Our Team

The midwives at SF Birth Center are UCSF trained Certified Nurse-Midwives who are drawn to give intimate, comprehensive, and holistic midwifery care. We have chosen to work at SFBC because this setting offers a unique opportunity to care for women and families in a way that encourages personal hands-on interaction and collaborative decision-making. As midwives, our greatest joy is watching strong women become empowered by birth and helping build healthy families. 




Julie Birdsong
Communications Director

Julie graduated from the UCSF Midwifery Program and cares for women at San Mateo Medical Center as a Certified Nurse Midwife. Prior to midwifery, Julie worked as a registered nurse for 18 years with birthing families most recently, at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital where she was a member of the Lactation Committee and the high risk OB transport team.  Julie teaches herbal medicine making and loves to use natural remedies and herbs to treat common ailments. She has lived in the Mission for over 10 years and is excited to bring the option of a birth center to San Francisco and to care for women in her own community. 


Sara Van Acker
Financial Director

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 most recently a nurse-midwife role 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 is overjoyed to help bring a much needed alternative option to women and childbearing families in San Francisco. 


Nancy Myrick
Clinical Director

Nancy is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and has been practicing home birth with Rites of Passage Midwifery since 2003. She 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.

With the goal of helping women be strong in childbirth, she hopes that the San Francisco Birth Center will be a place where women realize how powerful they truly are. Nancy has attended hundreds of births in homes, hospitals and birth centers, her favorite being the birth of her daughter, Miranda, on a beautiful spring day in 1997.


Jen Moran
Student Midwife

Jen is a DONA trained doula as well as Certified Holistic Massage Therapist, and is thrilled to be a student midwife here at the San Francisco Birth Center. She is also a founding member of Community Well in the Excelsior District of San Francisco which provides holistic wellness services to individuals and families of all backgrounds in support of overall wellness, parenthood and a better quality of life.

Jen studied psychology at UC Santa Barbara, bodywork and energy work at The World School of Massage and Holistic Healing Arts, and prenatal massage at McKinnon Body Therapy Center. She also has strong spiritual practices that guide her healing path. Jen is grateful to be dedicated to helping women give birth and enter motherhood feeling connected, empowered, strong and full of joy.


Lisa Alden
Operations Manager

Lisa Alden is a Mensan and WashU alum. She is a certified birth and postpartum doula with experience supporting at births ranging from cesarean sections in hospital to water births at home. In addition to her studies in birth and anatomy, Lisa is certified in plant-based nutrition. Lisa is proud to support families during their childbearing years through her work with San Francisco Birth Center. When she’s not helping our families through the morass of modern day health insurance, she is with her two homebirthed boys being amazing.


Amanda Kessner
Student Midwife

Amanda is a student midwife and DONA certified birth and postpartum doula. Her background in feminist studies and nonprofit experience in women’s health inspired her to pursue birth work.  She began attending births as a volunteer doula at San Francisco General Hospital and with Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco in 2013. In 2015, Amanda began her midwifery training by completing a Midwifery Assistant Workshop at The Farm in Tennessee. Currently she studies midwifery through the distance education program at the Midwives College of Utah. Amanda is deeply passionate about birth, and excited to be apprenticing at the San Francisco Birth Center.


Elizabeth Mazza
Medical Assistant

Elizabeth graduated from San Francisco State University with a double degree in Physiology and Spanish, and is currently in the process of applying to medical school and planning her wedding. She hopes to one day become an OBGYN who advocates for doctor/midwife collaboration during pregnancy and birth. Before joining the SFBC team, she worked as an EMT and still bartends for fun on the weekends. She enjoys riding her bicycle all over the city and recently completed her first Olympic triathlon. While she considers herself a cat person, she admits that Julie’s dog Luca has won her heart.