In the video below she shares with us a few simple things that you can do to make a BIG IMPACT every day in the health of your core – whether you are pregnant or postnatal, and if have diastasis recti abdominal separation or not!
Stephanie is one of the only educators around who leads courses specifically designed to help mamas safely heal their split abdominals.
Learn More about Stephanie and her work at PreggoPilates.com.
Watch the Video: Tips to Maintain Your Core While You Are Pregnant + Postnatally
Prenatal Yoga + Wellness for Black, Indigenous Womxn of Color (BIWOC) with Melylah Botté Smith
Join Melylah and other birthing BIWOC virtually 3 days a week to move together, breath together, and heal together.
Virtual Teaching Schedule :
- Tuesdays Prenatal 6:15 pm PT
- Wednesdays Mamas Circle @ 5:30 pm PT
- Thursdays Prenatal @ 5:30 pm PT
(Classes and gatherings are donation-based and Tuesdays class is free to Prenatal Yoga Project participants).
Melylah has focused all of her efforts in cultivating a (virtual) prenatal yoga and wellness space that supports and empowers Black, Indigenous, Womxn of Color. Too often, womxn of the Global Majority, especially Black, Latinx, and Indigenous, are excluded from, and lack access to, the yogic practice and the wellness industry. Yet, it is these same people who experience a disparate degree of trauma and daily microaggressions as a result of racial and social injustices.
If you are, or know someone who is, a pregnant BIWOC, or want to support the cause, please visit her website for more information at Melylah.com.
Melylah Botté Smith has been sharing her love of yoga and wellness with womxn along their pregnancy, birthing and parenting journey since 2007. Noticing the yoga and wellness community did not reflect back her diverse background, just like the corporate America she left, she seeks to cultivate space that supports and empowers Black, Indigenous, Womxn of Color. She holds certifications in Prenatal Yoga, Infant Massage + Bonding, Kids Yoga, Aromatherapy, and is a Doula Trainee. Most recently she joined Jane Austin and Alexandra Rossi in creating a free prenatal yoga teacher training for Black and Womxn of Color.
Melylah is forever grateful for Jane Austin’s classes, heart, Mama Tree training, and wisdom. It is in her classes, 14 years ago, where Melylah fell in love with prenatal yoga and found her calling.
The C-Section Project by Katrina Nevin
“In the first few days after my baby was born by emergency C-section I was amazed to discover how completely unprepared I was for the experience. I desperately wanted to talk with someone who could validate and explain the intense physical pain and emotional upheaval I was experiencing.
The hospital gave out a generic printed sheet of information about post-surgery rest, diet and incision care but I wanted something more comprehensive. I wanted practical advice and compassionate guidance telling me what to expect and what to do to make things easier.
That’s why I created the C-section project. This is a dedicated space for specific support and advice drawn directly from the experiential wisdom of many women. This is an encyclopedia and user manual in one, and a gathering place for stories, hard-earned knowledge and emotional healing. It is a comprehensive and intimate resource for women who are struggling to get up to speed in the aftermath of what is often an unexpected or unwanted major abdominal surgery: being unzipped.”
So far there are 18 people (and myself) who have shared their stories/advice in the collection. I have heard from many of them that the process of writing their own birth story was healing and gave them a feeling of closure, even many years after their cesarean birth took place. If you or anyone you know wants to share their story on the website they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the site, connect with others and learn more at csectionproject.com.
Innate Traditions Postpartum Caregiver and the founder of BellyFull Birth SF.
In her practice, her mission and passion is to bring simple and powerful postpartum healing tools and modalities into the hands of birth givers and their families.
Following the “5 essentials for women/birth giver centered postpartum care and healing as a framework, (rest, nourishing foods, warmth, bodywork & community), Lindsey supports postpartum families both in-person (in-home with Covid-19 safety/precautions) and online.
***Jane’s community receives $25 off the Online Personal Postpartum Care Package.
Instagram: @Bellyfull.birth.sf or visit www.bellyfullbirthsf.com to learn more and book your postpartum care support.
