I am delighted to provide loving care for families in Berkeley, Oakland, and the greater East Bay. I bring a deep trust in birth and in the strength of each birthing mother.
As your home birth midwife, I provide complete prenatal, birth and postpartum care. On call 24/7, I am available to answer questions, safely guide you through the intimate journey of pregnancy and birth, and celebrate with you as you welcome your child into the world.
In addition to being a California Licensed Midwife (LM) and Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), I am passionate about supporting breastfeeding moms and am a Certified Lactation Educator.
My commitment to compassionate maternity care was inspired by my grandfather, a practicing doctor until his late 80s. Hearing his stories, following him on rounds, and seeing the close friendships that often grew between him and his patients taught me that good medicine is about "being there." He truly lived by the maxim "cure sometimes, relieve often, comfort always."
The majority of my midwifery training took place in Minneapolis with a busy home birth practice and then at a high volume birth center. When I had time off call I attended births in rural Iowa and Colorado with two midwives who serve Amish and Mennonite families.
I went to my first birth in 2008 as a doula and have continued to provide doula care ever since, first as a volunteer and as staff for Everyday Miracles, a program which connects doulas to low income women.
Contact Renee to set up a free consultation about your birth:
Cynthia began catching babies in 1994 when she first developed a passion for home birth. In 1996, she earned her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Yale University, launching a career that has included attending home births in Chicago, working as a full-time volunteer Senior Midwife at a birth center in Texas, and attending both home and hospital births in the Bay Area. A Registered Nurse and a Certified Nurse-Midwife, Cynthia offers a calm, reassuring presence that is a blessing to birthing families, while her expertise provides a safe container for the natural unfolding of the sacred rite of birth.
The safety of home birth comes in part from the strong relationship between midwife and client, based in trust, respect and open communication. As your midwife, I provide care founded on clinical skill and knowledge of current research and best practices. Abundant research shows that for low-risk women, birthing at home with a midwife is a safe option.
I deeply respect the autonomy of each person and value a woman’s right to make choices regarding all aspects of her life. I also value the oneness of a pregnant mother and her unborn child and the ability of the mother to nurture her pregnancy and make choices for herself and her baby. I strive to offer care rooted in shared decision making, informed choice, and empowerment of the mother. (See more from MANA and NACPM)
Most laboring women enjoy getting in the birth tub at some point, whether they end up choosing to birth on land or in water. I lend a birth tub to all clients desiring the option for a water birth.
I follow you and your well newborn until six weeks postpartum as primary care provider. If there is a need for your baby to see another provider in that time, I will help you transfer care.
I am committed to supporting the breastfeeding relationship. When necessary, I include extra postpartum visits to insure that breastfeeding gets off to a great start.
Because I believe in the value of placenta encapsulation, I offer it free of charge to all of my clients— if you want it!
Some people who birth in the hospital would still like midwifery care at home during early labor. As a monitrice, I act as sort of hybrid between doula and midwife; I provide midwifery care (such as monitoring vitals and heart tone checks) during labor at home and then stay with you as a doula upon arrival at the hospital.
For monitrice clients, I also offer to bring my camera and take photos as the process allows, free of charge. (I took all of the pictures on this site!)
I charge a flat fee for complete prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. Insurance will often reimburse at least some of this fee, depending on your plan. I work with a biller to recover as much of your costs as we can.
I hold closely the values of feminism, anti-racism and anti-homophobia and am committed to serving all types of families regardless of race, religion, sexuality, age, or ability. I believe that health care is a human right. If you are a low-income family, please inquire about my sliding scale.
Call to set up a free consultation about your birth: (510) 406-8333 . This interview usually lasts about an hour and is a time for you to get all your questions answered about my care and for us to get to know each other. I encourage clients to interview a few midwives so they can find the best fit.