Welcome Back Student Midwife, Martine Wilson!

We are pleased to announce that we have a new midwifery student! During the next few months, Martine Wilson, will be attending some births with us so that she can meet the current requirements and sit for her midwifery licensing exam. Martine may look familiar to some of you, she did some training with Birthstream a few years ago and has assisted us in the office during the past year. Please read her bio on our website to get to know her better. Click here


Welcome, Ariana Cohen, LM, CPM, new Birthstream Midwife!


Warmest greetings to the Birthstream Community! 

My name is Ariana Cohen and I am so excited to be joining the team of Licensed Midwives at Birthstream. 

Midwifery is a calling, an art and a science all rolled into one. It has been my passion and my life's work since I attended my first birth in 2009. Over the next three years I became a Doula, Childbirth Educator and prenatal massage therapist while completing my education in Social and Behavioral Sciences. 

In 2012 I enrolled in midwifery school and was granted an apprenticeship. After eighteen months of homebirth experience and six months of intensive training in a high-volume birth center, I had completed all of the hands-on requirements for licensure. However, I decided to continue my education with an advanced apprenticeship that focused on skills in vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), twins, breech birth and other special circumstances. During that time I had the opportunity to assist not only in extraordinary births, but also in teaching classes on suturing, fetal monitoring, charting, and much more. This allowed me to gain knowledge, experience and hands-on skills that greatly enriched my education and career.  

In 2015 I graduated from the National Midwifery Institute, passed the national exam and was granted my California License. Since then I've had a steady home birth practice in Nevada County. 

Now I'm thrilled to be living here in Natomas with my wonderful partner and our two big goofy dogs. I look forward to meeting you all in person and being a part of your midwifery care team!

Welcome, Ava McDonald our Spring Semester Student Intern!

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Birthstream is welcoming Ava McDonald to intern with us this semester. We have never offered this opportunity to anyone before, but Ava is a unique applicant….we know her family well! She has already witnessed home and hospital births. We hope to offer her the opportunity to observe some prenatal and postpartum care as well as the behind the scenes midwifery work…and maybe a birth or two!

“My name is Ava MacDonald and I am a junior at Da Vinci Charter Academy in Davis and a part of the Da Vinci internship program. My two youngest siblings were born at home with the help of Birthstream Midwives, and now I have the ability to be a part of that. I am very excited to learn more about the Midwifery Model of care and to be able to experience it first hand. I hope that this internship will lead to clarity on my future plans as well as getting to see lots of cute babies!”

Please join us in welcoming her to Birthstream! We know that she will be ready for this adventure!

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Congratulations to Our Midwives!!!


Congratulations Rachel and David Kiene!


Rachel Kiene and her husband David started their marriage with many adventures…a wedding at a top of a mountain plus many hiking and backpacking trips! Now they are embarking on a new adventure…Rachel, David, and her daughter Ruhiyyih are excited to announce that they are expecting a new baby Kiene!

After years of hoping and trying, and a lot of help, Rachel is 15 weeks pregnant. The Kiene baby is expected sometime in July!

Rachel is planning to begin maternity leave in May or June and take at least a year off from practicing midwifery to thoroughly enjoy as many baby snuggles as possible!


Congratulations to Rachel Fox-Tierney!

Rachel at the 2018 National Conference of State Legislatures with Trish Doyle, MP, Austrailia who had home births and wanted to tell us how much she supported midwifery!

Rachel at the 2018 National Conference of State Legislatures with Trish Doyle, MP, Austrailia who had home births and wanted to tell us how much she supported midwifery!

Rachel Fox-Tierney has been elected to the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) board starting January 1, 2019. NARM is one of the national organizations that serves Certified Professional Midwives (i.e. midwives of our type…we are CPM’s who are licensed by the Medical Board of California).

NARM’s mission includes providing accountability for CPM’s so that they may improve their midwifery practices, developing and administering a standardized examination system (which is used in all 32 states that regulate or license their CPM’s) leading to the credential “Certified Professional Midwife”, and working to promote and increase the role of CPMs in the delivery of midwifery care to families and their newborns across the United States.

This is a huge honor and involves travel to two week-long board meetings per year. The next board meeting will be held in late March 2019 and another in October 2019. (I am very grateful for my midwifery partners full support which allows me to serve midwives and promote midwifery nationally. Thank you dear Birthstream Families for your understanding, I hope not to miss many of your births, but I know I leave you in many compassionate and trusted hands ~RFT)


Please join us in congratulating our midwives and celebrate with them as they begin new adventures!

