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About The Midwives

The Midwives are a team empowering and guiding women in Napa, Sonoma, Solano and Marin throughout all stages of life; prenatal, birth, postpartum & beyond.

Paula Schnebelt LM, CPM

Paula is passionate about protecting the birth process.  Her desire is that everyone will feel great about their birth experience.  She remains current in evidence-based practices and works hard to protect and support each couple’s desires and personal plans for the birth of their baby.  She recognizes that no two mothers or babies are the same, and guards each experience as the unique event it is.

Paula is a mother of five daughters, three of which were born at home.  Paula has been attending births for over twenty years and is a California Licensed Midwife and a Certified Professional Midwife.  She remains current in BLS CPR and Neonatal Resuscitation. Paula loves guiding women on their path toward motherhood and would be honored to share in your birth journey. 

 She is a member of the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) as well as the California Association of Licensed Midwives (CALM) and actively attends workshops and conferences to further her knowledge in all areas related to women’s health

Deborah (Fawn) Studebaker LM, CPM

I began my journey as a midwife when I was pregnant with my second child. My first birth in the hospital had been both traumatic and disappointing. I wanted to have more control of my birth experience this time. I started researching home birth and looking for midwives in my area. The closest midwife supporting home births was three hours away, but I was determined and decided to make the trip.

After three or four visits, she asked me if I had ever thought about becoming a home birth midwife. That question lit a spark within me. I was completely consumed. I couldn’t think about anything else.

I began attending midwifery classes and started apprenticing with my midwife within a few weeks, driving back and forth from San Luis Obispo to Santa Cruz for over three years. I also had the honor of attending births with a local doctor who believed that women possessed innate knowledge of how to give birth, and that most of the time, if we just left them alone and didn’t intervene, they would give birth naturally without complications.

Michelle Ochoa

As the oldest daughter of Paula Schnebelt, Michelle has spent most her life listening and watching her mother support mamas and their families in experiencing the joys of homebirth. 

Through tears, and struggling to hold a 2-year-old while taking pictures, Michelle’s first home birth attendance was that of her youngest sister. Since then she has attended many home births, is a practicing doula, and is currently in the process of becoming a licensed midwife. 

 Michelle takes great joy in her work and feels so fortunate to have the opportunity to work and learn with her mother on a daily basis. She greatly enjoys following mamas from prenatal appointments through to their postpartum journey. She finds the work inspiring.

 Michelle & Paula integrate much care and love into their practice taking great pride in their ability to give clients as much time and individualized attention as they need. 

Emma Rea

Emma herself was born at home, as well as her 11-year-old daughter. Emma has known since she was five years old when she was attending a younger sibling’s birth that she wanted to someday be a midwife herself.  Emma joined The Midwives Childbirth Services about a year ago, and hopes to complete her licensure by the end of 2021.

Emma believes our greatest gift as Midwives is the chance to witness the power of birth, and how it transforms those who get to bear witness to its magic. 

Emma has been a doula and newborn care specialist for many years and has a background in music. When she isn’t attending births, she enjoys writing music at her piano, gardening and playing with her goats, and spending quality time with her with and daughter.

Our history

Paula and her team of midwives are passionate about aiding women and families in birthing naturally in their home or in our birth center, on their terms.

Paula’s experience is often called upon by midwives in the area as she is looked at as a mentor by many. Recognizing her love for midwifery and teaching, Paula frequently brings on apprentice midwife students to be a part of her birth team. Paula attends every prenatal and postpartum visit, attends every birth and is a fountain of birth resources.

Paula has been a midwife in Napa, Sonoma, Solano and Marin to over 1,200 births, and is proud to open Napa’s first birth center in early 2021.

Paula feels that it is her calling to be an advocate for women and the normalcy of birth. She truly loves embarking on every birth journey!

In addition to monitoring your medical needs Paula and her team will support you during the challenges, celebrate the joys and help you navigate the emotional and physical changes. We are privileged to live in a time where we have the option to have a home birth or a hospital birth–whatever the mom and her body decides. Fortunately, Paula Schnebelt, LM is experienced in both.

Contact us today, we are ready to offer the support that you need.