About the Midwives
Monica Wood LM, CPM
Founder & Licensed Midwife
After graduating college from UC Santa Barbara, Monica Wood, LM, CPM moved to Seattle in search of what she might do next. It did not take long before she found herself on the path of midwifery, a direction that would merge many of her interests and passions while also satisfying her desire to make a difference in people’s lives and the world around her. Monica’s calling to midwifery was greatly influenced by her affinity for herbalism and holistic health and a desire to work with and among women. Birthingway College of Midwifery in Portland, Oregon offered a comprehensive curriculum as well as excellent clinical training making it her school of choice. Upon completion of a Bachelor of Science in Midwifery at Birthingway, that included a three year internship in a home birth practice and a one year internship in a high volume water birth center, Monica successfully passed the national certification exam for midwifery. As a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and a Licensed Midwife (LM), she partnered in a private practice in Portland, Oregon from 2009-2012. In 2012 after living in the Pacific Northwest for nearly 15 years she made the decision to return home to her family, beach and sun here in Los Angeles. Monica had the honor of joining a busy group practice in LA where she served from 2012-2015. Working with a diverse group of midwives and an obstetrician was an invaluable experience that gave her the opportunity to collaborate closely with many talented professionals in the area.
Monica is passionate about creating a practice that respects and empowers women in their choices. With a fundamental trust in a woman’s innate knowing of what is right for her and her family, Monica believes every woman deserves to move through pregnancy and birth her babies in a supported, respectful and loving environment. She holds much gratitude for being part of her client’s transformative journey through pregnancy and birth and gains profound inspiration from each experience. Every birth offers a reminder of one of life’s powerful truths, that to move through all aspects of life one must surrender to what is ahead and trust the outcome. For Monica, it is the essence of this powerful and humbling message that nourishes her unbounded appreciation of being in service as a midwife.
Jennifer Brandon Ruiz LM, CPM
Born in Northern Minnesota Jennifer was raised on a wild and frozen patch of land just South of the Canadian Border. The first birth she witnessed was that of her sister. Jennifer was eight when her sister was born at home, accidentally, after an astonishingly quick labor. The sound of her brand new baby sister in her mother’s arms on the couch never left her.
By the time Jennifer was 21 she had given birth to her first daughter, Aurora, at home and she knew she wanted to be a midwife. Two years later she caught her first baby in a candle lit room, during a particularly cold Minnesota January, a couple of hours before dawn. And she knew that she had found her life’s work.
Jennifer attended the University of Minnesota, earning a degree in Women’s Studies. She went on to attend National Midwifery Institute for her Midwifery education.
Licensed in California in 2011 Jennifer has been a partner in a busy home birth practice in Northern California and worked at a premier birth center in Los Angeles. She has helped nearly 500 women give birth in homes and hospitals and birth centers and yurts and on blankets under the stars.
Jennifer has also welcomed her son Ellis in 2014 and Liza Jane in 2016, both with midwives. She and her husband and children live in a little house with a big yard in Woodland Hills.
Stephanie was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. As a young girl she knew she wanted to help pregnant people bring their babies into this world when she watched her first birth video. This led her to attend UCLA as a pre-med student with the intention of going into medical school to become an OBGYN.
While in UCLA, Stephanie began to involve herself within the medical community. She worked in the Mattel’s Children’s Hospital in UCLA where she cared for the psychosocial aspects and needs of children. In addition, she worked as a Lead Clinic Assistant Intern at the Venice Family Clinic serving both those in need of primary health care and women’s health and pregnancy. After graduation, she continued to serve those communities, but took some time to analyze the medical community and whether this was the right choice in her career.
Stephanie began researching other options on how to serve pregnant people. This was when she then came across midwifery, and everything fell right into place. Upon starting midwifery school, she became a doula to gain her experience. She is also BLS and NRP certified.
Stephanie is now in her second year at Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery in San Diego.
“I understood that midwifery was a tough career to break into, but it is more than just a career to me, it is a calling. A calling to service and rebuild the importance of encouraging, educating, and empowering pregnant people to have a natural birth because bearing babies are one of many things we ARE ABLE to do.
- Breaking down barriers, eliminating fear and giving pregnant people a choice and a voice.”