who we are
North Star Birth Collective is comprised of Sam Bonanno, Sarah Cox and Kara Snyder. We have worked together for more than 3 years doing birth work in hospitals and homes across the greater Rochester, NY area. Our offices are based out of the historic Hungerford building in downtown Rochester. We share a cooperative space with other women owned businesses. Between the three of us, we’ve had the privilege of supporting hundreds of birthing people through labor and delivery. Our goal is to help you, the birthing person and your partner (if you chose) to have a positive birth experience, as you define it.
I’m a mom of three kids: eleven-year-old (boy-girl) twins, and an eight-year-old boy. I also have a wife and three dogs, which is entirely too much family but I love every one of them. I used to be an elementary school teacher before having kids, but then I fell in love with the experience of birth and my interest in supporting womxn in labor began there. But I’ll always be a teacher at heart, so I decided to find ways to do it all as a doula, childbirth educator, and certified yoga instructor. I love birth, babies and education and I am so lucky to be able to have a career that’s built on all of my passions.
I am the mama to a spunky, amazing little boy. I am constantly grateful to him for the joy and love I discovered in my heart when he was born. Most days, I also have 300 other children while I am a school building leader at Discovery Charter School. I first became interested in childbirth when serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cambodia. During my service (2007-2011), I volunteered with midwives in remote areas of Southern Cambodia. I had the honor of assisting in deliveries both in a hospital and home birth setting. Later, my passion for birth was sparked again by the birth of my son in 2014. After struggling with my own postpartum blues, I set out to research and help others overcome postpartum issues naturally. I decided to become a Doula and immerse myself in all things childbirth! Since 2014, I have become a certified Doula with DONA International, A Certified Childbirth Educator (ACBE), A Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist (PBi),A Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and an herbalist.
I am the mother of three loving and hilarious children aged, 6, 4 and 2. At the age of 21 I was diagnosed with stage 3 Lymphoma. It was unclear if my husband and I would be able to conceive and carry on our own, but with the miracles of modern medicine we were able to! When I was pregnant for the first time I discovered doulas through a google search of “how to avoid a c-section”. My cancer journey had landed me in the OR and hospital quite a bit, for that reason I wanted to avoid the triggers those things brought to my birthing experience. I chose to minimize the medicals aspects of birth by utilizing midwifery care and hiring a doula. The journey to motherhood and birth changed me forever. I was hooked! I trained in the spring of 2014 and haven’t looked back since. I later became a childbirth educator because I so believe in providing evidence based education to clients. Advocacy is what drives me most in birth work. I am proud to be working with a group of women to bring the first free-standing midwifery led birth center to Rochester, Radiant Wellness & Birth Center. Birth is a physiological process and one that is transformative! I’m here to ensure you are supported, empowered and heard during your birth experience.