Hear directly from midwives about the strengths of midwifery care: informed consent, shared decision making, and collaboration. Midwives put birthing families at the center, providing evidence-based information. Families work together with their midwives to make the decisions that are right for their birth and their baby.

Check out the rest of the I am a Midwife series here on YouTube.

Happy Homebirth

Happy Homebirth

Supporting hands during labor

Supporting hands during labor

 Born at home!

 Born at home!

Upcoming Events

Maria Iorillo, Licensed Midwife 

Catching babies at home and assisting hospital births
in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1986

Welcome to Wisewoman Childbirth Traditions, the San Francisco home birth midwife practice of Maria Iorillo, Licensed Midwife. If you are pregnant, live in San Francisco, and are interested in a home birth, please contact me. You can email me at sfmidwife@yahoo.com or you can click the link below to schedule a free introductory appointment. I look forward to meeting you and would feel honored to join you on this incredible journey!

The special care of a midwife means:

  • Comprehensive, individualized prenatal and postpartum care

  • Continuous support and monitoring throughout labor and birth

  • Prenatal counseling to build a foundation of confidence, trust and comfort

  • Acknowledgment of hopes, fears and expectations of birth

  • Working together to understand and experience the beauty and power of birth

  • Postpartum and lactation support for breastfeeding and family bonding 


Birth is Empowering

Empowerment is a feeling of accomplishment and self-awareness that is the result of an extraordinary experience. A woman in birth discovers her limits and what it means to reach beyond those limits. She finds inner strength where she least expects it. During her labor, she surrenders her power, only to find it again on the other side.

Birth will be like climbing a mountain or running a marathon. What will you do when you hit the wall the first time? What will you do when you hit the wall the second time? Learning to trust the birth process and the body’s wisdom is part of the personal journey. Your birth team is there with encouraging words, hands-on comfort measures, and the soothing resource of water. The natural process of birth will take you where you need to go.

When you make it to “the other side” of birth, you can look back with awe and pride. Like stepping over the finish line, you have finally reached a goal that you prepared for on many levels. You experienced your own strength and willingness. You know your own power.


Philosophy: Is homebirth safe? 

This is one of the most common and important questions regarding homebirth. Studies show that homebirths achieve similar safety statistics as hospitals when three criteria are met:

  1. the homebirth is planned;

  2. a skilled attendant is present; and

  3. medical back-up and consultation are available.

Licensed midwives provide the skill, knowledge, and equipment to fulfill these criteria. With a 3.7% Cesarean section rate and a 97% satisfaction rate, midwives provide a safe and caring birthing option.

Comprehensive prenatal care sets the stage for a safe homebirth. Clinical evaluation, including lab work, assures that the mother is within the low-risk category throughout her pregnancy. Hour-long prenatal visits provide a relaxed opportunity to ask questions, explore feelings and concerns, and work through any emotional challenges that may arise. Together we will address your fears and honor your process.

Through the intimacy of midwifery care, you and I build a foundation of mutual trust and confidence that will be essential during the birth. Our relationship develops through honest communication and personal integrity. I want to know how you envision your birth and what I can do to help you accomplish that dream. You will get to know the opportunities and limits of a homebirth setting. By answering questions and providing information, I will ensure that you are well equipped to make informed choices throughout your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time.

When midwives consider homebirth safety, we are concerned with the mother’s emotional, as well as physical, well-being. Emotional safety means that the mother is free from excess anxiety and fears. The mother needs to feel secure and supported. At home, she is surrounded by her chosen birth team, which may include family and friends as well as her midwives. With this support around her, she can be vulnerable, scared, open, joyous, exhausted or exhilarated. She can be herself, uninhibited, and do what she needs to do to birth her baby. 

Feeling emotionally safe allows you to enter the unknown and surrender to the process at hand. Your midwife is there to guide and facilitate this journey. Just having her by your side can give you the confidence to carry on when the intensity of labor takes hold. The midwife is the wisewoman who has seen birth before and is familiar with birth’s many faces. She will guide you based on her experiential knowledge as well as her intuition and values. You will learn to trust your midwife, your birth partner, and, most of all, yourself as labor progresses.

Birth is hard work, probably the hardest work you will ever do. With the right support and preparation, giving birth will be one of the most important and meaningful experiences of your life.