Birth Assistants

Birth Assistants - Midwifery Model of Care

Anna Hepsø, RN, Birth AssistantAnna Hepsø, RN

Anna has been passionate about childbirth since middle school, when her aunt told her stories about her experiences as a doula and L&D nurse.  She became fascinated by the woman’s empowerment, transformation, and innate strength during labor and birth and felt called to support mothers during this life-changing and vulnerable time. She left her hometown of Waverly, Iowa, to pursue her passion for language and travel, moving to Norway where she met her future husband.  She has since earned a B.A. in linguistics from Williams College in Massachusetts, teacher licensure from the University in Trondheim, and a Master of Nursing from the U of M.  While Norwegian is the only language she speaks proficiently, she has studied several other languages, including three years of Arabic.

Anna founded the Twin Cities Doula Project, a local nonprofit organization that provides free doula services to mothers in need.  As both a nurse and a doula, Anna has had the opportunity to attend births in the home, birth center, and hospital setting.  She currently works as an L&D nurse, childbirth educator, and as a certified  lactation counselor.  Music is one of Anna’s main nonprofessional interests; she used to be a piano teacher and has been singing in choirs since childhood.  She and her husband enjoy cooking together, running and world travel. They look forward to regular trips home to Norway, the Boundary Waters, and enjoy long weekends visiting relatives around the country.

Leah Loucks, RN, Birth AssistantLEAH LOUCKS, RN

Leah is originally from Roseville, Minnesota. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing from St. Catherine University. She has over sixteen years of high risk labor and delivery experience at the University of Minnesota – Fairview Hospital, where she is still on staff. While enjoying her work in a high risk hospital setting she also loves working in a less medical interventional type of care. Leah is excited to be at the Minnesota Birth Center where she can assist families in natural childbirth. She lives in Shoreview with her husband, Jim and three children. In her free time she enjoys exercising and hanging out with her family.

Amanda Peterson, RN, Birth AssistantAmanda peterson, RN

Amanda is originally from North Branch, Minnesota. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from St. Catherine University. Amanda has always felt passionate about women’s health and knew in high school that she wanted to support women during labor and delivery. She has been a nurse for 4 years and has 3 years of labor & delivery and antepartum experience at the University of Minnesota- Fairview. Amanda absolutely loves the high risk work she does at Fairview, but is excited to work in a low stress environment that faciliates physiological birth at the Minnesota Birth Center. Amanda lives with her two Chihuahuas- Brutus and Gus in Blaine, MN. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, going to movies with friends, trying new food, baking, cooking, and boating in the summer.

Karees Lindstrom, RN, Birth Assistant

karees lindstrom, RN

After completing her RN education at Central Ohio Technical College in 2001, Karees moved to Minnesota to pursue a career as a nurse at the Mayo Clinic. Throughout her 15 years as an RN, she has held various roles including in Family Medicine where she worked with expectant moms in the OB clinics. Having a midwife follow her for all four of her pregnancies and attend three of her water births, Karees gained an appreciation for a more natural birth experience, and passionately advocates for new moms and their families to have the option to choose a home-like environment such as the Minnesota Birth Center. In addition to her RN training, Karees is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) who can assist mothers in learning how to best nourish their new babies and promote health before, during, and after pregnancy. She is currently attending Bethel University to further her nursing education.

Amanda Hedin, RN, Birth Assistant

amanda hedin, rn

Amanda has a long history in healthcare with nearly 15 years experience. Only recently, though, has she transitioned to nursing. Already with a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Hamline University, she has recently added RN to her title (Rasmussen College) and found her passion in caring for patients. When not attending MBC births, Amanda works for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in the operating room as a circulating nurse. Amanda loves caring for families who have low risk pregnancies and can feel empowered by their birth experiences. Amanda lives in Blaine with her husband Scott and their miracle daughter, Reagan. Her family has two dogs and enjoys spending time outside, cooking, and being active.

Lizi Liberman, RN, Birth AssistantLizi Liberman, RN

Originally from outside of Chicago, Lizi moved to Minnesota to complete her Bachelor’s degree at Winona State University. While in school, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Athens, Greece where she was able to travel, adventure, and immerse herself is various Eastern European cultures. Gyros and Falafels are still some of her favorite comfort foods. After graduation, Lizi worked for two years as a dedicated nurse in the Neonatal ICU, caring for the tiniest of patients and attending high-risk births. While she loved the work she did, she could not deny the pull she was feeling towards helping women achieve a more holistic birthing experience. Since starting at MBC, Lizi firmly believes she has found her niche: providing holistic and family centered care to all women. Unable to completely cut ties with the tiny humans who continue to inspire her, she remains a volunteer NICU photographer for the March of Dimes. Lizi is a St. Paul girl and lives across the river with her partner Nate and their dog (furbaby) Kiya. If she’s not working, you will mostly likely find her camping, hiking, at book club, or with a camera in her hand. Lizi is an avid photographer whose favorite subjects include: families, newborns, births, and nature.

