Let's Learn together


Short heartwarming, inviting description of what this experience is, “welcome home” vibe. Touch on inclusive, fun, relaxing. Nations leading experts. Located at the Tremont House. November 2022. **Disclaimer: Speaker list and topics subject to change. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril nulla facilisi.

Jharna Ahmai

Jharna Harvey Ahmai


Jharna is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) who currently attends homebirths in Western Massachusetts since 1992. Over the 31 years of actively practicing as a homebirth midwife, Jharna has trained numerous other women in the art of midwifery and continues to believe in the power and sanctity of a birthing person’s choice in birth. In 1999, Jharna completed her degree as a registered nurse. She specializes in psychiatric nursing. She has worked for 24 years in this capacity, with 22 of those in a private psychiatric hospital where she worked with children, teenagers and adults as an admissions triage nurse clinical leader. In that role, she has assessed, interviewed, provisionally diagnosed and triaged over 12,000 clients in acute crisis, seeking psychiatric and/or addictions help. As the mental health crisis increases worldwide, Jharna has been drawn to combine her 2 expertise skillsin the advancement of awareness regarding Perinatal Mood Disorders. To her clients and colleagues, Jharna is known as someone who develops simple concrete individualized tools, strategies and plans that may assist a birthing person and family through whatever challenge they may be living with. She does this using both current research and best practice as well as drawing upon her life’s work and experiences. Jharna has completed multiple trainings in traumatic birth, birth story listening, transformational coaching, herbal medicine and other alternative therapies. Jharna gardens and makes her home along the Connecticut River in the rural town of Montague, MA with her son Mosiayah and daughter Veda Ruth (both born at home), as well as multiple pet companions.

Alicia Baker


A trailblazer and advocate for women’s health and wellness, Dr. Alicia C. Baker has made it her mission to cultivate safe spaces for growing families and bridge the gaps in healthcare education for patients and clients alike. In 2011 Dr. Baker earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Emory University. In 2016, she acquired her Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from the University of Dayton. Soon after, she began working with female oncology patients to rehab their bodies through treatment of axillary cording, so that they could not only experience the joy of healing, but also the satisfaction of a higher quality of life. In 2018 Dr. Baker earned her certification in both upper and lower extremity lymphedema therapy that would open the door to serving breast and gynecological cancer patients. After six years of practice, Dr. Baker took a leap of faith and changed the way she does PT. She went mobile, with a special target for pelvic floor patients. With multiple requests for birth assistance from patients, she officially became a Doula in 2022 backed by experience supporting new mothers with conditions such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, geriatric pregnancy, and VBAC. As “The Doula PT”, Dr. Alicia actively engages within her community to guide women in ways to live and birth with confidence through pelvic floor therapy and birth support. Her goal is to empower her patients and clients by bringing light to the ways to improve health outcomes and heal their bodies. “The Doula PT is purpose driven and God anchored. The opportunity to be present in the very first moments of life is something that never ceases to bless me.”

Katie Black


Katie Black is a Registered Nurse and Student Midwife, awaiting licensure in Virginia. In 2011, when she became a nurse, she started her career on a surgical floor where she gained invaluable knowledge and clinical experience. Perusing her dreams of helping women and babies, she became a doula and Registered Nurse Birth Assistant in 2015. This is where she found her passion for out of hospital birth. Katie has worked with multiple midwifery practices over the years, serving hundreds of families in her community. Wanting to take her career to the next level she decided to become a midwife! In the fall of 2021 she started the PEP process through NARM. Recently Katie was given the opportunity to teach IV skills to student midwives and she fell in love with teaching and sharing her skills. Katie and her husband have four children, two of which were born at home with midwives. Her passions include her faith, her family and expanding the knowledge of out of hospital birth.


Wantina Brooks-Roach


Wantina Brooks-Roach CPM, LCPM (she/her) is a traditional midwife located in Florence, Kentucky USA. Wantina became a midwife through traditional apprenticeship models in Indiana and became a CPM through the PEP in 2003. However, licensing was not available until 2020 when the law changed in Kentucky. Wantina worked with the other midwives and the consumer based organizations in KY to change the law to support midwives and parents choices. Wantina has had 23 students fully complete their CPM through her practice and are in practices around the world. There are 13 more students who are in apprenticeship or waiting to pass the NARM exam currently. Wantina has a busy practice with 150-200 families a year doing homebirths and has successfully balanced short term and long term apprenticeships for students who can not find apprenticeships in their area and are willing to travel. She has a full house of teenagers and an amazing husband and a lazy dog that everyone loves.

Sharon Cardenas


Sharon has a profound passion regarding the transformation a woman goes through during pregnancy and the consumation of birth. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a bachelor’s degree in both Spanish and Latin American Studies. Sharon is a La Leche League leader as well as a breastfeeding mom for nearly 7 years. Sharon is also a scholarship recipient for the Mercy in Action Distance Academics program. She received her certification as a Professional Certified Doula, from toLabor, formerly known as ALACE. In order to best serve mothers in the postpartum period, Sharon also went through training with Postpartum Support Virginia as a volunteer peer supporter as well as DONA as a postpartum doula.