Infant Massage + Baby Yoga
Kari Marble is a mother of two and a certified yoga and meditation teacher, massage therapist, infant massage instructor, and birth educator with a passionate and extensive specialization in the childbearing year and in drawing deeply upon yoga to sustain us through all phases of life. Her vision for mamas is through yoga and massage to support women in their physical, emotional and spiritual journey into motherhood and deep connection with Self. Kari’s gentle/therapeutic, hatha, prenatal, and postnatal yoga classes offer a revitalizing and centering practice, educational content, and warm, nurturing community. Her bodywork specialties include prenatal, postnatal, deep tissue, neuromuscular reprogramming, and craniosacral therapy. She also teach meditation, lead yoga retreats and kirtan/chanting events, and train yoga teachers in prenatal and postnatal yoga.
Tips from Physical Therapists
Jane Quach, DPT, CSCS, ART
Physical Therapist, Owner at Jane Quach Physical Therapy
Jane Quach is a Doctor of Physical Therapy who graduated from Northwestern University in 2006. Jane specializes in Women’s Health & Wellness in all stages in life including Prenatal and Postpartum Physical Therapy, TMJ/Orofacial pain, and Orthopedics.
Liz Miracle, MSPT, WCS
Clinical Director, Origin
Liz is now the Bay Area Clinical Director of Origin, and previously owned Miracle Physical Therapy. She enjoys helping women prepare for birth, as well as serving those suffering from diastasis rectii, pelvic girdle pain or pelvic floor dysfunction resulting in pain with intercourse, incontinence, and many other diagnoses.
Liz holds a Certification of Achievement in Pelvic Physical Therapy (CAPP) from the American Physical Therapy Association. She is one of only three pelvic physical therapists in California and the only one in San Francisco who holds both a CAPP and WCS distinction.
Learn More about Liz and Origin at theoriginway.com
Charisse Balance, DPT, RYT
Charisse Balance, DPT, RYT is a a pelvic health physiotherapist serving prenatal and postnatal mamas in San Francisco. Her offerings aim to promote optimal pelvic floor muscle function through a variety of modalities such as : vaginal steaming, sEMG biofeedback, neuromuscular reeducation, myofascial release, manual therapy techniques, restorative yoga, yin yoga and prenatal yoga.
Charisse believes in the importance of educating her clients on what is going on in their bodies anatomically, as there is empowerment in this knowledge and self understanding.
Learn more here and find Charisse on Instagram @balanced.physioga for updates on offerings, workshops and fun PF health info!
Suzannah (Tipermas) Neufeld has been a therapist supporting people coping with eating disorders, body image concerns, anxiety, and maternal mental health since 2003. She has worked in residential, intensive outpatient, and school settings, and has been in private practice since 2006. In 2015, Suzannah co-founded the Rockridge Wellness Center, a counseling and health collective in Oakland. She has performed speaking engagements widely on eating disorders, body image, media literacy, perinatal mood disorders, and yoga therapy for organizations such as California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), Postpartum Support International (PSI), About-Face and City College of San Francisco.
Suzannah received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Drama from Stanford University. Her honors thesis involved writing and performing a play about women recovering from eating disorders. She went on to earn her MA in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. In her master’s project, she studied the use of expressive arts in treating co-occurring eating disorders/addiction issues.
Suzannah is also a certified yoga therapist, C-IAYT, having completed training at the Niroga Institute, and loves incorporating mindfulness and body/breath awareness into a creative and strength-based therapy approach.
Suzannah published her first book, Awake at 3 a.m.: Yoga Therapy for Anxiety and Depression in Pregnancy and Early Motherhood with Parallax Press in May 2018. She has also contributed a chapter about yoga and body image post-baby to the anthology Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Renegades for Every Body by Melanie Klein.
Whole Family MD
Looking for personalized postpartum and pediatric care? WholeFamilyMD in Noe Valley is pleased to offer a new unique, small-group approach to newborn and new mother health. Well Baby, Well Mama combines personal well-child pediatric and postpartum medical visits with the synergy and strength of a built-in community.
