Birth Assistants & Clinical Staff

Birth Assistants - Midwifery Model of Care

Anna Hepsø, RN, Birth AssistantAnna Hepsø, RN, IBCLC
director of nursing

Anna has been passionate about childbirth since middle school, when her aunt would tell 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 and families 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.

Anna enjoys teaching and working with children and has held jobs as a BWCA canoe guide for youth, an academic/writing tutor for children and peers, a piano teacher, and a childbirth educator. As a nurse, her passion remains helping childbearing families through pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and breastfeeding. While in nursing school, Anna founded the Twin Cities Doula Project, a local nonprofit organization that provides free doula services to families 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 continues to work casually on the hospital labor & delivery unit where she started her nursing career. At home, she and her husband Audun are working hard to be better parents to their two young boys Henrik and Nils.

ABBIE hull, RN, CLC
Clinic Nurse

Abbie started her journey into the birth world by watching baby goats be born on her family’s farm and also by seeing the births of her two younger brothers. She first started at the Minnesota Birth Center as a facility cleaner, then became a birth doula, then went to nursing school, and has been at the Minnesota Birth Center as a registered nurse since 2017. In 2020, she became a certified lactation counselor and loves helping families in their feeding journey. Abbie, her husband Brandon, and their daughter love exploring local coffee shops, traveling whenever they can, enjoying the outdoors, and gardening.

Ali Cluka, RN, CLEC
Clinic Nurse

Ali grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She obtained a BS in Biology and Animal Science from the University of Minnesota, after which she worked in biomedical research for six years. During this time, Ali and her husband experienced the loss of their first baby, and the subsequent births of their two sons. While preparing for her births, she became passionate about birth, breastfeeding, and healthcare.  Increasingly interested in maternity care practices and women’s health, she decided to pursue a career in nursing. Ali believes that the power of a birth plan isn’t in having a plan, but in the process of making one. She sees pregnancy as a unique opportunity where women can thoughtfully question standardized medical practices, seek evidenced-based care, and make informed and enlightened decisions that are right for their family. Ali is thrilled to be a part of the MBC team, where she can help support women and families during such an empowering and special time of their lives! When not working, Ali enjoys hiking and going to the movies with her young family.

Abbie ElliotT, RN
Clinic Nurse

Abbie grew up in the north suburbs of Minneapolis as the middle child of 5 kids. From a young age, she surrounded herself with babies and kids, from nannying to volunteering in her church’s nursery. She had entered nursing school, Bethel University, assuming she’d choose to be a hospital pediatric nurse. While in college, however, Abbie worked full-time as a personal care attendant (PCA) for a boy with autism and realized she had a heart for family-centered care, long-term relationships, and public health. She was then caught off guard when she ended up falling in love with her OB rotation that was facilitated by a midwife adjunct professor. She was sure she would have to choose between these two passions eventually until this midwife introduced her to the world of birth centers! After graduating she found a miraculous connection to MBC – Dr. Cindy Calvin, one of the founders, had been a professor at her high school, Minnehaha Academy! The rest was history. Abbie still can’t believe she’s been working at her dream job for more than 4 years, combining her passions into birth assisting and clinic nursing under one roof. More recently, she also added “gestational diabetes educator” to her titles. She is continually honored to work in a space that claims birth as an empowering experience for all birthing people and never gets over the first moment of coaxing a baby to their parent’s chest. While she has no children of her own yet, Abbie is thrilled to continue treasuring all her various experiences at MBC. In her spare time Abbie can be found anywhere there are people, lamzacing at a park, or floating in any body of water she can find.

Emma Seifert, RN
CLinic Nurse

Emma was born and raised in rural Wisconsin on a small hobby farm, where she grew up helping on the farm and caring for baby lambs. Her nursing education began at North Dakota State University, where she gained experience on the OB/GYN floor. After caring for a diverse number of birthing patients, Emma found her passion growing for low-intervention birth. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and moved to the Twin Cities in search of an opportunity in out-of-hospital birth. Emma has since worked as a birth assistant and clinic nurse at The Minnesota Birth Center for over 2 years. With additional doula training, Emma has many comfort measures up her sleeve for laboring patients. Emma currently lives in St. Paul, where she enjoys gardening, yoga, and going to the local farmers market. She is ready to help you meet your baby!

Kayla Waldecker, RN

Kayla became fascinated with birth after having the privilege of seeing her little brother enter the world when she was 12 years old. As she grew in her passion for maternal health, she was particularly interested in the sociopolitical forces that impact women’s autonomy in healthcare and inspired by the idea that there were true choices in childbirth. Kayla earned a B.A. in Gender and Women Studies and Theatre and Drama from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, a Master of Public Health degree from Benedictine University, and a Master of Nursing degree from the University of Minnesota. Prior to nursing school, Kayla was a birth doula in the Twin Cities for several years and founded the Karma Doula Collaborative, a program dedicated to making doula support sustainable and accessible to all families, regardless of income. She continues to strive to do the work to make birth better in Minnesota and beyond.

The things that bring Kayla joy in life are good music, intensely competitive team trivia, comic relief and her fab four, which include her husband Daniel and three tiny humans Genevieve, Lillebelle, and Maverick.

