Co-creating the conditions you need to stand in your most unapologetic magic and authentically exalted self.
I always say the relationship that is possible with choosing a midwife and receiving primary care outside of the hospital is one of the most intimate professional relationships that exists.
As your Midwife, I value being real and true within myself and with you. Thus transparency, communication, and honesty are valued in every step we take together. I am committed to humility, doing no harm, nonviolent communication standards, informed choice and having fun!
We will meet in a 20 foot yurt on the edges of what is known as West Sonoma county; a sacred patch of land first known to the Miwok and Pomo Peoples. This place chose me over a decade ago, and I am grateful to be deeply rooted in the curves of this landscape through the experience of attending births at the shorelines, across ridge lines and amongst sacred fire.
Brigid’s Well is our perinatal wellness center where we cultivate earth based connection and ancestral wisdom to meet modern day needs in our approach to natural childbirth. It is a safe and sacred container for all who are seeking healing, care and connection on their reproductive journey.
What to Expect
We feel lucky to do what we do and believe that being your Midwife is an honor and a privilege. We are committed to working together to develop sustainable systems for the needs of your individual family. This allows us to take the best care of ourselves while prioritizing you and your family.
As your care providers, we value and prioritize our collective spiritual, emotional, psychic, physical and mental well-being so we can hold the strongest and most authentic container for you and your family to do the same.
What is included in OUR Midwifery care:
- One-on-one, personalized midwifery care with two deeply experienced Midwives.
- Regular in person appointments on a routine schedule that are a minimum of an hour long and in depth in every way.
- Prenatal care and counseling that is somatically based and cooperative.
- Direct connection with your Midwife.
- Primary care outside of an Institution.
- Individualized & Ongoing Self Care Planning including Nutritional, Supplemental & Herbal Support.
- Birth Preparation, Education & Attendance.
- Counseling, Education and primary care on Lactation including breastfeeding, chestfeeding, induction of lactation and necessary supplementation for all the various reasons.
- In-depth Postpartum Care for the mother/birthing parent including pelvic floor assessment, healing and rehabilitation.
- Pediatric care for newborns through the first year of life.
More About Shiela
Shiela VanDerveer is the Founder & Primary Midwife of Comadres Midwifery, a home birth, wellness and healing practice in Sonoma County.
I meld a strong 25 year long background of social change making into my practice of midwifery as well as an unwavering belief in midwifery care as an essential part of creating a more peaceful world through evidence and loved-based practices. I have been in private practice for over a decade and am dedicated to the art and science of “undisturbed” birth, skillful midwifery care and client-centered healthcare as a conscious practice.
I bring a good dose of humor, an open heart and a mighty laugh to each and every one of my clients. I believe in your innate wisdom and am excited to help you know what is right for you and your family as you journey through pregnancy into becoming a parent.
One of my favorite questions that I receive from clients is about what brought me to midwifery and why do I care so deeply about this work. The story I generally tell them is about how I was called to midwifery through a fifteen-year-long journey of being deeply passionate and active in advocating for women, girls & trans/queer health on various political, social, environmental & clinical levels including my women’s studies education from the University of New Hampshire and working in various capacities in multiple nonprofits throughout New England.
The part I don’t mention as frequently, but is even more significant, is that I was called to midwifery at the moment I was born into this world. My birth mother was a young woman of seventeen and I was given up for adoption at my birth. While I do not consciously know any other details of this story, what I do know is the visceral wisdom inherent in the mother/birthing parent/child connection, the value of its sanctity and how to care for this bond, which is a life long commitment of mine and is at the core of my work as a Midwife.
As part of my journey to becoming a Midwife, I studied herbalism and natural healing with many skilled herbalists including Deb Soule of Avena Botanicals & Susan Weed of The Wise Woman Way. I received my first herbal certification in 1991 and have continued to learn from various teachers, including my clients, about the many benefits of herbal medicine and healing. I incorporate herbal medicine, homeopathy, flower essences and essential oils fluidly into my practice and love teaching about herbal allies.
As my activist career continued on it led me to rural India & Nepal with an NGO called Crabgrass and coordinated an international conference called Women & Water whose mission was to identify the rights and responsibilities of water quality throughout SE Asia and its impact on women & children. It was the women I met with on this journey, their testimonials, their courage & strength that moved me to listen more deeply to how I could help, how I could teach & heal with my hands as well as my heart.
And then — the Call. The Ah Ha moment. Of course. I was destined to serve women, birthing people and families as a co-creator of safe, authentic births. As a muse for the creative journey of pregnancy, birth and parenting. As an educator for mind, body & spirit wellness. As a protector of your innate wisdom. As a champion for the importance of undisturbed birth. As an intuitive self-care guide and a listener to what babies are telling us. As a Midwife.
After I returned to the states in 1999, I further expanded my skill set by becoming a licensed childbirth educator and doula and have been attending births ever since. I was fortunate to do my midwifery training through the National College of Midwifery and at the Northern New Mexico Midwifery Center in Taos, New Mexico. I chose this program because of New Mexico’s rich history of midwifery care and out-of-hospital birth practices. I valued that the program had established OB backup. Given my strong advocacy history and experience, I wanted to learn the art & science of midwifery in a collaborative manner. And this is what I did. I became licensed in 2006 and have been in primary practice ever since.
During my time as an apprentice midwife, I began The Gatekeepers Fund, a small nonprofit whose mission is to ‘give childbirth back to the family’ by providing midwifery care in areas of need and advancing the midwifery model of care through community outreach and education.
Through the Gatekeepers Fund, I have provided midwifery care in areas of need such as post-Katrina New Orleans and in Anapra; a barrio of Juarez, Mexico. I am excited to be working on reinvigorating the Gatekeepers Fund. As part of my commitment of giving childbirth back to the people and the original place of my inspiration, the GKF will develop programming and fundraising opportunities to support the Birth Village in Kerala, India to continue expanding their capacity of providing natural birth education, out-of-hospital birthing options, evidence and love based midwifery care to Indian women and their families.
In my practice here in Northern California, I am honored to continue to care for families of all kinds and working diligently on expanding access to and understanding of the midwifery model of care and the undeniable benefits of birthing out-of-hospital and on one’s own terms. I work with a variety of community midwives and as part of my commitment to traditional midwifery training, there will be apprentices as part of your care.
I have witnessed the arrival and caught hundreds of babies from the woods of New England to the Mountains of New Mexico to the expanse of the Bay Area in California. Simply put I am honored to be called to this work, I am excellent at my job and I believe in midwifery care as an essential part of creating a more peaceful world, together and one gentle birth at a time.
Thanks for visiting! I look forward to hearing from you.
-Shiela and the Comadres Crew