Listening to the heartbeat

Maria is a masterful midwife, yet humble in the face of the great mystery of birth. She is grounded in her careful attention to the details of a woman and baby's care,  yet creative and courageous in expanding boundaries when appropriate. She has an extraordinary understanding of the transformative power of birth in a woman and family's life and a  deep respect for the new lives that grace her hands.  I unreservedly admire her work.  
-- Yeshi Neumann, CNM, Homestyle Midwifery

I trusted her experience and her trust In me helped me trust myself.I trusted her experience and her trust In me helped me trust myself.I trusted her experience and her trust In me helped me trust myself.I trusted her experience and her trust in me helped me trust  myself.
-- Melanie Watts, Emergency Room Doctor, Homebirth Mom

Maria is the ideal that the rest of the healthcare system should aspire to.
-- Rebecca Mitchell, MD, Homebirth Mom

Just born

Newborn checkup

Newborn checkup

You’re like a symphony , synthesizing medical, physical, psycho-emotional factors into your wise assessments, which are solidly anchored in the NOW. I know behind the scenes you’re working a mile-a-minute but to me, you created a birthspace anchored in meditative nowness and Presence - a true gift you have. — Yuki

Maria Iorillo, Licensed Midwife

Maria Iorillo is a California Licensed Midwife (LM) as well as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and Certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). She has been in a San Francisco home birth practice since 1986. She has served on the Board of Directors of the California Association of Midwives and the Midwives Alliance of North America. Having given birth at home herself, Maria knows the path that lies ahead. Maria feels honored to attend the birth of a child, always feeling that it is a very special invitation to a private celebration. She suspects that her highest appreciation of spirituality emerges from the repeated witnessing of miracles.

Maria serves San Francisco, Southern Marin, Daly City, San Bruno and Pacifica with home birth midwifery services, as well as labor management at home midwifery services. In-office prenatal visits are 1 hour long and postpartum visits are in your home. Please call for more information or use the online system below to make a free introductory appointment.

“By allowing the birth process to unfold in its most natural way, we honor traditions that have the power to shape our spiritual and cultural identity.”


Client Testimonials

Here's what folks are saying about Maria Iorillo and Wisewoman Childbirth Traditions. For more, click on the button below to read all of her 5 Star Yelp Reviews.

Working with Maria, it feels like you must be her only patient - that is how deeply she listens and truly hears you, how deeply she cares. She becomes such a part of your life that she must become like another member of the family for all of her clients. Yet she never loses sight of what is best and safest for you and your baby, walking with you and helping navigate the path when things don't go exactly as you planned, and they never do.
People ask me how I could possibly have done two home births as an ER doctor who knows all the risks of childbirth and all the things that can go wrong. It is because I found someone I trusted, so implicitly that I could let go of my doctor brain and delve fully into being a birthing woman. Knowing that Maria knew me, understood me and what I wanted as well as being the consummate professional at the ready to deftly manage any situation. I trusted her. I trusted her experience and her trust In me helped me trust myself.

Melanie Watts, MD and Shankar Levine, MD

Maria is the ideal that the rest of the healthcare system should aspire to. During medical school I saw a large number of unnecessary interventions, rushed deliveries, and families who did not feel heard on their journey to parenthood. I was determined to have a more personalized and compassionate experience, but without losing the benefits of modern medicine. I chose Maria for her decades of experience and adherence to evidence based medicine, excellent relationships with San Francisco hospitals, and wonderful personality and approach to care that was a true partnership. Her exercise classes, hikes, and new moms group introduced us to a whole community of young families and midwives that became a strong support network in the early weeks of parenthood. My husband and I felt empowered as a couple by Maria and the wonderful experience of a home birth. There is no question that we hope to work with her again for future pregnancies. 
— Rebecca Mitchell, MD

I'm not sure exactly when Maria arrived during my labor but I remember seeing her face and feeling a rush of gratitude.  Maria's incredible presence during the intense and amazing moments of Eli's birth provided essential components of stability and inspiration.  Maria partnered with my husband and me in the most beautiful way throughout the entire pregnancy, birth and postpartum period providing support and wise counsel as we transitioned into parents.  I am forever grateful and I can't wait until my son is old enough to recognize Maria around the neighborhood and run up to give a big hug to his midwife.
— Sage Bearman, CNM, Mother to Eli River born on May 29, 2015

Working with Maria has been great all along - from the first meeting through postpartum care - but when the baby was born and Maria was there with her expert hands to bring my son into this world, that is when I truly understood the profound wisdom and equanimity that she brings to her profession. 
—Robby Bearman, Global Operations at Uber, Father to Eli River

 

It is wholly impossible to put into words the tremendous gratitude (and love!) we have for Maria - for her wealth of knowledge and experience as a midwife and mother; for the care she provided to all of me (body, mind and spirit); for the steady, candid guidance she continues to provide us to this day; and for the incredible community we've been so fortunate to become a part of through this experience.  Maria will always have a special place in our family, and we cannot and will not be able to thank her enough.
—Judy Guo, forever grateful Momma to Cole

Words cannot describe the ways we are forever changed by your comforting wisdom, confident knowledge and guiding spirit- we are forever grateful! Thank you so very much for helping us realize the greatest, grandest love of all- the existence of our daughter Calliope Swan. Your service to Life keeps hope and peace alive and makes everthing possible. We love you and look forward to creating our future with you!
— Stephanie Alston and Kelly Quirke

