Homebirth Midwifery Training
In the early 1970s, being a homebirth midwife was extremely rare and it was difficult for women to birth at home in this country. It was even more rare to find a homebirth midwife or doctor to attend a woman giving birth at home. Therefore some women were giving birth at home alone, assisted only by their partners and their friends. I supported a few of these women by rubbing their backs, giving them sips of water, and offering encouragement. The need for educated assistance and the intuitive ways in which women were able to give birth to their babies truly inspired me to become a homebirth midwife.
I was also inspired by reading Fredrick Leboyer’s book, BIRTH WITHOUT VIOLENCE; Ina May Gaskin’s SPIRITUAL MIDWIFERY, and THE MAGICAL CHILD by Joseph Chilton Pearce.
I found a country medical doctor and an RN/midwife to train with for four years. Another part of my training was Shari Daniels’ Maternity center, Maternidad de la Luz, in El Paso, Texas, after which I obtained my Texas midwifery license. After helping to pioneer the California licensing process, I was able to become a licensed midwife in California.
While in Guatemala, I was fortunate to work and learn with native traditional midwives. I learned to use their native herbs and watched the rural Guatemalan women give birth simply and with little effort or fear.
Susanna Napierala at the Black Sea with Igor Charkovsky
I was honored to work with the pioneer of waterbirth, Igor Charkovsky, in Moscow and the Black Sea in Crimea. Traditional Russian midwives and Marsden Wagner from the World Health Organization were with me there. Women were giving birth in the sea while appearing to be in a state of meditation.
I have lectured about childbirth throughout Europe, Israel, and North America. While in Berlin, Germany, I taught at the Berlin Midwifery School and also taught a course through the Women’s Studies Department, “The History of Midwifery and Childbirth,” at Sonoma State University.
Part of my studies toward midwifery included EMT certification and two year RN program. After 40+ years, I am still learning from the mamas and babies that I serve as well as my sister midwives. I will continue to do so.
Pioneering Midwifery in Sonoma County
I am one of a handful of Sonoma County midwives that helped pioneer the midwifery and homebirth movement in Sonoma County during the 1970s-1980s and was instrumental in facilitating the first CAM (California Association of Midwives) meetings in San Francisco and Sonoma counties. I helped to lead the way for the legalization of midwifery in California. My efforts, along with other pioneer midwives, eventually led to legalization and the ability for those coming up to legally practice midwifery. The contributions that were made throughout my 40+ years of midwifery practice can be seen in both the homebirth and hospital birth environments today.
Certifications and Qualifications
I have taught courses at the German Midwifery College in Berlin, and Sonoma State University. During the late 1980s, I was on the board of the International Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Association. While in Europe, I lectured throughout the East and West on homebirth and waterbirths, and lectured as well back home in North America.
Rates for midwifery care will be adjusted due to the corona virus.
Contact me at 707-321-2078