Kesha Zaffino


Kesha attended New York Law School and graduated in 2009. Afterwards, she served in the United States Air Force as a JAG officer. As a JAG officer, Kesha performed a variety of tasks such: as drafting wills and powers of attorney, legal assistance to veterans, and litigation. She also has experience from courts-martial sexual assault cases where she learned in-depth knowledge about the military’s sexual assault response program, the victim witness advocacy program, and retaliation against victims. After Kesha’s military career, she became a consultant to a women-owned business in Washington D.C. and helped revise a sexual assault bystander intervention training to be USAF complaint. In addition, she is a mother who labored with a midwife. These experiences have inspired her to evolve her civilian practice in law that is focused on helping others. Kesha’s practice areas include: personal injury, petitions to seal/expungements, and uncontested guardianship and adoptions.

wendi cleckner

Wendi Cleckner

LM, CPM, JD, Esq

Wendi Cleckner LM, CPM, JD Wendi is a midwife, herbalist, lawyer and women’s rights activist. In 1993 she helped a friend in the birth of her first child and felt a passion to devote her life to moms and babies. The calling of midwifery has led her across the world, taking her all over Asia and Africa. Wendi has been involved with solo and partnering homebirth and birth center practices in Arizona over the last 22 years. She has held in every position on the Arizona Association of Midwives (current Vice President) serving her local midwifery community and Wendi is the current Director of Policy and Advocacy on the MANA Board. She has actively run legislation and lobbied for and against many bills in the Arizona House and Senate. She believes in the intrinsic knowledge women hold in the ability to bring forth life and will continue to work both individually and with the community, rallying for women to give birth as they choose. To further that rallying cry, Wendi completed law school in 2018 and is fighting for midwives and women locally and globally.
augustine colebrook midwife

Augustine Colebrook


Augustine is a nationally recognized midwifery educator, experienced business executive, and veteran midwife with a heart focused on the underserved. She respects a woman’s need for the empowering feeling of being undisturbed during labor. She balances this attention to the sacred with 20 years experience attending births in hospitals, birth centers, and homes in rural, urban and suburban environments in the US and abroad. Augustine’s focus is finely attuned to the process of letting go and opening to the unknown in labor and in life.

Amariee S. Collins


Amariee (she/hers, non-gender role confirming) is a Certified Professional Midwife and has earned a Bachelors of Midwifey from Midwives College of Utah October 2023.

Amariee is a Registered Sonographer with American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) in Abdomen/General, Obstetric/Gynecology (RDMS-Ab/Ob/Gyn) and Vascular (RVT) from San Jacinto College with an Associates of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. She completed over 1100 clinical hours at three different hospitals in the greater Houston area starting in 2017.

She started her sonography career at University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX in 2019 after graduation and upon passing three registries. Amariee was challenged to correlate MRI/CT/PET/X-ray/NM exams to find the smallest abnormality in the body. The systems that  were examined were integumentary, breasts/lymph nodes, chest wall, female and male sexual reproductive organs, all abdominal organs and cavities, thyroid and all related glands and nodes in the face and neck, vessels from those from the brain to the neck, neck to wrist, abdominal vessels to pelvic region to the ankles, muscles and other locations where cancer to be found but not in the bone. The population of cancer is vast from infants to the elderly.

Amariee has also worked in the clinical setting at an Endocrinologist office, at Baylor, Scott & White hospital, Children’s Health and Outpatient Centers. Her experience is vast with procedures, inpatient/outpatient/OR/ER, protocols and standards set by Joint Commission Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. 

As she entered midwifery school and networked with the birth community, there was an expressed need for mobile ultrasound technologists. She decided to expand her ability to work outside of the medical industrial complex by starting her mobile sonography business.

The exams are ordered by licensed professionals and read by a teleradiology group contracted with Amariee. This has allowed for many families to be served in a greater capacity with the restrictions of COVID-19 in the hospitals and outpatient centers.  Many midwives that have multiple needs for learning how to use their Point-Of-Care US (POCUS) transducers and decoding diagnostic ultrasound reports have contacted Amariee for training. She has identified a great need to train midwives in the basics of sonography, for safety of all parties involved.

As a CPM, Amariee currently provides hands on ultrasound training for midwives and other student midwives in the greater Cincinnati area. 

In her other endeavors, Amariee is a veteran of the United States Air Force, holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Health and Human Performance and Masters of Public Administration. A few positions she has held are budget analyst with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Secondary Science educator at Houston Independent School District and an AmeriCorps VISTA/VISTA Leader for Texas Impact. Amariee is a community member and builder no matter her location and has a passion for equity for all in the world which keeps her busy as she resides in Ontario, Canada.

leslie cornwell

Leslie Ann Cornwell


Leslie Cornwell is a Certified Nurse Midwife with a drive to empower midwives in their own businesses. She started Midwifery Business Consultation in 2017 because she saw the value and the need for midwifery practices across the country to have a business resource. Through personal experiences, she realized that she didn’t have the business education she needed for her own practice, so she decided to not just get the education, but also create products and services to give other midwives access to the same knowledge. She is passionate about creating automated products and services that can help midwives with questions including creating policies and information on common tax deductions, as well as many other midwifery business related information. The mission and vision for Midwifery Business Consultation is to increase access to midwifery services, to empower midwives to start businesses serving their communities, and to provide educational opportunities for the midwifery profession. Leslie believes midwives should be able to serve more families and not have to work a lot harder.
Shawna Dewitt

Shawna Dewitt


Founder of Sora Midwifery, Shawna DeWitt is an internationally recognized Certified Professional Midwife who has a worked as a home birth and birth center midwife, doula, and educator. She is certified in holistic nutrition, fertility support specialist, postpartum wellness and has completed training with Aviva Romm focusing on Women’s Integrative and Functional medicine. 

