Who We Are
Susanrachel Condon, CNM, LM
"I view pregnancy and the birth of a family as an extraordinary, sacred and private experience. As a midwife, I seek to honor the individuality of all women and families and their unique needs and desires for this transformative time in their lives. Giving birth to my three children with dignity and respectful care inspired me to offer the same to others."
Susanrachel, a.k.a. Birdie, graduated from the SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn Midwifery Program in 1998. She is a licensed in New York as a Midwife and Ob-Gyn Nurse Practitioner. She was also certified to teach childbirth preparation, newborn care and breastfeeding classes in 1996 by the Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York (CEAMNY). She served two terms as President of the CEAMNY Board of Directors and is the Hudson Valley Regional Representative on the board of the New York State Association of Licensed Midwives. Susanrachel has also been a licensed Massage Therapist since 1991. She served on the faculty of the Swedish Institute College of Massage Therapy & Allied Health Sciences for more than ten years and currently participates extensively in their continuing education program. Since 1994, she has taught Bodywork for the Childbearing Cycle, a nationally accredited certification course for massage and bodywork professionals. She and her husband Richard, a massage therapist and certified Rolfer, have produced an advanced techniques video on the subject in addition to a DVD for couples and childbirth professionals. They have also lectured widely as private consultants at conferences, hospitals, birth centers, schools and spas. Susanrachel holds a BFA in Art Therapy and has studied birth counseling with Gayle Peterson and counseling for pregnant survivors of sexual abuse with Penny Simkin. She is the mother of Hannah, Daniel and Malcolm.
Susan Rannestad, CPM, CM, LM, IBCLC
"When I was a child and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would look up at my Mom, a little shy, and she would say “a teacher or a nurse“ then I would speak up and say “and a MOMMY.“ Now, as a Midwife I get to realize both my Mother's and my own dreams. Helping people learn more about their own healthcare and watching them make choices that are right for their families has been a gift to my own life. Being a Midwife means I get to watch women be good mothers. That is what I want for myself as well, to be a good Mother."
Susan is the mother of three grown children. After the hospital birth of her son Paul, Susan began her studies in maternity care in both Germany and the United States. In the past, she worked as a Childbirth Educator, La Leche League Leader and ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) Board Member. She currently serves on the Board of The Midwives Alliance of New York. Susan finished her apprenticeship in Midwifery after the home births of her daughters Erica and Michaela. Susan is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) through NARM, The North American Registry of Midwives, a Certified Midwife (CM) through ACNM, The American College of Nurse Midwives, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, a Licensed Midwife (LM) in the State of New York and Vice President of the New York State Association of Licensed Midwives. Currently Susan also serves on the faculty of The National College of Midwifery, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Midwifery.
We have midwifery assistants who work with us both in the office and at births.
Ellen Harris-Braun, CPM
Ellen Harris-Braun is Certified Professional Midwife, an experienced doula (certified by DONA), and a teacher of childbirth classes that focus on the normal birth process (certified by Lamaze). She has been attending births since 2002, teaching about pregnancy and childbirth since 2000, and parenting since 1998 (certified by Will, born in a hospital with an OB, and Jesse, born in 2001 at a freestanding birth center with midwives). Ellen has a BA in anthropology and psychology and has studied midwifery at the Farm in Summertown, TN and through Elizabeth Davis's Heart & Hands Midwifery Intensives. She has served as a member of the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC), reviewing how well birth centers meet the standards of the American Association of Birth Centers. She and her family live in a strawbale house in the Quaker Intentional Village in East Chatham, New York.
Lijah Friedman CD(DONA)
Lijah Friedman has been a DONA certified labor and postpartum doula since 1995. She has attended more than 300 births in various settings. As a postpartum doula, Lijah provides household help, emotional support, and expert counseling on newborn care and breastfeeding. Lijah's practice includes knowledge and practical use of interactive and hands-on techniques such as acupressure, aromatherapy, Yoga, visualization and relaxation techniques. She also received formal training in photography from The International Center for Photography. By providing thoughtful, knowledgeable support, guidance and education to women and their families, throughout pregnancy, labor and the post partum period, Lijah encourages a positive, fulfilling, empowering experience. She lives in New Paltz with her two daughters, Isabelle and Anika.