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Birth Team

We are a team of five midwives sharing the joys and responsibilities of our work together.  The midwives in our group have all been working in this field for one to two decades.  Although our backgrounds and training are quite different, we are blessed to share a common vision and management style in our midwifery care.  Read on to see our individual bios.

Laura Doyle biography photo.

Laura Doyle, LM, CPM

My three children were born into the loving hands of midwives at home. Giving birth was the most amazing, challenging, and transformative experience of my life.  Midwifery clearly became my path after the homebirth of my first daughter. I was so impressed with midwifery care and its holistic approach, and how natural and intuitive it was. My homebirth experience was such a precious gift; I wanted every woman to have that same opportunity. Immediately after my birth, I started getting invited to my friend’s births and their friend’s births. From there it began.

I attended Sonoma State University, majoring in Gender Studies with an emphasis on Women’s Health (1991-1996). It was there I learned to be an advocate for myself in the realm of health care. Empowering women became my focus, first through wilderness survival skills, and then on to body awareness. In 2002, I completed the Heart and Hands Midwifery Program, taught by Elizabeth Davis in Marin. Soon after I began working as a midwifery apprentice with licensed midwives Lorraine Carolan and Avi Livingstone in Southern Humboldt. I worked with Avi for 6 years until her passing in 2009. Learning in this rural setting, where the nearest hospital was 1-2 hours away, has taught me to always be prepared and think ahead. I attended local midwife Jan Perrone’s midwifery classes and continue to attend conferences and trainings to further my skills. I am certified in IV therapy, CPR, and Neonatal Resuscitation.

In 2010, I went to Senegal, West Africa through a midwifery program called African Birth Collective. There I worked in a rural birth center, gaining clinical experience necessary to the process of licensure in California. I learned many great skills there and loved working with women on the other side of the planet.  I am now a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and a California Licensed Midwife (LM).

It was truly such a blessing for me to have midwives at my own births. The process of becoming a family is often times a huge transition. For most mothers and families it is crucial to have intimate support through these rites of passage. It is such an honor to participate and support families in this process. I believe birth is the vital roots of our beginning and should be as loving, peaceful, and safe as possible.

 

Calista Young biography photo.

Calista Young, LM, CPM

I began studying midwifery in 1997.  I attended beginning and advanced midwifery classes as well as many workshops and conferences over the next few years. I became a doula for Doulas by Nature in 1999.  I began my 2 ½ year homebirth midwifery apprenticeship in 1999, taking a break to have my son, Alder, who was born at home in the water. I have been a childbirth educator since 2000, specializing in homebirth.  I have studied homeopathy, acupuncture and herbs, and am a Level 1 Reiki practitioner.  I am currently IV, CPR and neonatal resuscitation certified.  I am also a member of CAM.  I interned at Casa de Nacimiento, a birth center in El Paso, Texas, for two months (700 clinical hours), from December 2002 to February 2003, primarily serving Mexican women and their families.  In total I have attended just over 160 births, 90 in the role of primary midwife.  I began practicing as a primary midwife in 2003.  I gave birth at home to my second son, Mateo, in December 2005, and my third child, a daughter, Annika, in March, 2008. I became a Certified Professional Midwife in 2009.  Knowing how precious my own family is to me, I feel extremely blessed to participate in the gentle birth of each new being and to witness the blossoming of each incredible family.

 

Brandi Schrauger Perez biography photo.

Brandi Schrauger Perez, LM, CPM

My calling to midwifery began years before I was a mother, emerging from both my ruminations about the ills of society and also my personal experience with the limitations of modern medicine. It was from this vantage point that I began to see how midwifery is like an acupuncture point for all of society. I became deeply inspired to help one baby and one family at a time.

I graduated from a three- year program at the Hands of Light Center for Traditional Midwifery and the Healing Arts in 2001.  During this time I also completed three years of apprenticeship in two separate homebirth practices in rural Vermont, where I was able to integrate my academic experience and further my learning under seasoned midwives.  Following my apprenticeship, I undertook a two-month clinical rotation at a high volume birth center on the U.S.-Mexican border. I earned my certification from the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) in 2005, and became a Licensed Midwife (LM) in the state of California in 2009.  I am also certified in Neonatal Resuscitation. Over the years I have continued my study of nutrition, and am particularly focused at the intersection of food wisdom, epigenetics, and our power to impact the health of future generations that lies therein.