She is dedicated to creating collaborative, holistic health care support for her clients around the world as they journey through life, birth, & more.

Kristin Effland


Kristin practiced as a direct-entry Licensed Midwife providing primary perinatal care for nine years in Bellingham and Wenatchee both of which are considered medically underserved rural areas. Kristin is the co-chair of the Legislative and Health Policy committee of the Midwives Association of WA State (MAWS) where she previously served as Vice President and student representative. She helps to organize Midwife Lobby Day every year in Olympia, WA and previously helped organize a National Gender Lobby Day in Washington, DC during her time working for a national organization focused on ending violence and discrimination caused by gender stereotypes. Kristin completed her Master’s Degree in Maternal Child Health Systems during which time she developed a web resource for educators designed to help promote Equity in Midwifery Education
rixa freeze

Dr. Rixa Freeze

Dr. Rixa Freeze, PhD studied at the U of Iowa and is a researcher, professor, and mother of 4 children. Her current research specialization is vaginal breech birth. She is president of Breech Without Borders, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Medium: Dr. Rixa Freeze has a PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa. Her doctoral studies focused on the history of healthcare and medicine with specialization in pregnancy, childbirth, and maternity care. Her dissertation examined why women in North America choose unassisted home births. She worked as a visiting assistant professor for 9 years at Wabash College. Her current research interests include human rights in childbirth, autonomy and informed consent, and vaginal breech birth. She has published two articles about home birth: “Staying Home to Give Birth: Why Women in the United States Choose Home Birth” (JMWH 2009) and “Attitudes Towards Home Birth in the USA” (Expert Review of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2010). She c-authored the 2018 article “Breech birth at home: Outcomes of 60 breech and 109 cephalic planned home and birth center births” with Dr. Stuart Fischbein. In 2019 she published an article about outcomes of breech at home, birth centers, and hospitals (Midwifery Today) and a book chapter “Freebirth in the United States” in the 2020 book Birthing Outside the System: The Canary in the Coal Mine. Rixa is the founder and president of Breech Without Borders, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to breech training, education, and advocacy.

Jacqueline George


Jacqueline George is a registered nurse, certified doula, and midwifery student living in Medicine Bow, Wyoming. She holds two bachelor’s degrees: one in Nursing and one in English.  Initially, Jacqueline set out on her nursing career planning to work in labor and delivery, but fate had other ideas and instead she completed an advanced residency program in the Kootenai Health emergency department in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. After working for five years in emergency medicine, she transitioned to perioperative services as a charge nurse and performance improvement coordinator. After two years, she and her husband (who is also a nurse) moved to Wyoming to run a surgical hospital in Casper, where they worked until the facility sold in 2018. It wasn’t until the birth of her son in 2020 that Jacqueline decided to return to her true passion: birth. She has been working the last three years as a birth doula, childbirth educator, and placenta encapsulation specialist. She is passionate about expanding birth options to families in underserved rural areas, advocating for expanded pathways to midwifery licensure, and developing birth models to address maternity care deserts.

Zul Ruiz Gines


“Zul” As her loved ones know her is a CPM/Licensed Midwife in California and Florida and mother of to wonderful daughters. She was born and raised on the magical island of Puerto Rico . Her midwifery education journey started in Temixco , Mexico with a community indigenous midwife that opened her vision , spirit and heart to the world of midwives. She continue to enrolled as a student in Los Angeles, CA and Orlando , FL. She attended National College of Midwifery and Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery . Zul is passionate about providing safe midwifery care from a cultural appropriate perspective. Since 2009 she has been serving and been an advocate for low income families, specially within the African American and spanish speaking communities. Currently Zul have establish her practice in St.Petersburg , FL. UMA Midwifery and UMA Easy Access Clinic™where she provides midwifery care based in the JJ Way ® .The goal of The JJ Way® is to eliminate racial and class disparities in perinatal health and improve birth outcomes for all. Zul is also the Founder /CEO of KIBI ( Kolibrí International Birth Institute ) a continuing education platform for birth workers including midwives , nurse midwives, doulas and IBCLC .Offering continuing education clases with a wide selection of topics and in multiple languages. Website:

Jen Grieco

Jen Grieco


Jen has always felt a gravitational pull to the magic of birth, bellies and babies. One of her earliest memories was her mother bringing her sister home from the hospital and immediately thinking that she was mine hers care for. She was in love and wanted to do everything that she could to help nurture her.

Jen’s journey into midwifery has had many facets leading up to it. She spent her teenage years curious about the medical field and chose nursing as her “career.” Just a few years in, she longed for a deeper connection with her patients and although she enjoyed her time in obstetrics and gynecology, something was definitely missing.

