Today, a new communal home for mothers-to-be is opening in San Francisco:
The Root is a space for midwifery and the shared wisdom that's inspired by women gathering. It will be the base for prenatal work for four local midwives "who chose to weave their individual and dynamic practices into collaborative space. Our mission is to create opportunity for women to connect, normalize, re-wild and initiate the blueprint of birth, and to feel the collective power and grace of an ever expanding community. Get back to the ROOT of it all: beauty, birth, and love."
It is home to four solo practitioners who are incredibly close and supportive of one another: Kara Engelbrecht, CPM LM of Mothercraft Midwifery; Kelly Murphy, CPM LM of Birth Yourself Midwifery; Nile Nash, RN, NP, CNM of Mama Lion Midwifery and Jamie Shapiro, CPM LM of Peaceful Passage Midwifery. For them, The Root is a communal space for prenatal visits, classes, workshops and massage therapy.
This is such an important move forward in an already progressive city as it provides their local community access, options and additional help in the process of birthing. It wasn't until January of last year, with the amendment of the Midwifery California Assembly Bill No. 1308, that Licensed Midwives in California were then able to practice without obtaining supervision by a physician – which had previously "created an obstacle to practicing midwifery legally as well as to accepting state-sponsored health insurance, or Medi-Cal. " quote from CaliforniaMidwives.org. (please note that I am at all not versed in the legality of midwives – or the legality of anything!)
Here is a home visit I had with Kara last year. We've known each other since high school. Back then, I photographed her in a black and white film photography series inspired by the works of Ralph Eugene Meatyard. It was such a pleasure to photograph her again many years later – without the blurry graininess of teen-aged youth, but in the clear and colorful light of now.
The living room, filled with books, records and musical instruments. Her and husband, Jon's kids Ruby and Jackson play the harp and guitar. (Jon was included in this music post and is also an old friend)
A classic San Francisco railroad apartment in the Mission: bedrooms off to the side and the kitchen at the end of the hallway.
A warm and cozy kitchen in a cheerful red . . .
with a guest appearance on the dishwasher by Linda of Lulu Organics :)
The craft room off to the side of the kitchen.
Back down the hallway to Kara's home office.
. . . and into the master bedroom to hang with sweet Sancho.
Thanks Kara and congratulations ladies with the opening of The Root Midwives!
Also, they have invested time, energy, resources, and love into creating The ROOT, and need support to get it up and running. You can donate here
Their doors officially open today, Saturday August 29th at three o'clock in the afternoon with a party, welcoming everyone to come and join them in sharing their beautiful space with the community.