Expert Care

I am a licensed midwife and have been practicing homebirth midwifery for over 40 years. I believe women instinctively know how to labor and give birth. I became a midwife to help empower women and their families to gently and lovingly ease their newborns into the world and to give birth how, with whom, and where they want.

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.

Igor Charkowsky

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

  • Registered with the state of California to practice as a Licensed Midwife (LM)

  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s Health

  • Attended over 800 births

  • Long standing and active member of CALM (California Association of Licensed Midwives), and MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America)

  • Certified in Professional CPR, Certified Neonatal Resuscitation, Lactation Consulting

  • Trained as a Bradley Childbirth Education Instructor.

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

CONTACT SUSANNA
About Northbay Midwifery

Letter of Recommendation July 1, 2021

It is with great pleasure that I am recommending Susanna Napierala’s midwifery services to you. I was under the care of Susanna for the full duration of pregnancy and the birth of our second child.  Susanna’s evident expertise made my partner and I feel supported, confident, and safe in the highest degree throughout our entire experience in her care.  She honored my autonomy while providing me with endless support, attentiveness, and guidance when needed.  She continuously went above and beyond what we could have ever hoped for in pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and the care of our newborn.  Susanna is not only highly professional but also gentle, warm, and personal.  She quickly became a part of our family.  With her nurturing hands and encouraging words, we were able to have an amazing, empowering birth experience that we will forever hold close to our hearts.  Her guidance during the birthing process also helped me to birth my nearly ten-pound baby with no complications whatsoever.  Leaving me with an easy and fast recovery.

Susanna is clearly passionate about her work and it shows in the incredible dedication she gives to her clients.  We will forever be grateful for her and now have the pleasure of considering her a lifelong friend. Susanna has our highest recommendation and we are happy to discuss our personal experience with you in more detail.

Sincerely,
Breianna Hansen and Bradley Alper

About Homebirth
Homebirth Midwifery

Water Birth: A Midwife’s Perspective

In her carefully presented book, Susanna Napierala, midwife to more than 800 births over 40+ years, suggests that giving birth in water offers mother and infant the ideal circumstances for beginning their lives together. Recognizing that this birthing approach was not yet widely practiced in the United States, Napierala wrote about commonly-asked questions: How does the baby breathe underwater? What about complications or infections? What specifically makes water birth a viable choice, and for whom? How do a couple and their chosen midwife prepare for water birth? Avoiding ideological didactics, the author cautions that, regardless of a couple’s expectations of the birth experience, every pregnancy’s priority should be a healthy mother and baby. Google Book Reviews

Purchase this Book

“We had the wonderful experience of a home waterbirth. It was during this birth that we were able to see Susanna truly in her element…Susanna was strong, calm, and supportive. She allowed the process to unfold at its natural pace, saying just the right thing, in just the right way…She empowers parents and especially birth mothers to own the process and give birth without fear. I hope more families call on Susanna. She is a treasure in this world of ever increasing medicalization and corporatization of the birth process. ”

BABY SAM'S SISTER MAYA