A sacred calling: During her pregnancy with her third child, she reconnected with a friend who had birthed several of her babies at home. This was something that was still somewhat uncommon in her geographical area, but she had heard of homebirth before. Her friend began sharing her experience and Jen immediately felt a complete visceral effect in her body. She longed to learn more! At the time, she was 34 weeks pregnant and struggling with pre-term labor so she accepted that birthing at home would be unlikely. Nonetheless, she spoke with a local midwife who offered information and support via phone and provided me her with tools to help prepare for her early birth experience in the hospital. It was her kind demeanor and gentle reassurance that allowed Jen to feel seen and heard. What an extraordinary moment with a health care provider! Just one week later, she birthed her son in the hospital at 35 weeks, unmedicated and with the resounding voice of her midwife, reminding her of her strength and connection. Although she wasn’t able to give birth at home, this experience provided her with the courage to grow beyond what she had known. She was ready to embark on the journey of becoming a homebirth midwife, and within 6 months of her son’s birth, Jen enrolled in the National College of Midwifery.

Birth is soul work: Welcoming her own children earthside has influenced her philosophy surrounding birth and her desire to walk alongside families during their journeys. As your birth steward, Jen will co-create the pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience that you envision. You may be challenged by old belief systems or moments of fear and doubt. Jen will stand with you through those moments and help you prepare mentally and physically so as to reach your destination in a safe and empowering way. Each experience is very different, with extraordinary moments of surrender, expansion and bliss. You might even discover that fear is really courage becoming known.

It has now been 15 years since Jen started on this path and she continues to explore and evaluate her core beliefs about birth and her journey as a midwife. She believe that each person’s body, their baby and their choices must be respected and that birth proceeds safely and efficiently when it is protected and not interfered with. It is essential that each person take responsibility for their care, paying close attention to their intuition, while making informed decisions. Jen promises full transparency and honest communication, no matter what bumps arise along the way.

Jen is forever grateful that she answered the call to be of service as a midwife and is grateful to learn from so many diverse families. She feels blessed that each day (or night) as she begins the drive to care for a family in their home, she knows whole-heartedly that she is standing in integrity and providing individualized care that they deserve and desire. She is deeply honored and humbled to be living out her passion and purpose in life. It truly is an honor. I look forward to meeting you and discussing more about your interest in midwifery care.

Kimberly Haines


Kimberly is a second generation midwife with a passion for student education. She began attending births in 2004 and quickly recognized the vast shortcomings in women’s healthcare. She graduated from the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery in 2012 with a goal to offer a more empowering approach to prenatal, antenatal and postpartum care in her community. She has since been dedicated to raising the community standard of out-of-hospital care while precepting student midwives to provide exceptional birth options to the expecting families of the Shenandoah Valley. Kimberly has also thrived in the chaos of raising five crazy kids with her equally passionate partner of 22 years.

Mary Harris


Mary Harris, LM, CPM My journey to midwifery started because of extreme motion sickness. I thought I was going to be a marine biologist but the inability to even stand on a floating dock without queasiness, ended that path two years into my undergraduate degree. I regrouped, rethought my life path, graduated with a biology degree in therapeutic recreation, and began my career working in traumatic brain injury. I imagined continuing with that path until old age but with the birth of my children, my path changed again. I had two hospital births that were not terrible. And then I had a home birth with my third. It was so different. My baby didn’t leave me, natural light shone through the window, the post birth shower was delightful, and I felt safe surrounded by my midwives and family. I knew immediately that I wanted to be a midwife. My midwife knew how I parented and suggested I wait until they were older and that was the best advice ever. I graduated from midwifery school in May 2000 and have never regretted my decision to turn my life and career upside down once again. I spend my days in Florida attracting my ideal client and thoughtfully balancing clinic, births, family, and personal care.

Hermine Hayes-Klein


Hermine has been passionate about justice, civil rights, and sexual and reproductive rights since the beginning of her studies at the University of Chicago. One of her law school professors, Barry Alberts, inspired her to see how lawyers can use advocacy to take legal burdens off of clients’ shoulders and to speak on their behalf in the language of the law. These concepts still motivate her as an attorney.

After law school, she worked at law firms in New York City and Connecticut, before starting her own practice in 2003. Hermine’s law practice focused on LGBTQ rights, family law, and art law, until she moved to The Netherlands in 2007. From 2008 – 2012, she taught International Law at The Hague University in The Hague, where she was also the Director of the Research Center for Reproductive Rights at the Bynkershoek Institute.  

After giving birth to her two sons in the woman-centered Dutch maternity care system, she began to focus her research on how women are treated during childbirth in maternal health systems around the world. She learned that women’s fundamental human rights are routinely violated in maternity care systems. The disrespect and abuse of women during childbirth is an issue that was just beginning to attract the attention of the feminist movement, and she was inspired to support the activism and legal advocacy necessary to make women’s rights a reality during childbirth. In 2012, before moving back with her family to the US, she led the organization of the first global Human Rights in Childbirth conference at The Hague University.

