The midwives of San Francisco Birth Center are committed to intimate, comprehensive, holistic midwifery care. We have chosen to work at SFBC because this setting offers a unique opportunity to provide care in a way that encourages personal hands-on interaction and collaborative decision-making. As midwives, our greatest joys are watching people become empowered by birth and helping to build healthy families.
Sara Van Acker
MS, CNM, WHNP
Sara is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner who completed her training at UCSF. Her path to midwifery began as a doula at San Francisco General Hospital and has included various international and domestic projects, including a midwifery fellowship at Holy Family Birth Services in Weslaco, TX and as a nurse-midwife at Santa Rosa Birth Center. Sara’s practice is rooted in the strong belief that families deserve holistic, client-centered choices for their birth and reproductive health care services, and she is overjoyed to have co-founded San Francisco Birth Center as an alternative option to childbearing families in San Francisco. Sara is also the new mama to a baby girl, an experience that has deepened her commitment to supporting families through the transitions of parenthood.
Nancy Myrick is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and has been the director of San Francisco Birth Center since 2015. She has practiced home birth midwifery since 2003 with Rites of Passage Midwifery. Nancy began attending births as a doula in 1993, received her RN in 2000, and completed her training in midwifery in 2003 through the UCSF Nurse Midwifery Education Program. She has attended hundreds of births in homes, birth centers, and hospitals and believes that choice in childbirth helps parents begin the long path toward building great humans!
Anjali Sardeshmukh is a Licensed Midwife (LM) and CPM. She completed her midwifery training at the International School of Midwifery, Miami, Florida in 2009. After obtaining her license, Anjali worked as a midwife in an OB/GYN office, birth center, and attended births primarily in home settings. Anjali is passionate about Birth Justice and increasing access to midwifery care, having been part of the inception of reproductive justice organization, Mobile Midwife (now Southern Birth Justice Network) in 2009. She moved to the Bay Area, California and joined the SFBC staff in September 2016. She has enjoyed building community in the Bay Area and exploring West Coast beauty with her East Coast born child. She is especially looking forward to celebrating her 10th year of practicing midwifery in 2019 by welcoming SF’s newest babies.
RN, CNM, WHNP
Serena Saeed-Winn is a Certified Nurse-Midwife, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Founder of MOMumental, and mother of three. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she has served women and their families for over 20 years. Serena began as a Doula, supporting women in labor and postpartum. She then transitioned to working for the Homeless Prenatal Program where she supported clients through education and creation of programing to serve the whole family. As a midwife, Serena served families at an out of hospital birth center and, most recently, as a full scope Midwife at the St. Luke’s Women’s Center in San Francisco. Serena is also the founder of MOMumental, a program to help families prepare for the postpartum period and grow as individuals in parenthood. The proud mother of three amazing girls, including her lively twins, parenthood remains her biggest accomplishment.
Alana Joy Diamos is a Licensed Midwife (LM), and Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). She spent many years as a homebirth Midwife in the desert southwest, and spent over three years practicing midwifery in Chiapas, Mexico.
Alana is overjoyed to be back in her homeland of Northern California and excited to be part of the San Francisco Birth Center team, blending ancient craft with modern medicine and working to expand access to the midwifery model of care.
She is the Mama of two little ones: her lioness daughter and her sunshine boy.
When she isn’t at the birth center, you can find her chasing her kiddos, exploring a state park, dreaming up her next trip to Mexico, oogling new recipes, and enjoying good coffee. Alana is fluent in Spanish.
Lisa Alden is our resident polymath. A Mensan and WashU alum, she earned her business credentials at Harvard Business School and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. She is a certified birth and postpartum doula with experience supporting at births from cesarean deliveries in hospital to water births at home. In addition to academic work in philosophy, business, and the arts, Lisa studied gross anatomy at UC Berkeley and is certified in plant-based nutrition through Cornell University. Lisa is proud to support folks during their childbearing years through her work with San Francisco Birth Center. When she’s not helping our families and center, she’s likely playing tennis, writing songs, or with her two homebirthed boys on every soccer field.
Administrative & Medical Assistant
Maddison is our Administrative and Medical Assistant with a passion for Women’s Health and Birth Work. She completed her degree in Public Health from American University in Washington D.C. Maddison is a certified Birth Doula, Placenta Encapsulater and Childbirth Educator. When not at the Birth Center, she can typically be found drinking good coffee, binge reading books in one night, and hanging out with her two cats and handsome husband. With a background in Financial Institutions and Marketing, Maddison is very excited to “get in to the birth world.” She is so thankful to the SF Birth Center for giving her the opportunity to meet and work with the lovely parents (and parents to be) of the Birth Center.
Michelle Welborn witnessed the birth of her sister-in-law’s twins in 2002 inspiring her to pursue work in the birth world. She has attended births professionally since 2003. Michelle graduated from The National Midwifery Institute in 2010 after apprenticing in several homebirth practices. She is a Licensed Midwife (LM), Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and has attended hundreds of out of hospital births. In addition to assisting at the San Francisco Birth Center, Michelle has a homebirth practice in San Francisco.
Kara Engelbrecht is a Licensed Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife. Blending practicality and passion, midwifery allows for her care to be curated to the individual needs of each woman. Kara has two teens and a lovely homebirth practice full of new and repeat families in San Francisco, and occasionally moonlights at San Francisco Birth Center when hands are needed.
Devon is a Registered Nurse with experience in Labor and Delivery and Postpartum. Originally from Lake Tahoe, she graduated from San Diego State University in 2015 and is happy to be back in Northern California. She is passionate about helping families find educated and autonomous decisions around reproductive health and birth as she embarks on her journey to become a Certified Nurse Midwife herself. Although, she still practices as a Labor and Delivery RN in the hospital setting, her passion lies within out of hospital birth and she is honored to be a part of the San Francisco Birth Center team. If she gets called to your delivery she will be the second set of hands and assist to your primary Midwife through the pushing and immediate postpartum period. In her free time you can find Devon practicing yoga or hiking the trails in Marin county!
Laura Marina Perez
Laura Perez is proud to be a locally apprentice-trained midwife. She has worked as a women’s health educator, a Gynecological Teaching Associate, abortion counselor, lactation educator and doula. For the last 5 years, Laura has had her own midwifery practice, and has been involved with the Oakland Community Birth Center since 2009.
RN, LM, IBCLC
Ami Burnham is a Licensed Midwife, Registered Nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She began her healthcare career with a certificate in Massage Therapy in 1997, which led her to midwifery school two years later. Ami began attending births in 2000 as a student at the Seattle Midwifery School, a three-year direct-entry midwifery program, where she graduated in 2002. In June of 2005 she sat for her lactation boards and became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Ami returned to school in 2007 and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from San Francisco State University in May 2009. Ami has dedicated the last 18 years to supporting families throughout the childbearing years and has attended close to 500 births since beginning her work in midwifery. She has been invited to speak at midwifery and obstetric conferences as well as university classrooms. From 2009-2013, Ami volunteered annually to train midwives and traditional birth attendants in Haiti and Sierra Leone. Ami was delighted to welcome her own children into the world in 2015 and 2017 and has added “mom” to her list of titles since that time. You can find more about her and her lactation services at Amma Source.
Such a welcoming and safe place to give birth. I loved the one on one care and also the group prenatal classes. I always felt heard and the midwives allowed me to be in charge of the birth I wanted. Birthing my baby here was such a powerful and intimate experience and I can't wait to have my second baby here.