Founder, Executive Director
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.
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.
Elena Stauss, LM, CPM
Elena is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Midwifery is her passion. Elena is bilingual (Spanish-English), thus enabling Santa Fe Birth Center to serve a broader range of birthing people in our diverse community.
Elena's style of care is calm and relaxed and she brings the experience of having served at over 300 births.
Elena began her midwifery education and training as an apprentice at a high volume clinic in El Paso, Texas. After completing the program in El Paso, she continued working with midwives in New Mexico and eventually opened her own practice.
Elena is a New Mexico Licensed Midwife and a NARM Certified Professional Midwife.
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.