Hermine became licensed to practice law in Oregon in 2013 and has represented clients in family law, midwifery, and birth rights cases ever since. From 2013-2016, she organized five additional international conferences of maternity care stakeholders to discuss various aspects of human rights in childbirth. Through these undertakings, she learned from many amazing people who were working on different aspects of maternal healthcare around the world. Since 2017, she has focused her practice on legal advocacy in the state of Oregon, while continuing to consult on cases and with organizations in states and countries around the world. 

When she is not working, she enjoys life in beautiful Oregon with her family and their dog, Bella. Hermine loves to cook, spend time with her fast-growing boys, and learn gardening.

Dia Ingalls


After attending the birth of a good friend in 1996, Dia knew that her life’s work would center around midwifery. Later that year, she began studying at a birth center in Texas, obtaining a variety of hands-on skills and becoming familiar with the practical work of caring for pregnant clients. After Texas, she learned even more about supporting clients while in an apprenticeship with an experienced midwife in California. After a few years of study, she paused her training in order to travel the world, studying yoga philosophy and learning various health and healing modalities. She resumed birth work in 2010 after the birth of her second child and has been a full-time birth worker ever since. She is committed to birth rights activism and serves on Elephant Circle’s Midwifery Task Force and the Colorado Midwives Association Board. She is also a single parent of two children born at home and enjoys camping, hiking, singing, dancing, and crocheting.

Kristine Lauria

Kristine Lauria


Kristine Lauria is an international midwife and currently works for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). She specializes in high-risk maternity care in low-resource environments and is passionate in her support of breech birth, bodily autonomy in medical decision making and is a staunch advocate for undisturbed, physiologic birth. She has attended over 5000 births in more than 25 countries around the world, including many sets of twins and triplets. When not in the field with MSF, she is an instructor with Breech Without Borders and is also their Global Midwifery Director. She lives in Michigan’s upper peninsula with her pug.

Dani LaVoire


Dani comes to this work of birth, death and grief because of a deep need to live life in the liminal spaces and foster experiences for others seeking comfort in unfamiliar territory. While working as a home birth midwife for two decades, she realized that the same skills of the heart that have served birthing families could also help deepen the experiences of families facing death. Dani is a home birth midwife, home funeral guide, passionate public speaker, herbalist, writer, mother, grandmother, wife and homesteader. Her deepest passion lies in creating strong communities by encouraging grace in challenging moments. In 1998, Dani completed the MEAC accredited program in midwifery at Maternidad La Luz in El Paso, TX and later went on to study creative writing at Prescott College in Arizona. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Currently, she is working toward credentialing as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner as her work has found her drawn to serving families whose birthing journey has been impacted by trauma and grief. Dani has attended over 300 births in many roles; as midwife, student, and friend.
Adrienne Leeds

Adrienne Leeds


Adrienne is a midwife & herbalist who has supported women in health and birth for over 20 years. After numerous women told her she had “midwife energy” she heeded the calling. Adrienne has studied birth, women’s health, and bodywork with Wise Womanhood, The Matrona, The Association of Texas Midwives, Ysha Oakes, Ruth Shepard and Dr. Rosita Arvigo. She is a graduate of the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies’ 3-year clinical herbalism program and is a married mother of two homebirthed children. When not catching babies, massaging wombs or geeking out on placentas, you can find her in the garden or out hiking.

Sarah Lopez

Sarah Lopez is the Community Doula Ambassador at Elephant Circle and also works for the Recovery Nurse Advocate program. She has been a doula since 2015. Sarah believes that the word doula is not just a noun but is also a verb. It is the action of giving unconditional love at a time that it is needed. Sarah loves that she gets to provide access to funds that pay doulas a sustainable wage to provide the love that only a doula can give. She also trains and certifies people to doula within their communities. Recently she has discovered the excitement of advocating for birth justice at the state level.

Sarah has lived in four different states throughout childhood and currently lives in Aurora, Colorado where she has been the only parent to two adult children. She loves any activity that involves her paddle board and is currently reconnecting with her love for camping and exploring Colorado and all the magical places it has to offer.

Moriah Melin


Every day Moriah Melin RM, CPM is humbled by parenthood, partnership, physical health, and the ways she witnesses those around her rise to their challenges. She has been supporting families in childbirth since 1996, and is currently registered as a Midwife in Colorado and with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. Moriah is also a Death Midwife, and is currently writing a book titled “How To Show Up for the Dying and Their Loved Ones: What to Do, What to Say.” In addition to midwifery Moriah is personally and professionally passionate about the field of pre- and perinatal psychology (PPN). Her family began receiving support from the BEBA (Building & Enhansing Bonding and Attachment) family clinic in 2012, and she joined the BEBA Board of Directors in 2016 ( In 2018 she completed the Castellino Foundation training, and prenatal and postpartum PPN sessions have complimented her midwifery practice since 2012. She is currently developing curriculum for supporting the dying and their loved ones through the PPN lens. Walking with individuals and families at every stage along the Rainbow Bridge continuum of birth, life and death is her jam.