I am blessed to mother 3 children–two by birth and one by marriage. The homebirth of my daughter in 2004 and my son in 2013 both brought me profound personal lessons that I continue to reflect on. As both a mother and a midwife, I see that the care a woman receives during the time around her birth deeply influences her experience and her confidence as she enters into motherhood. One of my primary goals in this work is to preserve the childbearing year as a rite of passage and facilitate it in a way that is safe, real, and respectful. My commitment to the families of our community is my life’s calling and my heartfelt contribution to what I hope can be a better world.

Suzanne Colby biography photo.

Suzanne Colby,  LM, CPM

My calling to midwifery unfolded through motherhood. With every joy and challenge of birthing and raising children, I was unknowingly gaining tools for myself as a midwife. Each of my three children was born at home with the guidance of midwives. Though all of their births were unique, what remained constant was the support and high quality care I received. Midwifery care fostered a foundation of feeling empowered in myself to make my own choices about what was best for my body and baby. I gained a trust in birth as a natural occurrence and a trust in myself as a mother and a woman.

After attending my friend’s birth in 2010 I knew I had finally found my life’s calling beyond motherhood. I began taking midwifery classes with a local midwife, Jan Perrone, and also attending conferences and workshops. I apprenticed with a local homebirth practice, Madrone Midwifery, from 2011 until 2014. During this time, I also trained at a freestanding birth center in Utah called Better Birth, where I was able to practice repetitive skills with a wide variety of clients in a high volume birth setting. I have studied natural herbs, homeopathy, nutrition, and spiritual energy work. I am certified in CPR for the professional rescuer and Neonatal Resuscitation. In 2015, I graduated from Midwives College of Utah with an Associates Degree in Midwifery. I also earned my certification from the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and became a Licensed Midwife (LM) in the state of California that same year.

When beginning my journey into midwifery I never could have imagined what I would receive back. Bearing witness to the growth and transitions of women and families during such a sacred time is an honor I hold close to my heart. The connection and friendships I gain in this wonderfully close-knit community brightens my life continually. Through each pregnancy, each birth, one baby at a time, I sense a gentle shift toward a more loving and heart centered humanity.

Ananda Morehead biography photo.

Ananda Morehead, LM, CPM

Ananda means Bliss in Sanskrit. I find bliss in working with women and families as they experience the miracle of bringing new life into this world. Words cannot describe the empowerment and confidence that a woman can experience by being an active participant in her care and choosing a birth team and setting where she feels comfortable and supported. I am grateful for this calling that allows me to walk alongside women throughout this unique and powerful journey.

The midwife in me was born through my own pregnancy and birth experiences along with many years of supporting families as a doula. My personal birth story came full circle, with my daughter being born peacefully in the water at home. My first birth, 5 years earlier had rocked my world and my son was born via a Cesarean Section. My second son, Jayden was born vaginally at the hospital, only 10 minutes after our arrival. I couldn’t imagine anything more empowering than pushing a baby out until I experienced true midwifery care during the pregnancy with my third child. The genuine care I received from the midwives during my pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with my daughter Alyssa, inspired me to provide this kind of compassionate care for other women.

I have lived in Humboldt County since 1993. I was trained as a doula in 2002 and supported families in this role for 10 years. In 2015, I graduated from Midwives College of Utah (MCU), which is a nationally recognized distance-learning program that is approved by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC). I completed my clinical training with the amazing local midwives of Wellspring Family Midwifery, along with working at a birth center in Utah (Better Birth). In 2016, I earned my certification from the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and became a Licensed Midwife (LM) in the state of California.

I am thrilled and honored to be part of Moonstone Midwives Birth Center. For many years, I have dreamed of helping establish a freestanding birth center in Humboldt County. The birth center is intended to be a sanctuary where mothers (and partners) can experience midwifery care and deliver their baby in a beautiful, calm, supportive environment.

I am confident that I have a lot to offer throughout the journey into parenthood. I honor and respect birth as a natural process and I have extensive knowledge about health, nutrition, pregnancy, herbs, birth, breastfeeding, and postpartum care. I am familiar with many comfort measure techniques and I am certified in Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP) and CPR. I am a member of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) and the California Association of Midwives (CAM) and I regularly attend conferences to stay current and inspired. I also hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Botany from Humboldt State University and an Associates Degree in Midwifery from the Midwives College of Utah.

Pregnancy is a time of magic and mystery and I would be honored to be a part of your journey through this rite of passage.