Student Midwives

“Sabre” Sarah A. Bordeau-Rigterink

A practitioner of Craniosacral Therapy (CST) since 2006, I started my massage and CST business, Awakening Vitality, in November of 2008. In March of 2010 I began eagerly studying Lomilomi – a modality that can be used on and off the massage table, and in water much like watsu. In January of 2014 I added “Doula” to my repertoire, and joined the Academy of Experiential Midwifery Education early the next year. Since graduating from the AEME program, I am ecstatically pursuing my dream of becoming a midwife by attending and assisting births in home, birth center, and hospital environments. My greatest passion is helping women and birthing people empower themselves, while creating community and increasing access and equity for all services, including quality education and care.

Nichole Feinauer

I am the mother of 8 children. My struggles through infertility and loss not only led me to birth work, but strengthened my resolve to complete my midwifery training. We recently relocated to Charlottesville from the metro Atlanta area so that I could continue on my path to midwifery. In Georgia, I worked with pregnant families as a doula, childbirth educator, and student midwife. It is a privilege to be at the side of women as they embrace their power through birth.

Erin Murphy

I am the mother of five children, and I have 15+ years experience as a doula. I started my doula work in San Diego in 2002, but relocated to the Shenandoah Valley in 2008 to pursue my doctoral degree in music. I started midwifery school in the spring of 2016, and I am grateful to serve birthing families as I continue my journey to become a midwife. It is a great honor to attend and support women as they give birth and claim their power.

Stephanie Post

I attended my first birth at age three, the birth of my brother and can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel called to midwifery. I graduated from nursing school in 2005 and worked as a pediatric nurse for over 10 years. I traveled the United States and the world, sometimes as a travel-nurse and sometimes for the pleasure of adventure. In 2010 I trained as a doula and have found great joy in supporting women and their families during the birthing time. In 2014 I began my training as a student-midwife. The same year I experienced my own home-birth and was floored by the magic, incredible beauty and crazy intensity of it all. I am now more certain than ever that I am on the right path.

Hannah Russell-Davis

Trust in birth and midwifery runs deep in our family.  My mother gave birth to me at home with midwives, and my four children have all been born at home as well.  Birth stories have always captivated me.  I was lucky enough to marry an open-minded man who whole-heartedly supported and embraced my passion for home birth and midwifery. In fact, in 2010, he co-founded a company that makes software for midwives. The success of that product (and the whole family commitment required to help!) allowed me the opportunity to see midwifery through the eyes of women who had been doing it for decades.
Although Sarita and I met back in our home state of WV,  I began formally studying midwifery with her here in Charlottesville in 2014. As so often happens, life didn’t go according to plans, and offered up learning experiences beyond my formal studies. Over the course of the program I experienced a late pregnancy loss and, a year later, the home birth of my youngest, Vivian. Now a toddler, she isn’t as patient with my studies as she once was. But the process of becoming her mother, has reaffirmed the importance of midwifery for me. Once again I’ve felt its positive impact on my family, as well as the power of being with women through the full gamut of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood.

Sara Zia

I moved to Charlottesville from Los Angeles to pursue graduate studies in Philosophy at UVA and have been working as a yoga instructor at Hot Yoga Charlottesville ever since earning my MA in 2009. In 2011 I attended a prenatal yoga training with a view to learning how to adapt postures to the pregnant body and I walked out with so much more, including a bottomless awe for women and their capacity to grow and birth babies, a vision for my own future experience, and a passion for supporting families in the childbearing years. I have been serving families as a doula with Bright Birthing and as a student midwife with AEME for three years now. During my first year as a student midwife I experienced my own first pregnancy and became a mama when Sufi Grace was born. I would not change a thing about the way Sufi was born and I am so proud of what I accomplished on that long, mystical morning. I want to support women in birth such that they might look back on their experience with the same self-compassion, sense of empowerment and pride. Each birth I have attended to date has been an unprecedented gift; I cannot imagine not being on this path. I believe that every pregnant woman is the site of a new miracle, that birth is a sacred gift and an opportunity for spiritual transcendence. I am grateful and honored to be present with a woman in all her beauty as she claims her power, and then, at that miraculous intersection where soul meets body in breath–when a new baby, a new woman and a new family is born.