Julie Moon


Julie is a Certified Nurse Midwife and Owner/Educator at Midwives Untethered. She travels across the country providing education to midwives, EMS providers, and birth workers and to help them to refine NRP with limited numbers of staff and community based resources and settings. She has spent years working towards making the transfer and transport of birthing families as seamless as possible by working with EMS and midwives to develop skills and protocols. She is driven to serve and guide midwives, birth workers, EMS and all caregivers to optimize their care and their own well-being. She knows the key to this is care givers who are self-aware, compassionate, and empowered to perform within functional systems, while being well educated to assess needs and perform safely in those systems. She is honored to guard physiologic birth and the traditions of midwifery, while while advocating for safe, quality care.
Ashley Musil

Ashley Musil


Ashley Musil is a midwife, owner and clinical director of Wellspring Midwifery Care & Birth Center in Cleveland, Texas. She is the ex-officio president of the Greater Houston Midwives’ Alliance and a regional representative and education chair for the Association of Texas Midwives. She has been a practicing community midwife since 2014. Ashley has a passion for continuing education as well as inter-professional education as a means to bring professionals from various areas of the maternity care system together. She has taught childbirth education classes, continuing education classes for birth workers, teaches the next generation of midwives as an instructor for the Association of Texas Midwives Midwifery Training Program, and trains student midwives through apprenticeship. Ashley holds a B.A. in Visual Communication and Design from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. She has six children, is passionate about natural healthcare, and has a desire to see women empowered by their choices, inspired by their dreams, and aspiring to meet their goals.

Sonal Patel


Sonal is a board certified pediatrician, neonatologist, breastfeeding specialist and founder/owner of NayaCare: Fourth Trimester Clinic at Your Doorstep. She is also a published author, podcaster, TEDx speaker, and co-founder of Center of 4th Trimester Care. Her  career has been centered on infant nutrition and its impact on infant/childhood development and improving postpartum care.

Her personal and professional experiences have taught her the role of breastfeeding and 4th trimester’s impact on maternal/infant health. Sonal’s speaking interests center around breastfeeding/infant nutrition for preterm and term newborns, improving postpartum care within the 4th
trimester, and maternal mortality.

Kelleen Peters

Kelleen, affectionately known as Mama K, creates healing tinctures, elixirs, salves and teas made from high grade cannabis and organically grown herbs. Mama K has been assisting cancer patients for over 25 years. She also offers assistance with overcoming addiction and pain management. She educates people on how to consume Cannabis without smoking and teaches them to handcraft their own personal apothecary. Mama K travels all over the USA empowering women in underrepresented communities to produce their own medicinal products and increase their self care. She offers private wellness consultations for patients and consumers, as well. “Self care is divine work”, is her motto. She currently resides in Mendocino County, California.

Whitney Pinger


WISDOM Pearls: Clinical Scenarios and Strategies to Enhance your Midwifery Practice is a presentation designed for midwives to hear an engaging distillation of some of the rare clinical scenarios I have observed and the core clinical strategies I have developed, utilize, and rely on over my 40+ years of clinical practice. We will cover Uterine Impaction, Labial Hematoma, Goddess Pose, Resting Queen’s Pose, Lunging, Fecal Impaction, Midwifery Pearls and The Patterns of Labor, and the External Nudge, all within the context of ACE Awareness. These are scenarios and strategies that will deepen your Midwifery WISDOM.

Lisa Rawson


Lisa Rawson is a Licensed Midwife of CA and CPM and has been working with families for 25 years – educating, empowering, catching babies, and enabling equal access. Her specialty is infusing humor and joy while addressing the hard topics. Her dream is to make various modalities of midwifery care accessible to all. She seeks to restore informed consent and choice thru education, social justice and solidarity toward equitable human rights. Outside of Midwifery she enjoys~taking time off, growing her multigenerational family, dancing, cooking, eating, playing games and spending time with her people~some of her favorite things to do. Look her up at Mountain Valley Midwifery in beautiful rural Mendocino County, CA – she loves meeting and connecting with new people in the birth world.

Olga Ryan


Olga has been an NRP instructor for more than 20 years and has been teaching NRP in the out-of-hospital birth setting since 2006. She is an experienced birth center leader having served as manager of the El Rio Birth & Women’s Health Center for 10 years and more recently as the director of Babymoon Inn, LLC in Tucson, AZ. She is active in AABC and CABC and has served in various roles in both organizations throughout her career. Olga has served in nursing leadership positions in a variety of perinatal units since 1994, with a special interest in process improvement projects. She is a passionate birth center advocate who works with birth centers and EMS systems to improve clinical care and processes that serve the families and the caregivers within them.
Demetra Seriki

