Community

Bay Area Birth Community

Try hard as I may, I could not do justice to the abundance of birth resources in the Bay Area. I include here the practitioners who have long been wonderful forces in the birth world, and whom I personally know and continually refer to.

Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine applies a different map to the concept of health and healing than the Western model: it works with your body at the root of the imbalance in a safe, non-invasive, harmonious way. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas are very effective at treating fertility issues, and can make an enormous difference during pregnancy and the postpartum months.

Craig Marble, L.Ac.
cmarble@speakeasy.org | 415-595-1073 | Presidio, San Francisco

Craig specializes in fertility and supporting women pregnancy through postpartum. His treatments are deeply rooted in his life-long practice of qi gong: he connects with the energy of the points and sees the person and her patterns clearly. Equally as healing is his joyful and compassionate nature.
Craig and his wife Kari also teach childbirth preparation and infant massage classes together. They are parents to two beautiful kids.

Tamara Brown, L.Ac.
tamaranadine@sbcglobal.net | 415-821-3634 | Mission, San Francisco

Tamara is deeply knowledgeable and caring. Being a mom, a wonderful nurturing always trickles through in her treatments, and the world’s weight can come off one’s shoulders, which is no small thing. Tamara has spent part of her TCM training in China.

Yoga | Pilates | Pelvic Floor

Britt Fohrman | Pre- and Postnatal Yoga
brittfohrman.com | 415-821-2699 | southeast SF

Britt is a dedicated and passionate presence in the birth world. The various facets of her practice converge to help women and families have a gentle, conscious and transformative birthing experience. She is highly skilled in somatic therapies which adds greatly to her work as a doula. Britt teaches weekly prenatal, hatha and restorative yoga classes, and is working on publishing a birth photography book.

Leslie Howard | The Pelvic Floor & Iyengar Yoga
lesliehowardyoga.com | 415-823-1699 | Bay Area ⇒ Internationally

Over fifteen years of teaching Iyengar Yoga, Leslie has developed an in-depth workshop for women addressing the pelvic floor. A source of indispensable information for women of any age, it would be particularly helpful in preparation for labor and restoring integrity and tone in the pelvis after birth. When is the last time you sat in a room with a dozen or three of other women and swapped pelvic floor experieces and wisdom? And you may just want to meet Leslie — she is plain inspiring.

Kari Marble | Pre- and Postnatal Yoga
welcomeom.com | 415-845-1073 | northwest SF

I consider Kari a Bay Area institution. She is profoundly and joyfully devoted to teaching yoga and helping mothers and families through the birthing journey. Her yoga classes support women through the entire chirldbearing year: prenatal, postnatal, baby and toddler yoga. Kari and her husband Craig (see Acupuncture above) teach a number of classes together: Calm Birth, Yoga and Massage for Labor, and Infant Massage.

Cynthia Bahmani | Pre- and Postnatal Pilates
cynthia.bahmani@gmail.com | 415-519-5926 | Pacific Heights, SF

Cynthia was a professional dancer for over a decade before finding and falling in love with pilates as her path. Her knowledge of the body — intellectual, artistic, embodied — is phenomenal, and her own ease and joy of movement is infectious. Having birthed two babes, she is a great ally to women on the journey.

Midwifery

Michelle Welborn
welbornbaby.com | 415-902-6987 | San Francisco, Bay Area

A beloved doula by many Bay Area families, Michele is now a midwife attending homebirths and a childbirth educator. She is exceptionally well informed, and as grounded, clear-sighted, and witty as she is warm and intuitive. Michelle also teaches childbirth education classes at Natural Resources.

Kara Jo Engelbrecht
mothercraftmidwifery.com | 415-793-6728 | San Francisco, Bay Area

When I think Kara, I think humor, warmth, intuitive body wisdom, intense dedication to her work and mothers. Kara leads a women-centered practice where informed choice is paramount, evidence-based practices are employed, and intuition is honored.

Doula Services

Heather Charmatz
sfbirthdoula.com | 415-830-7501 | San Francisco

Heather is solidly grounded in her ability to help women tap into and stay connected to their deepest sources of wisdom during labor. Her educational background is both deep and broad, and she simply radiates her passionate commitment to the work. Heather also owns and teaches yoga at Bend Yoga Studio in SF.

Stork and Sprout
storkandsprout.com | contact form | Bay Area

Headed by Jessica Berman and Melissa Edling, Stork and Sprout is one amazing birth support team! Their offerings include doula services, childbirth education, postpartum and breastfeeding support, and yoga. They also run an apprentice doula program.

Naturopathic Primary Care

San Francisco Natural Medicine
sfnatmed.com | 415-643-6600 | Potrero Hill, San Francisco

The philosophies at the root of SFNatMed’s practice combine the best of all worlds—East and West, modern and ancient. Among their offerings are naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, natural approaches to health issues such as infertility and menstrual disorders, clinical nutrition, herbal medicine. The doctors there, particularly Dr. Andrea Zengion whose background includes midwifery, are an amazing primary care support team for health issues around conception, pregnanacy and beyond.

Childbirth Preparation Classes

Kristin Nemzer: Hypnobirthing
kristinnemzer.com | 831-345-1500 | Online, San Francisco & Santa Cruz

I got to sit in on Kristin’s hypnobirthing class along with six expecting couples. What stood out for me was that even before we got to breath and visualization exercises at the end of the day, I noticed myself in a state of calm, soft openness. The most beautiful part of the class, however, was the message that ran through and beneath all information and every exercise presented: every woman possesses the knowledge and wisdom to birth her baby. Kristin was amazing at reminding and reinstilling that faith in everyone there. Kristin now teaches her HypnoBirthing class online and privately to couples.

Birthing from Within
birthingfromwithin.com | CA ⇒ International

Birthing from Within childbirth preparation classes engage art, storytelling, visualizations and hypnosis as allies to guide expecting parents through the transformations of pregnancy and birth. If you are unable to take one of their classes, the book of the same title is a gem and an incredible read. Loving intention, creative vision and humanity fill every page.

Other Resources & Organizations

Natural Resources
naturalresources-sf.com | 415-550-2611 | San Francisco

A comprehensive resource center for pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood. They offer great classes and groups, and have a store at their location and online.