Meria's birth community involvement spans fifty years beginning in Amsterdam, the Netherlands while listening to Dutch women’s unmedicated birth stories. At that time forty percent of women in The Netherlands delivered their babies at home.
Upon returning to the US she learned most American women chose either a medicated hospital birth (97%), or a home birth (1-3%). Finding a midwife in her seventh month of pregnancy and subsequently giving birth to all three sons at home was a life defining experience.
She became a midwife, Mothering magazine editor, counselor for teen moms, Maternal Child Health program manager, childbirth educator, doula mentor, and psychotherapist. She developed a course on the history of childbirth for University of New Mexico.
Her current mission -- to expand women’s birth choices -- is creating a sustainable and beautiful birth center.
Sara Chevallier is the newest addition to our team as a Midwife Apprentice and Birth Assistant, currently preparing to sit for her CPM Midwifery licensing exam. She has honorably trained with a spectrum of care providers and midwives of all credentials, from small home birth practices in Utah to high volume birth centers and busy home birth practices throughout Southern California. She weaves together the experience of working as a direct entry apprentice while focusing on serving families that mirror her personal experiences—young, single, queer parents seeking a centered level of inclusive, individualized care. A descendant of French and Jewish NYC candy makers, Sara has laid a sweet foundation while on her journey to midwifery, starting by attending the National College of Midwifery while growing and birthing her last child and also serving as a Doula and Placenta Encapsulator for the past eight years. When not attending births, Sara can be found giggling about memes with her partner or spending time in the Santa Fe sun with her tiny zoo of a children and pets.
V. Sushila Schwerin
Sushila Schwerin, from the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, is delighted to join New Mexico’s long standing tradition of midwifery at Santa Fe Birth Center. Sushila has many years experience as a midwife and safe and sacred birth keeper both at homebirths and birth centers as well as international experience as an interim hospital midwife in New Zealand. She is a licensed midwife in both New Mexico and Vermont and is a Certified Professional Midwife through the National American Registry of Midwives.
Sushila is a lifelong social justice advocate as a humanitarian aid worker in disaster recovery zones, as a clinician on the US Mexico border for people newly released from US immigration detention, and as a childbirth education teacher to incarcerated pregnant women. She is also a midwifery study group mentor for a BIPOC (black indigenous people of color) and LGBTQ cohort.
Sushila devotes her life to balancing care between her large multicultural family of five sons, four daughters-in-love and three grandchildren, and her midwifery and community building work.
Haley Deshautelle is a Midwifery student and Administrative Coordinator at the Santa Fe Birth Center. She received a BA in Sociology from Centenary College of Louisiana, and now continues her passion for reproductive justice through Midwifery. Haley has begun her midwifery education pursuing the New Mexico Department of Health’s direct entry midwife program. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside- especially in water, basketball, and watching Star Trek.