Demetra Seriki


Demetra Seriki is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), educator, perinatal and reproductive activist. Demetra was the first registered CPM in the state of Colorado and owns and operates Colorado’s first and only Black owned freestanding birth center. Since becoming a registered CPM, Demetra is completing her BSN in Nursing and continues furthering her education in pursuit of becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). Demetra has worked in various aspects of birth for the last 22 years with the last 9 years focused on community midwifery and perinatal open access models of care. Currently Demetra holds the position of Academic Dean with the National College of Midwifery (NCM). Demetra is also the founder and organizer of Womb Cycles, a non-profit agency that intentionally focuses on Black infant mortality and sponsors Biking for Black Babies. Additionally, Demetra holds a board position with Elephant Circle (EC), a Colorado based birth justice organization. In 2021 Demetra supported legislative efforts in Colorado which resulted in the landmark legislative Birth Equity Bill passage SB21-193, SB21-194 in collaboration with Elephant Circle. While midwifery is Demetra’s purpose work, educating the next generation of midwives is her heart work. Demetra became a Certified Preceptor in 2017 and since that time she has not only trained midwifery students in skills intensives, she previously held the position of House Mentor and Faculty at Midwives College of Utah. Demetra has a unique background that spans over 18 consecutive years, consisting of medical administration as a Registered Medical Manager, Certified Professional Medical Auditor, and Registered Medical Coder. Her diverse background includes working in multiple specialities and settings which include, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Practices, Pediatrics, Pulmonology, Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy, and Chiropractic.

Ruth Shepard

CST, CHom, BSc (Hons) in Homeopathy

Ruth Shepard, CST, CHom, BSc (Hons) has been in the Birthing World for 25 years. She became a Bradley Method Childbirth Educator in 1997, and a DONA trained Doula in 1998. She studied Midwifery for years, and was a Board Member of the Childbirth Collective in Minnesota from 2000-2003. During her 4th pregnancy in 2006, she trained in Dynamic Body Balancing, under Dr, Carol Phillips, D.C. learning Craniosacral Therapy and Myofascial Unwinding. Upon completion of her training Ruth immediately worked on newborn babies (referred to her by her own Midwife), mitigating birth trauma with Body Balancing techniques. Ruth has worked 1000s of times on babies to help improve the postpartum and breastfeeding experience for her clients using gentle and effective craniosacral and myofascial releases that help with tongue tie, torticollis, colic, and more. Ruth is also a Certified Homeopath (since 2015) and has a Bachelor’s degree in Homeopathy from Middlesex University, London, UK (2022). She now teaches Body Balance techniques to Parents, Doulas, Midwives and Lactation Consultants while also maintaining a busy Homeopathy, and Body Balancing, practice in Golden, Colorado, USA.
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith

Lauren is a community organizer from Colorado with a background in youth advocacy, abortion rights, and social work. While she originally pursued a STEM career, the spontaneous decision to intern with a civic engagement organization shifted her trajectory as she found a passion for racial and reproductive justice. As the Black Civic Engagement and Policy Manager for Soul 2 Soul Sisters and Elephant Circle, she organizes alongside her amazing team to advocate for the needs of her community every day, at the legislature, the ballot box, and beyond. Beyond this work, Lauren has a deep love for music and can often be found perusing record stores, buying concert tickets, and leading her Denver-based a cappella group. She is also a student at MSU Denver, studying to get her B.S. in Social Work.

ilka fanni

Ilka Fanni Szilágyi


Ilka was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. After years of traveling around Europe, she settled in the SF Bay Area in 2004 where she lives with her husband and 2 children. Her background is in dance and movement. She is a Certified Massage Therapist, trained in Somatic Movement and Developmental Movement Therapy, certified in Radical Counseling and has been a dancer and dance teacher for the past 24 years. Her whole life, she was supporting people. Teaching, communicating, moving, touching, holding people in their learning, healing and transitions. For the past 11 years she has done that as a Doula, ChildBirth Educator, Placenta Medicine maker, Spinning Babies Parent Educator and now as a student midwife. She brings all this knowledge of the body and emotional process, to support mothers, birthing people and their families and babies on their journey through the birth process and parenting. Ilka is honored to be invited to share her knowledge and experience with the midwifery community.

Sarah Thompson


Sarah Thompson is a certified functional medicine practitioner, licensed acupuncturist, board-certified herbalist, birth doula, author, and educator with a passion for pregnancy care. She is also known as a leader in the practice and education of maternity functional medicine and published the first book on the subject, Functional Maternity – Using Functional Medicine and Nutrition to Improve Pregnancy and Childbirth Outcomes. Sarah brings together evidence-based research in prenatal and maternity nutrition with ideas of functional medicine, in 2021. Sarah’s clinical experience spans nearly 20 years. When she isn’t writing, lecturing, mentoring, or seeing patients in her private practice, she can be found on her small Colorado farm with her husband, two daughters, chickens, miniature cows, dogs, cats, and gardens.

Aubre Tompkins


First and foremost, I am a midwife serving my community. I have been immersed in Perinatal Health since 2005 when I graduated from University of Colorado with my BSN. I then started working at a free standing birth center and University of Colorado Hospital. At the birth center, I developed the family education program and worked as an RN/Birth Assistant. At the hospital, I worked on the low risk OB unit, the high risk OB unit, the inpatient AP unit and the NICU. When I finished school to obtain my Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) degree, I became a staff midwife at that same center. Two years later, I became the Clinical Director. After 11 years total at that original center, in 2017, I partnered with a private practice physician group to design, develop and build Seasons Midwifery & Birth Center. Which has now transitioned into a non-profit, community led birth center called Seasons Community Birth Center.

