Sacred Cycles midwifery and Santa Cruz Midwives are a collaboration of midwives Serena Russell LM, CPM and Sharon Potteiger LM, CPM. We have come together to offer clients consistent, supportive care while nourishing the needs of each other. Midwifery is a labor of love that we are both passionate about. We walk the path of the pregnancy, birth & postpartum journey with our clients each step of the way and strive to do this with presence, grace and compassion for both the clients in our care and ourselves.
Sharon and Serena have known each other for close to 25 years. We have shared a similar path as midwives and share complementary views of midwifery care, birth and supporting our clients. We have more almost 50 years of experience between the two of us and each bring a unique piece to our practice. We believe strongly in the midwifery model of continuity of care which enables us establish the trust and connection that is essential to midwifery care with each client. We offer care as a team, bringing our expertise together to provide comprehensive, compassionate care to the birthing families of Santa cruz and Santa Clara Counties.
Serena Russell LM, CPM
I am a California licensed midwife providing comprehensive and compassionate care for pregnancy, birth and postpartum since 2001. I am passionate about supporting personal autonomy and choice in childbearing health and hold a deep trust in the natural process of pregnancy and birth. I am honored to serve each family in the journey of welcoming their new little one into their lives.
I became passionate about birth after the homebirth of my daughter in 1993. Over the course of almost a decade, while relishing in the early years of raising my first daughter, I honed my skills through extensive apprenticeship training as well as through clinical experiences in Jamaica and the Philippines. In 2001 I began taking clients and have continued to serve a diverse array of women and their families in their homes since then. In 2014, as political and cultural climates shifted, and in order to serve families in a greater capacity, I made the decision to apply for California licensure. In order to facilitate this, I had the opportunity to spend 10 months in a busy water birth center in northern California, working alongside other experienced midwives while completing an extensive academic program through the National Midwifery Institute.
As a caregiver, my clinical skills, intellect, and intuition all serve as valuable tools in my work as a guide in the process of pregnancy and birth. I believe the things which matter most in creating a healthy pregnancy and ecstatic birth are those that you have the most control over. This includes good nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices, as well as access to information and quality of care. On an emotional, psychological and spiritual level, I recognize that birth is not an event which is isolated from the totality of a woman's life, but rather an opportunity for a sacred reclaiming of personal power and a strengthening of the bonds of connection with those that she chooses to share it with. I strive to provide avenues for self education and personal reflection for each woman and family in my care, and to gently guide the way that you and your partner may find ways to support each other. Through this I seek to offer informed choice. Any and all decisions about your care are yours to make. It is in this way I empower women and their families as they grow together.
I have had the honor of attending births in homes, yurts, tiny homes, school buses, hotel rooms and birth centers.. I have seen the beauty and power of birth and continue to be in awe of the strength of women as they bring their babies earthside. I consider my role as midwife to be a guardian and guide so that the families in my care can welcome their little ones with love and joy.
As a small child, both my grandmothers were labor and delivery nurses … and I have amazing memories of them drinking tea and discussing birth while I played with my dolls at their feet. Little did I realize the impact they were having on me.
I found my life’s calling after attending my first home birth in Santa Cruz when I was 18 years old. In the years that followed, I attended births in whatever capacity was needed. First, I provided childcare and served as a doula. Soon after, I found myself “catching babies.” (Including one in a Grateful Dead show parking lot!)
I have been licensed by the California medical board since 2009, and have a thriving midwifery practice. I draw on my many years of practice and study of midwifery, herbs, homeopathy, aromatherapy acupressure, massage and — last but not least — motherhood.