Midwifery and Child Birth Services

Midwifery Care

I offer comprehensive midwifery care, which includes complete prenatal, birth, and postpartum care for low-risk pregnancies and planned home births.

It includes risk assessment, nutritional counseling, and some diagnostic tests, as well as childbirth education,  birth preparation, newborn care, breastfeeding support and access to my book and DVD lending library.

You receive my focused, individualized attention. You have autonomy, control and privacy.  Our appointments are one to two hours each, and take place at your home. We meet once a month up to 28 weeks, every two weeks until 36 weeks, and then weekly until delivery.  Myself and an assistant attend your delivery, and I make multiple postpartum visits to make sure you and the baby continue to do well.

Well Woman Care

I also offer well-woman checks, including PAPs, breast exams, family planning, and fertility awareness.

Placenta Encapsulation

I encapsulate your placenta following the Chinese medicine method to make an easy-to-take nutritional supplement that supports postpartum health. This is a two day process and yields 150-200 capsules.

marin midwife 2

Birth Doula Services

Compassionate, nonjudgemental support.

As a birth doula, I help create a harmonious birthing atmosphere for the parents, whether in the hospital or at home.  After our first “Getting to Know You Meeting”, I come to your home for two prenatal visits, including guidance in the BIRTHING FROM WITHIN® approach to childbirth, and I am available for additional telephone consultations.

I provide continuous labor support, bringing music, candles (battery operated), scented oils, snacks – whatever is part of your birth plan.  But most importantly, I bring a calm, reassuring presence.  I support you emotionally at this vulnerable time, physically with with positioning and massage, and provide information to help you make educated decisions. I remain with you for a few hours after the birth, and provide assistance with breast feeding if needed.

If desired, I also provide one postpartum “Honoring the Mother”  visit with a ritual bath and massage.

Traditionally, women have been surrounded by other experienced women during childbirth.  Currently, many women prefer to have their life partner act as a primary support person.  A birth doula provides reassurance and support to both the birthing woman and her birth partner, for whom this may be a new and challenging experience.  A postpartum doula cares for the mother after the birth and assists the couple with the transition to parenthood.

While your nurses and doctor or midwife are busy taking care of your and your baby’s medical needs, as a doula I support your emotional, spiritual and non-medical physical needs.  The simple presence of a calm, experienced person, whose sole responsibility is your comfort, can make a world of difference.

Studies have shown that women who birth with the support of a doula have:

Lower C-section rates 0%
Shorter labors 0%
Decrease in the use of forceps 0%
Decrease in the use of oxytocin 0%
Lower rate of epidurals 0%
Decrease in the use of pain medications 0%

  • Improved breast feeding
  • Decreased postpartum depression
  • Improved mother-infant interactions

(Compiled from Mothering the Mother, by Klaus, Kennell, Klaus)

Meet Our Birth Team

Shelton Livingston

Apprentice Midwife,  Doula

I believe that all mothers and babies have a right to safe, gentile and joyful birth experiences.  I am honored to be present at every birth I attend.  It brings me great joy to know that another baby begins life with a peaceful, loving start. I trust that gentile; compassionate beginnings encourage peaceful lives, which contribute to the peace we strive for on earth.
As a teenager, I recognized my passion for natural childbirth and started attending births at age 16.   I have since been on a quest of collecting knowledge, studying herbs, compiling birth stories and traditions and adding to my birthing “tool belt”.   At age 19, I gave birth to my son, Shiloh, in my childhood home.  I received Doula certification thorough DONA in 2002.  I went to college to earn my BA in Community Studies with an emphasis on Women’s’ Health issues from UC Santa Cruz.  In 2009, I attended the Heart and Hands Intensive series and Advanced series for doula certification and midwifery skills.  I trained for childbirth education and breastfeeding counseling with Aviva Institute.

I am enrolled in The National Midwifery Institute where I am working to become a midwife licensed in CA. I served on the board for the California Association of Midwives for 2 years.

I am currently attending births as an apprentice midwife and doula.  I have current neonatal resuscitation certification through the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Services I offer: Primary midwife under supervision, Doula (birth and postpartum), Placenta encapsulation, Herbal products

Dani Vincent

Registered Nurse, Doula, Non-Midwife Second Birth Attendant

My experience with birth began when I had my son, Justice, in 1994.  It was a life changing experience, as childbirth tends to be.  I was 19 years old and was just barely a woman.  I became friends with other mothers and was fortunate enough to be witness to their birth stories.  I heard women talk about intense love, healing, joy, trust, and bliss as well as, grief, fear, disempowerment and vulnerability. As I listened to these women tell their intimate journeys, I began to understand the utter importance of each families’ experience during childbirth and the correlation this experience has with every aspect of parenting thereafter.
I believe with knowledge, support, love and respect, each woman can have a birth story, which empowers, nurtures, and creates a space for healthy growth in their family.

I attended my first birth as a doula in 1999 and have since attended many births both in hospital and home settings.  I have worked as a doula in Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco counties.  I attended a workshop for childbirth educators through Passions for Birth, which I’ve incorporated into my doula practice.  In 2011, I completed nursing school with a preceptorship in Labor and Delivery and became an RN.  I am currently certified in Neonatal Resuscitation, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Basic Life Support for Healthcare Provider, and Fetal Heart Monitoring.  My goal is to become a Licensed Midwife by 2016.

I am currently offering doula services, non-midwife second attendant, continuing education workshops for midwives, and private childbirth education classes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a “Midwife”?

Midwife means “with woman”.
All over the world, midwives are “with woman” during  the most significant experience of their lives: childbirth.
Over 80% of babies born in the world today are received into the Bengal, caring, skillful hands of a midwife.
Midwives worldwide have a excellent recorded of safety, with numerous studies associating midwifery care with excellent outcomes.
In the five nations with the world lowest infant mortality and lowest rates of technological intervention, midwives attended 70% of all births, without a physician present in the birth room.
Midwives are specialist in normal reproductive care and natural childbirth.
They recognize pregnancy and birth as normal functions and not illness.
Midwives are trained to recognize abnormal conditions and provide stabilizing care until additional help is available, should it become necessary.

The World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women seek out midwives as their maternity care providers.
Midwives spend considerable time educating and counseling mother and families during pregnancy and preparing them for their birth, breastfeeding, and general newborn care. Midwives care are individualized to address each women and family’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Midwives are able to help most women avoid the use of routine obstetric intervention such as labor induction, IVs, anesthetics, and episiotomy.
Women who choose midwifery care often report feeling empowered by their experiences, more connected with their newborns, and better able to face the challenges of parenthood.