I am Faculty with the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) for the How to Start a Birth Center workshop and am also the current President of AABC. I believe strongly that midwifery has a strong activism component and I have been involved in many state government issues related to improving access and equity to midwifery care. I am also the author of, Midwifery For Expectant Parents, a book all about midwives of all types in all settings, designed to help educate the public about the care we provide. I always strive to bring my dedication, passion, expertise and commitment to excellence whether at the side of clients, when teaching or working with the community.

Barbara Verneus

Barbara Verneus


Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Barbara Verneus is a first generation Indigenous Haitian American who comes from a line of ancestral midwives from her maternal side. After digging into her mother’s lineage, she realized that midwifery chose her more than she chose it. In 2003, she became a doula serving mothers in New York City. In 2006 , she traveled to Senegal, West Africa to volunteer with the the African Birth Collective, and decided then to become a midwife. Since, Barbara has trained in several states (NY, MA, PA, TX, and NJ). In 2013, she discovered she was pregnant and birthed a beautiful baby girl the following year. Inspired by the birth of her daughter, she launched Tiny and Brave Holistic Doula Services in 2015, gained her masters in counseling with a concentration in Marriage and Family, in 2016, and began her journey towards becoming a certified professional midwife. She has worked as a midwifery assistant in Brooklyn, NY at Dyekora Sumda Midwifery Services, MotherBloom in Austin, TX and currently, Baraka Midwifery Serving in the surrounding areas of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She has served as an advisor to teenage mothers at PathWays PA, an organization that helps women, teens, children and families achieve economic independence and family well-being. In pursuit of her Graduate Certificate in Maternal and Child Health from Boston University, Barbara conducted workshops in the Boston area on women’s, reproductive, infant, and adolescent health. She has led workshops, across the country, on topics such as racism, motherhood and mental wellness; breastfeeding and the history of Black midwives within radical birth work. She has also been featured in several social media platforms. To date, she has attended over 300 births since starting her journey in birth work. Barbara desires to provide intentional comprehensive therapeutic continuity of care to families in urban communities and overseas that allows families to feel empowered, honored and safe. Grieved by the abuse of women and children and the lack of value of marginalized families; she seeks to reemphasize the importance of the family unit because all parties are vital to the development of one’s community no matter the makeup. She strongly believes that one’s sovereignty is their birthright to birth right. She hopes that her practice will seek to help in the movement of birth equity and sustainability for the midwife and the families they serve to purposefully thrive and not just exist.

Ana'Neicia Williams


Dr.Ana’Neicia Williams, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Perinatal Mental Health Practitioner, Birth Justice Advocate, Consultant, Professor, Continuing Education trainer and visionary that leads Momolgy Maternal Wellness LLC in the Louisville Metro Area. She’s a committed change agent of community care, mental health, social justice dedicated to treating individuals,groups, and families within maternal/child health. She values educating birthing communities of their parental and birthing rights due to the disproportionate rates in maternal/child health affecting BIPOC groups at alarming rates. Momology’s goal is to ensure every served client receives equitable, high level care whether it is to actualize their lived experiences on their individual journey of healing or support shifting the birthing and parenting culture within an agency. Ana’ is equipped from a holistic-informed, creative perspective supported with psychological and philosophical underpinnings sure to meet the emotional, mental, behavioral, and organizational needs of those served. She utilizes practical interventions to assist with actualization of self and environment to reach client centered identified goals. Ana’ also integrates her experience to lead organizations, program development, cultural competency, reproductive justice framework and management of third-party governmental/private sector affiliations.

Nikki Weir Williams


Nikki took the long way to birth work – spending six years in the United States Air Force as an Arabic translator, then five years as a defense contractor in computer forensics. Then she chose to have her first and only baby with midwives, which changed her life. Nikki first trained as a DONA International Certified Doula and also practiced simultaneously as a professional birth photographer. Seven years and four apprenticeships in three countries later she achieved the Certified Professional Midwife title. Nikki’s philosophy on midwifery is heavily influenced by the two years she spent apprenticing under the Yorkshire Storks Independent Midwifery Practice in England. Under their guidance, Nikki was able to witness traditional midwifery practiced with the birthing family’s individual needs and human rights as the only focus, without insurance, arbitrary laws or regulations affecting care decisions. She is currently the President of the Association of Independent Midwives of Maryland, whose current legislative focus is amending state regulations to allow Maryland CPMs to attend homebirth after cesarean. Nikki loves knitting and crochet, eating, and binging television. She has a daughter, two cats, four chickens and a long-suffering husband.

Metta Mitchell

Andie Wyrick


A certified nurse midwife and doctor (she is so fancy) has been in the Houston birth community for nearly twenty years. Her experience includes elementary school nursing, hospital L & D, birth center, and home birth. Andie is confident in a person’s ability to grow and birth their baby. She feels a partnership in care is empowering and always hopes to foster that relationship with families. She likes to think she is tender, funny, lighthearted, and hands off when it comes to the way she lives life and provides midwifery love. She has been joyfully dating her husband of 21 years since junior high and has six children. She is host to a weekly podcast, Midwife Monday and co-owns Holistic Heritage Homebirth in Houston. Her passions beyond bellies, birth, and breastfeeding are drooling over her hottie of a husband and being a glutton for movie theater popcorn.
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