Midwife Musings: Birthstream 2018 Year in Review

Birthstream families were busy in 2018 growing their families!  As the year came to a close we reflected on all the births we attended and all the new feet we met!  Let's look back on our year...the firsts, the lasts and all the in-betweens.


There were 46 Birthstream Babies (45 births…hmmm):  Girls 23, Boys 23

  • First babies: 12

  • Second babies: 16

  • Third babies: 7

  • Fourth babies: 7

  • Fifth babies: 2

  • Seventh baby: 1

Second generation home birthers:  2  (we took care of their mothers, too!)

Smallest baby was 5 lbs 14 oz and the biggest baby was 10 lbs 10 oz!

  • 5 lbs+ 1 baby

  • 6 lbs+ 9 babies

  • 7 lbs+ 14 babies

  • 8 lbs+ 14 babies

  • 9 lbs+ 6 babies

  • 10 lbs+ 2 babies

  • with 20% of all babies over 4000 grams (8 lbs 14 oz)!

Vaginal birth after cesarean:  2

Cesareans:  2 (one for twins and one for breech)

Baby born vaginally when both parents born by c-sec:  1

Repeat Home birthers: 17 (13 had previous baby with Birthstream!)

Thank you all for sharing your year with us!  We are grateful to be part of those moments as you welcomed new little people into your home.

We look forward to a New Year with Joy and Gratitude...and more babies!

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Come visit us @BirthstreamMidwifery on Instagram and see the many sweet moments from 2018 that can’t be captured by numbers alone!

Welcome Student Midwife, Rachel Schwartz!

Starting August 2018, Birthstream will have a new student!  She has already volunteered at the 2018 Whole Earth Festival midwife booth...even before she was an official student!  We are looking forward to beginning this journey with her.

Rachel at the 2018 Whole Earth Festival.  Flowers by @flowermama

Rachel at the 2018 Whole Earth Festival.  Flowers by @flowermama

Hi I'm Rachel Schwartz and I was born and raised in Davis. I'm about to start my journey as a student midwife with Birthstream.but before realizing the calling of Midwifery I was baking pies at the Collins Farm, helping out on organic farms, and working with kids.

Apprenticing with Birthstream is a dream coming into reality for me. I am so grateful to have this group of wise women initiate me into the art of midwifery.

I have felt drawn to some form of healing arts practice for years: I've practiced as a massage therapist, enjoy yoga and meditation, and love incorporating into my life other tools that enhance my well-being.

I also feel at home in the role of a space holder and support person. In the past two years I've discovered how much I enjoy offering those skills in the space of birth. While living in Missoula, MT in 2015 I took a doula training with Birth Mama Doula. Then in Davis in 2016 I joined the volunteer doula program at Sutter Davis Hospital and began attending and assisting at births. Every time I am present at a birth I feel humbled by its sacredness and awed at the strength and vulnerability of the person in labor.

I now feel called to offer more through the holistic and collaborative form of care that midwifery provides. I love that midwifery creates the space for relationships of real trust to be built between care providers and clients.

It's clear to me that births are shaped by the people who attend them, the environment, and the level of safety and respect the laboring person feels. I love that midwifery care in a home birth setting is uniquely sensitive to these aspects of birth.

I am so excited for this immersion into a midwifery practice that is offering our community something so important! I'm equally excited to meet many amazing families along the way!

Call the Birthstream Midwives! Happy April Fools!

We posted this on Instagram a few days ago, but for those of you not on social media...here it is again!  Who says midwives don't have a sense of humor :)

In an effort to return to our midwifery roots as community midwives, in the future, Birthstream will only serve clients within biking distance. Thank you for your understanding!
(No, not really! April Fools!)

#bikingforbabies#calltheBirthstreamMidwives#midwivesinhats #toomanybagsforbikes


Meet the Midwives at Ebb and Flow Yoga in Vacaville!


Join us for a free information session on home and hospital birth! Knowledge is power.  We will be discussing holistic techniques for a natural birth experience.  Learn about delayed cord clamping, oral vitamin k, what you can do with your placenta after birth and more!  Birthstream offers pre-natal care, home birth and postnatal care.  Whether your little one is born at home, or in the hospital, choose what YOU want for your birth experience.