Let me start by saying we love and appreciate you so much. Like my mother says, "tu eres familia." Thank you for teaching, guiding and nurturing me during this process. I feel such pride with this experience and you will always be in our hearts.
P.S. It's pretty cool to be part of the "Maria was my midwife" club!
— Dulce Baron, Mother of Luna Amilca, born at home, 9/12/10

There is really no way we can fully express how grateful we are for your presence and support as we brought both of our children into the world. You gave us that perfect balance of calm, knowledge, support, and so much more. We love you so much and will always hold you in a special place in our hearts and family.
— Margie Groeninger, Mom of Amaya and Mateo, planned hospital births at Kaiser

I hired a midwife for my son's birth and ended up with a new community of friends! I adore Maria and feel blessed to have been in her care through pregnancy, birth, and beyond--plus I've gotten to meet and bond with other mamas through her various events. I truly had no idea of the ongoing support that would be built in to my life as a new parent and now I truly can't imagine doing it any other way. 

— Katie Crouch, writer

I had a home birth with Maria and it was a fabulous experience. A midwife is like a doula + nurse practitioner rolled into one. Besides providing comprehensive prenatal care, she was able to coach us through all phases of labor and medical care for mom & baby after delivery.  And the post-partum home visits at 1, 3, 8 and 21 days were invaluable - she did lactation consulting, gave us early reassurance about our baby's weight gain, coached us on newborn care, gave me guidance on post-partum rest & rehabilitation exercises, and diagnosed out baby's clogged tear duct correctly (which our pediatrician's office took two visits to figure out). Plus - midwifery fees can often be submitted to insurance for reimbursement (doulas cannot). Plenty of respected research supports the safety of planned home birth (most recent large prospective trial published in the British Medical Journal), but for women who need to deliver in a hospital due to a complication, the midwife stays by your side and adopts a doula role.   For someone interested in home birth, it's a good idea to start looking early in pregnancy (first trimester), because midwifes typically only accept 4 clients per month (to guarantee they can attend every client's birth), and book up quickly. Things to include in the interview may be to ask for client reference, type of training, and whether or not they can prescribe medications. 

I'd love to share my motivation in choosing a home birth too, which was to maximize the odds of a positive birth experience for me and my baby, while minimizing the chance of unnecessary intervention. I wasn't trying to be a hero or earn bragging rights.  After the fact, I am now convinced of an unexpected bonus: that the pain of labor is IMMENSELY reduced by laboring and delivering at home due to innumerable comfort measures (both physical and psychological); I have much more respect for all the women who manage their labors in a hospital - kudos to you, ladies!

Sincerely,
Laura Swaminathan, mom to Rohan, delivered 03/24/08 

Dear Maria,
Leading up to and after the birth of baby Caroline you provided the greatest nourishment for my heart and body. I can't thank you enough for your emotional support as I prepared to birth this new little life and I so appreciated the time you took to talk with me about my experience after. Brad and I loved the soup - the perfect remedy for a healing mama!

—  Kate Kittridge, mother to Noe and Caroline

Dear Maria, 
It's hard to sit down and put into words the gratitude I feel for you. You're my guardian angel - you protected so many things that needed protecting during our long labor ordeal, from my and Sora's physical health and safety, to our time and right to try to work together to align our bodies for a vaginal birth, to my strength and stamina (and yes, I'm talking about the epidural here, and how it facilitated my ability to push at the end.) It's truly amazing to have witnessed, and now reflect upon, the many strands you tied together, and how the subtle embodiment of your decades of experience come together to guide your assessment of a situation in any single moment. You're like a symphony , synthesizing medical, physical, psycho-emotional factors into your wise assessments, which are solidly anchored in the NOW. I know behind the scenes you're working a mile-a-minute but to me, you created a birthspace anchored in meditative nowness and Presence - a true gift you have. Thank you, from the bottom of my soul, for enabling the Surrender. You'll be in my heart for the rest of my life, and in our family's story. 

Yuki, mother of Sora Steen

Thank you for guiding, protecting, and teaching us how to bring Sora into this world. Our thanks is deep and fundamental, our appreciation growing and alive. We have an awesome understanding of what you do and are amazed by your ability to make it basic, human, and natural. Thank you for growing our trust and empowering us. Together, we were stronger and more capable than we would have been individually. Thank your for your sacrifices and commitment!

Christian, father of Sora Steen

I am a single mom who hired Maria for the birth my second baby when I was still recovering emotionally from a traumatic emergency c-section and postpartum period with my first child.    Maria sensitively tuned in to what I wanted--a supported, natural birth after a c-section--and drew on her experience and resources to help me define what that meant for me and build my confidence to make it happen. As a result, I had a successful natural VBAC. Maria showed me that birth and the newborn experience could be beautiful and empowering, allowing me to heal from the trauma of the first birth.  It is with great gratitude and respect that I give Maria my highest recommendation. I will be forever grateful for the support she gave me and my family, truly one of the best experiences in my life.

Nico, mother, birth warrior, book producer

Maria, you are the most badass midwife of the Bay Area. I will be eternally grateful for your help and support. My birth expectations were met!

—Valérie, mother of Zazie