Board certified providers, midwife Sage Bearman, CNM and Avril Swan, MD, combine the best of western medicine with a holistic approach to create personalized health plans for each family. Intimate group visits mean convenience, extended check-ups, and support from an understanding community.
To participate, families must become members of WholeFamilyMD. Your child’s first visits will be one-on-one with Avril Swan, MD and at about 2 months of age your well-child visits will transition to group care. Urgent visits, vaccine-only appointments, and questions outside the group will take place at the WholeFamilyMD offices in Noe Valley, and group visits will be held at the San Francisco Birth Center.
For more information, you can visit wholefamilymd.org or call WholeFamilyMD at 415-642-0333.
Brittany Blockman, MD, MA, FAAP
Pregnancy is an exciting journey, and yet when I was pregnant, I felt lost-even as an integrative pediatrician. I had so many questions:
– How can I optimize my baby’s health and development before she is born?
– What are the best foods to eat and the most important supplements to take to enhance my baby’s health?
– How can I reduce the risk of pre-term labor? And so on…
I wanted someone to guide me through the latest science on how to optimize my baby’s health, brain, and body before she was born.
As an integrative pediatrician, I knew that researchers were beginning to understand how to optimize a baby’s health prenatally and in early life. However, when I was pregnant, I became acutely aware that parents are unable to access this information, and if they are, it’s often not early enough in their child’s life to make a difference. This is partly because our health system is not set up to work with pediatricians before children are born-and in particular, a pediatrician who is knowledgeable about integrative prenatal pediatric care.
I want to change all of this through a new medical service I am launching. MotherWit Integrative Medicine’s Healthy Baby Secrets program
Learn More Britanny, this program and her work at www.motherwit.earth
Sleep is one of the most challenging and tender things we deal with as parents, because of course how our baby is sleeping determines how we are sleeping. I think we also recognize how vulnerable we are in sleep, and we want our little ones to feel safe and cared for.
In your baby’s first few months of life, they are still adjusting to sleeping at night vs. during the day, and without being lulled by the movement and sounds of your body. However, there are a number of things you can do to lay the groundwork for helping your baby learn to sleep better later.
Caroline is a respectful-parenting educator and coach. She helps parents find greater joy and connection with their children and grow into their parenting with grace, insight, and humor.
Learn More About Caroline and her work at fertilegroundparenting.com.
Journeywoman Home-birth & Postpartum Care
Here are a few helpful tips that can be used with a baby 8 weeks & older AND for older children to help create more healthy sleep habits and success at night.
Nap nap nap! Naps can be challenging for many families, especially in the early months, as naps are typically short in length and inconsistent in timing. Watch for wakeful windows. Babies 6 months and younger will have short wakeful windows around 1.5 to 2 hours. Watch for sleepy cues and get those naps any way anyhow. Don’t worry, “bad” habits can be changed as early as 5 months. As babies become more alert, a dark quiet room with a white noise machine (do not place right next to the crib) can be very helpful for supporting naps. As babies mature (around 4 to 6 months), their naps will begin to consolidate and lengthen. At around 6 months I begin to work with families helping them nap train their littles because oftentimes babies need some extra support learning sleep skills.
Learn More about McKenzie’s work, and support offered to parents at peacefulsleepingbaby.com.
Patient Advocate & Owner of Iacopi Health Research
Amy Iacopi started Iacopi Health Research after her mother was diagnosed with an unusual subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The oncologists did a wonderful job taking care of her mother, but she noticed something missing: there was no one dedicated to addressing her mother’s-or both parents’-needs and concerns beyond the medical aspects of the cancer.
As a patient advocate and ally, Amy supports you and your family logistically and emotionally by acting as your medical research assistant. She will be your facilitator of communication with clinicians and family members, your referral specialist, hand holder, note taker, and so much more.
Learn More about Amy and her work at ihealthr.com.
The Power of Singing by Paul Godwin
Singing more than talking keeps babies calm and can lead to stronger social bonds with parents, improved health, and even greater language fluency.
A new study from the University of Toronto said: “Babies recognize the voice much, much earlier than they recognize a mother’s face,” said Sarah Trehub“Voice is a very powerful stimulus for an infant.”