RACHEL FOX-TIERNEY, LM, CPM is a California Licensed Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife since 2005. Rachel started her apprenticeship with Birthstream midwives in 2000.  Rachel’s two sons were both born at home.  The first in 1997 in Connecticut and the second in 2001 in California with Birthstream.Rachel’s personal and professional experience have offered her opportunities to honor the journey each woman and their family take to bring this little person into their family and into the world. Each of us gives birth in our own way because of what we need and who our babies are. It is our responsibility as midwives to support birthing women physically and emotionally, not to manage her experience. Babies are active participants in the labor dance and often their birth reflects their personality more than the birthing mama’s.

This is a FREE informative session.

Aprons: A Midwife's Love Story

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by Tosi Marceline, LM, CPM

Arriving in our very best party clothes is always surprising to the families when we come to a birth. But if they notice, it may give the birth a special feel, as they realize we came from a wedding, or a party to assist them.  We sometimes have the foresight to put an extra set of clothes in our car, but not always.  Even when we do, we don’t always have time to change! 

We have gone to births at all times of day and from all sorts of places. I remember being out shopping in Sacramento with my young daughter and got a call on my pager (yes, it was more than 20 years ago) and had to find a phone booth to call Amy Morgan, my midwife partner, to let her know the birth was happening fast. She left her children with a friend at the public swimming pool, throwing on her dress over the wet bathing suit and arrived just in time to put on an apron and help catch the baby!

So early in my life as a midwife, I found wearing an apron was practical for many reasons.  For a start, it protects your clothes somewhat. We have all had skirts get soaking wet with "birth fluid", but more often we find our clothes as clean as when we arrived which is helpful when you have a day of appointments after the birth and no time to change.  But more important for you...it is washed, ironed, and cleaner than whatever the midwife is wearing that day!

Our aprons are modest too, and cover us up to our necklines, so that our décolletage is not revealed as we lean over a birth tub to listen to the baby’s heartbeat!

Our deep apron pockets can carry much of what we need to have immediately on hand if the birth is very quick or in a small space. At one birth, the mother escaped her crowd of relatives by hiding in the toilet room (you know what I mean, the room that has only a toilet in it!) Well, with one midwife sitting on the toilet with the laboring woman on her lap, like a birth stool, and me on the floor in front of her with her husband kneeling beside me, there wasn’t a lot of room for much equipment and the pockets in my apron came in handy. This mother was able to push her baby out quickly in a safe and private space...with next birth, she invited fewer people!

Our first aprons were fashioned after Japanese Kappogi Aprons which had elbow length sleeves, as we did not do water births in the 1980’s. Several of our clients traded their sewing skills for part of their birth fee in order to make two aprons for each midwife.

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We need more than two aprons available in case of back to back births, so we supplemented with aprons from the cooking department of our local hardware store, but nothing was quite what we wanted or needed, until I came across an old apron a friend’s grandmother had given me in 1970. I traced a pattern from it onto newspaper, made the neckline higher, the hem lower, and the pockets more capacious.

After we added water birth to our practice, we needed aprons without sleeves, and so I turned to my mother, who offered to sew three aprons for each midwife! Now as I was growing up, my mother made much of our clothing (including matching Christmas and Easter outfits for our dolls.) She is a skilled seamstress, as was her mother and grandparents, who were tailors. It has been a great blessing to be able to wear something handmade by my own mother!


We like wearing aprons for more than just their aesthetic or functional properties. Traditionally, they were made in the home and were often made by women to give as holiday gifts to their friends and relatives. Aprons are most frequently worn in the home or by people providing a service to others and we are a home birth midwifery service! Lastly, they are not scrubs!  We also wear aprons because it conveys a sense of comfort and nourishment.  We know that something good is coming when you see someone wearing an apron...maybe cookies or maybe a baby :)

Aprons have recently made a comeback in the craft and sewing world. I have collected a number of aprons to use in my own home, as time for actual sewing has been limited by births. These aprons, gathered from thrift and second-hand stores, are remarkably diverse, beautiful, and creative. They remind us of each woman’s need to express herself in her work at all levels: in their homes, in their families, in their communities, and in the world. They pay homage to the women’s work we all share.

We always need new aprons, as bleach and wear destroy them eventually.  Last year, my mother passed me the pattern we had developed together and said that it was my turn now. It seems that since I will be going to fewer births as time goes on, I will have more time for another type of creativity as the apron crafter.  Know that each apron will be a gift to midwifery and the families we serve and each stitch will be made with the same tender care we offer to birthing families and new babies.  So next time you see our aprons at a birth, you will know they hold within their fibers the love from generations of women before you and may that give you strength and courage during your transition into motherhood.

Tosi and her mom, Betsy.

Tosi and her mom, Betsy.


See more photos of us in our aprons on Instagram #midwivesinaprons