Melanie ueland, RN

Melanie grew up and Minnesota and chose the University of Minnesota for her undergraduate studies in International Relations and German. It was during college that she met her husband, Ali, who is originally from Iran. They moved to Boston while her husband finished his PhD, and it was there that their two children were born. At the time, Melanie had to spend hours on the phone to get midwifery care covered by their insurance, but she knew she wanted low-intervention births, and even chose hypnobirth for baby #2. After staying home with her children for a few years, Melanie trained as a doula and then attended nursing school at St Catherine University. When Melanie is not at MBC, she can be found attending her children’s activities, taking care of her cats and dogs, and working as a certified OB nurse at the University of Minnesota Birthplace. There she is on the “flex team” –  working in labor and delivery, antepartum and postpartum. She is passionate about all aspects of women’s health and strives to provide care that is not only safe, but inclusive and welcoming. She knows how empowering the birth experience can be, and wants her patients to get the birth they desire, whatever that looks like!

Melanie Timpano, RN

Mel hails from California, where she was born and raised. Mel is proud to have called Minnesota home since 2008, when she and her partner relocated to manage an educational organic farm on the St. Croix River. Though nursing is a career change for Mel, she has a special passion for the health of people with uteruses, borne from witnessing the home birth of her youngest sibling as an adolescent. This experience left an indelible impression on her. While her professional background focused on agriculture, Mel focused much of her personal study over the years on female physiology, gynecology, health activism, holistic health, and herbalism. After the gentle home water births of her own babies, Mel felt called to pursue work in the birth setting more formally, becoming trained as a doula, lactation educator, and Registered Nurse. She was a founding board member and volunteer doula with Twin Cities Doula Project, a local non-profit providing free doula services to underserved people. Mel graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing from St. Catherine University in 2016, and began working as a Birth Assistant shortly thereafter. She also currently works at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, where she is a RN in the adult setting and sits on the Holistic Practice Council. When she is not working, Mel enjoys spending time in the garden with her love of 14 years, volunteering in her children’s classrooms, baking, growing and processing food, wildcrafting and preparing herbs, and biking. Mel is delighted and honored to serve families and individuals as they become parents or grow their families, and thanks them kindly for the privilege.

Kerry Green, RN

Kerry is originally from Mahtomedi, Minnesota (though she consider Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia a second home). Kerry began her career as a Registered Nurse with the Minnesota Birth Center after completing a Master of Nursing degree at the University of Minnesota. She came to nursing after working as a youth health educator and a birth doula. She also holds a BA in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. Kerry loves supporting families through the powerful experiences of labor and birth, and appreciates the opportunities in the birth center model of care to promote physiologic birth. Kerry lives in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis with her partner Mart. She loves traveling (especially visiting Mart’s home country of Estonia), cooking, hiking and camping, singing, and playing piano. Kerry also works as a Public Health Nurse focusing on maternal and child health with the City of Bloomington.

Sarah Millam, RN

Sarah is originally from Minneapolis & after traveling the world for several years, she returned to her roots & is proud to call Minneapolis her home once again. It was through her travels, doing volunteer medical work, particularly in Haiti & India, that Sarah developed a passion for women’s health. She was struck by the contrast between the lack of skilled professionals & medical services available to pregnant women in underdeveloped countries compared to the over-abundance and medicalization of birth in the US. She ultimately felt called to serve low-risk mothers seeking undisturbed & low-intervention births. She returned to the US & earned her bachelors degree in nursing in Minneapolis while working as a phlebotomist at a local emergency room & becoming a doula through DONA International. After graduating, she moved to North Dakota where she gained experience, primarily as a postpartum & lactation nurse, with occasional shifts in the NICU, pediatrics, and gynecology. She then returned to Minneapolis in the summer of 2016 to join our team & also works at two nearby hospitals in Labor and Delivery where she gets the opportunity to serve women dealing with perinatal complications. Sarah is a self-described “research nerd” & likes to stay constantly updated with the latest evidence-based research surrounding women & newborn health. She was thrilled to become part of the MBC team, as she finds that our care model most closely aligns with her own values of using evidence-based medicine to promote physiological birth while respecting the autonomy of women and their families. In her free time she enjoys spending time outside with her pitbull-mix, playing with her nephew, listening to podcasts, exploring a plant-based diet, traveling abroad, reading medical journals & taking courses online to further her knowledge of evidence-based birth.

Savanha Winkel, Student Nurse

savanha winkel, RN

Savanha is enthused to be beginning her employment at the Minnesota Birth Center after a year long internship at MBC. Originally from Forest Lake, Savanha has a Masters of Science in Nursing from St. Catherine University and a Bachelor of Arts in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Savanha joined MBC as an intern after completing her clinical rotation at MBC. As nursing school often does, exposure to new areas of healthcare led Savanha to quickly develop a passion for maternity care in an out-of-hospital setting. While her original career goals focused on pediatric nursing, she has discovered that maternity care is truly the best of both worlds. Her scholarly work focused on bringing awareness to healthcare professionals and the public on Paternal Postpartum Depression. She hopes to continue her passion for learning and providing family-centered care at MBC by finding new and better ways to care for and support the partners of our moms. She is beyond grateful to continue her journey with MBC as a Registered Nurse. Savanha lives in St. Paul with her fiancé, Jordan Standish, and family of 4-legged friends, Noir (cat), Porter (cat), Simcoe (cat), and Mitch (bearded dragon). In her free time, she enjoys spending time in the outdoors, practicing yoga, traveling, and most of all, being with friends and family.