If you want to get more comfortable with singing and learn a variety of musical development activities to try with your infant, Music Together of SF offers classes for Mixed Age siblings and Babies Only every day of the week.
Clients of Jane Austin Yoga receive a $20 off by entering the code JAYU2018 at registration.
Learn more & start singing with your little one at musictogethersf.com.
Herbal medicinals to reconnect as a couple postpartum
by Dr. Giulietta Octavio, DACM
I know scheduling anything that once was spontaneous feels totally weird, but trust me: if you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen! During the new parent chapter of your life journey, sleep is short, time is short, and staying in touch with your feelings and that of your partner are very short. Yet staying intimate and relational is the very river of lifeblood that nourishes your relationship-land. Without it, drought and famine usually ensue (yeah, I’m getting all dramatic).
Seriously, without this kind of intentional connecting, it’s too easy to get isolated and lonely, even together. I say this because it happened to me, it’s happened to many I know, and it motivated me to share the importance of creating intentional rituals of connecting with you. That’s all fine and good, you may be thinking, but how the heck do I get in the headspace to connect when I’m covered in baby vomit and feel like death? Well, I have some thoughts on that, and an herbal cordial for that, as well! Read more.
Dr. Giulietta Octavio, DACM, has over 20 years experience guiding new moms, young moms, older moms, moms-to-be and their people through the prenatal and postpartum journey and beyond.
She offers one-on-one meetings both in person and online for labor prep, breech baby, and symptoms that may arise during pregnancy. Think a guide might be good for you?
Dr. Giulietta Octavio offers all Jane’s people, pregnant or otherwise, a complimentary consultation for strategic, personalized support.
Hand in Hand
Hand in Hand is a national network that offers support to help create mutually respectful working relationships between families and the providers they employ.
Hand in Hand provides information online, one on one consultation, and offers a workshop four times per year at Natural Resources on “Best Practices” for employing a childcare provider. Note: the next workshop is planned for April 18th at 6pm.
All of the resources provided are free and have been created by families who employ nannies in consultation with the providers.
Hand in Hand also supports the Fair Care Pledge, which includes three recommended employment practices: Fair Pay, Clear Expectations, and Paid Time Off.
Sign the Pledge and find out more information and resources about what these practices look like at faircarepledge.org.
Holly Edison, R.N., BSN, CST
Holly is a healer that works with babies and children typically on feeding and digestive issues through CranioSacral Therapy. This gentle, hands-on approach releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction.
Learn More about Holly and her work at sfcranio.com.
Amber Dawn Hallet, CMT, ATMAT, LMP/CMT, RHE
Mayan Abdominal Massage Therapist, Reproductive Awareness & Fertility Health Educator
Learn More about Amber and her work at amberdawnhallet.com.
Mental + Emotional Wellness
Dr. Erin Griffiths is a doctor of osteopathy (a DO) who practices holistic psychiatry. She is proud to offer alternatives to medications, including TMS treatment, as a holistic approach to mental health.
Erin believes firmly that we are defined not by our diseases but by our life experiences and that transformational change is brought about by working with the 5 pillars of holistic wellness. She leads her life with intention, love, and a sense of wonder and keeps the following quote close to her heart, “just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it turned into a butterfly.”
Learn more about Erin and her work at www.mensanasf.com.
Nicole O’Connor, CAMFT
Nicole O’Connor is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and art therapist. She has a private practice in Noe Valley working with individuals, families, couples and adolescents. She specializes in working with couples and families in the early years of parenthood.
Nicole leads classes at both the SF Birth Center and Natural Resources in SF on the subject of Transitioning from Partners to Parents. Read her piece below with some tips to help you stay connected and strengthen your relationship during this time of transition.
Learn more about Nicole and her work at nicoleoconnormft.com.
Wizer Therapist App
by Sige Weisman, MFT
About the App
At Wizer, we see life struggles as natural and universal, and we believe getting help for challenging situations should be simple.
Whether for everyday issues or mental health concerns, we’re bringing you the personal trainer for your soul – just one more thing to add to your positive wellness routine.