Meria Loeks

Founder, Executive Director

Meria Loeks  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.  

Lucy French, LM, CPM

Lucy trained at Birthingway College of Midwifery (B.S.) and majored in anthropology at Washington University (B.A.). She received further training from two homebirth practices in Portland and Canby Oregon.  

Lucy finds all aspects of birth care -- the emotional, intellectual, spiritual and political -- fulfilling.  She provides holistic, midwifery care, ensuring that her clients are informed of best practices that respect individual needs.  Drawing on years of experience working with a wide range of families Lucy brings her grounded, loving and intuitive presence to birth.  She is thrilled to be involved with growing families in northern New Mexico at the community-based Santa Fe Birth Center.

Carrie Blake, LM, CPM, MPH

Midwife, Clinical Director 

One of Carrie’s greatest strengths is empowering mothers to trust their ability to give birth.  Having attended well over 600 births, her passion for out of hospital birth is founded in her experience that birth works.  Her gentle and wise care promotes a safe birth journey by allowing birth to unfold naturally with as little intervention as possible. Carrie’s midwifery practice includes providing evidence based care and offering truly informed consent. Client prenatal appointments focus on enabling a healthy birth for mother and baby and postpartum visits carry the family successfully into the future.        


Carrie’s midwifery study began in 2002. She became a Certified Professional Midwife in 2007. She is a New Mexico Licensed Midwife. 


Carrie has practiced midwifery in Colorado, Idaho, Senegal and Niger, West Africa, and leads the Train Midwives Save Lives project. She is very excited to have returned to her native New Mexico and looking forward to serving families well through the birth center.

Risa Reese


Risa has been involved with the birthing community since childhood. Daughter to a midwife, Risa attended births throughout her childhood and teen years, developing a deep connection and respect for the sacred experience of childbirth.

After completing a dual degree in Contemplative Psychology and Art Therapy at Naropa University in Boulder, CO, she continued her studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. She returned to her native Santa Fe and joined the field of integrative medicine, incorporating nutritional studies into behavioral and developmental disability therapy.


She has worked in supporting women and families through managing an integrative medicine family practice since 2009. Risa is thrilled to join the Santa Fe Birth Center and to continue to be involved in supporting the Santa Fe birthing community.


Risa lives in Santa Fe with her husband and their two amazing children.

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meet our SFBC birth assistants

Soraya Shah, LM, CPM

In addition to practicing Classical Midwifery, Soraya is lactation consultant and La Leche League leader. She received her clinical experience and education at Bellevue College and Bastyr in Washington, and Maternidad La Luz in El Paso, TX, the latter of which she loved working with Spanish-speaking clients. She has appreciated working with those who saw their pregnancy, birth and baby through a spiritual lens, full of prayer. She believes that we are partners with G-d in creation and as such, that it is our responsibility to be as skilled and knowledgeable as possible in whatever we have influence or control over. She follows in the legacy of the Hebrew midwives – Shifrah and Puah, believing in the responsibility to go against the dominant culture if necessary to bring forth life. 

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