Aleta Wild, RN, CLC
cLINIC NuRSE

Aleta was born and raised in Northfield, Minnesota but now calls St. Paul home, where she lives with her partner, two children, and two mischievous kitties. Aleta earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from St. Olaf College, which she used to work in sustainable agriculture and environmental education while also coaching collegiate swimming at Macalester College. She then decided to go back to school to pursue a Master of Nursing at the University of Minnesota. She has worked in a variety of healthcare capacities, from performing research in a level 1 trauma center emergency department to working in public health in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Aleta started her nursing career in a busy adult ICU unit, but after giving birth at the Minnesota Birth Center, fell in love with the culture of care here and decided to pursue a job opportunity at MBC. Aleta is excited to use her teaching and coaching skills to help other families achieve their birth goals. Outside of MBC she enjoys going on outdoor adventures (aiming for 1,000 hours outside in 2022!), eating all the amazing food her husband cooks, swimming, reading, and watching as her children learn and grow every day.

Madelaine Weissend, RN
CLINIC NURSE

Madelaine was raised in Kansas City and graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Nebraska. As she discerned a future career in healthcare, she found a job that allowed her to travel around North America and Europe training healthcare professionals to effectively use electronic health record software. Despite a long standing interest in reproductive health, it was through this work that Madelaine learned about and was inspired by the midwifery model of care. Madelaine decided to pursue her interest in supporting and empowering growing families first by training as a doula, and then by pursuing a career in nursing. She graduated from the Master of Nursing program at the University of Minnesota in 2020. In her free time, Madelaine enjoys working on her knitting projects, yoga, exploring the Twin Cities, and keeping her cat, Frankie, out of trouble.

Mandy hoffmanN MILLER, RN

Born and raised in Michigan, Mandy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Integrative Health Studies and Psychology at Michigan State University. After graduation, Mandy moved to Colorado, making it her home for the next five years. With her continued interest in health education, she took on a role through an Americorps program at a community health center. She spent her days teaching reproductive health to middle and high school students and working at a teen clinic. Through a little bit of trial and error, lots of travel, odd jobs, and some soul searching, Mandy decided to go back to school to pursue nursing and midwifery, which ultimately landed her in the Twin Cities. She received her Master of Nursing degree from the University of Minnesota in 2017 and very recently graduated with her Doctorate in Nursing Practice in Nurse Midwifery at The U. She has had the privilege of working as a Birth Assistant for over three years, as well as the incredible opportunity to be a student nurse midwife at MBC… though her greatest learning experience and gift of all was experiencing MBC’s unmatched care as a patient herself during her pregnancy and the birth of her son. Mandy loves hiking, biking, cross country skiing, and Minnesota’s vibrant birth community! She is beyond honored to work with the MBC team and grateful to be an active participant in your story. She wholeheartedly believes that individuals are the world’s experts on their own bodies and is continually inspired by their power and strength!

EliZabeth Summers, RN

Elizabeth obtained her Bachelor Science in Nursing from the University of New Mexico. She also has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from Macalester College. She has worked in a variety of settings as a Registered Nurse including inpatient oncology, renal dialysis, and women’s health. She completed the Minnesota Birth Center Doula Internship program in 2016 and had the opportunity to support women birthing naturally and giving birth by C-section. She is married and has two children. Both of her babies were birthed with the support of midwives in hospital. When she is not assisting with a birth at the MBC, you can find Elizabeth at various networking events in the Twin Cities. She is a proud member of Business Network International and enjoys growing her network marketing and virtual doula business during the week. In her free time, you’ll find Elizabeth practicing yoga at home or at Blooma. She also loves to take long walks with her German Shepherd dog and her Australian Cattle Dog at the Minnehaha Dog Park.

Brooke Noble, RN

Brooke was drawn to labor and delivery from a young age. She witnessed her first birth in high school during a medical shadowing program, and shortly thereafter decided to pursue a career in nursing. Her first nursing job was at a birth center in her hometown of Springfield, Missouri. It was there she was introduced to midwifery, natural birth, and a family-centered approach to care. After moving to the Twin Cities in 2016, Brooke obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and worked in the Women’s Center at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater for five years. Her experience in labor and delivery, postpartum, and special care nursery was invaluable as she furthered her knowledge and clinical OB skills. During this time, she also honed in on her passion of working with empowered women to help them accomplish their goals of natural childbirth. She is thrilled to be a part of the team at the Minnesota Birth Center.

Brooke is an advocate for women’s health and loves studying about integrative medicine in her spare time. In addition to nursing, Brooke enjoys working with women as a holistic coach. She also enjoys backpacking, traveling, rock climbing, and being involved with her church and community.

Liz Doro, RN

Liz grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin and attended the University of Minnesota for her undergraduate degree in the life sciences. After graduating, she spent two years working in chronic disease research before moving to Baltimore, MD to attend Johns Hopkins University for her Masters in Nursing. After graduating nursing school in 2018, Liz worked in high risk obstetrics for almost three years before returning to Minneapolis to be closer to family. During her time at Johns Hopkins, Liz discovered her passion for assisting new parents in birth and discovered that she loved working with low intervention deliveries. Hoping to help others discover their passion for birth, Liz was trained as a childbirth educator and a clinical instructor for nursing students. Now that she has returned to the Twin Cities she continues to pursue her passion for assisting new parents in low intervention birth and is thrilled to be able to join the Minnesota Birth Center community! Outside of work you can find Liz hiking or walking in the park with her two pups.

Charmaine sweeney, Clinic assistant & Medical Supply Coordinator

Charmaine has a 4 year degree in zoology and has her very own zoo at home consisting of three dogs, a cat, a bearded dragon and a ball python. Her passion for caring for animals transformed to caring for people and in 2015 she joined the National Guard as an EMT. She also learned phlebotomy in the Army and most recently worked for CSL Plasma as a senior phlebotomist and management trainee. Charmaine is interested in exploring a career in nursing and is excited to be working with nurses and midwives at the Minnesota Birth Center.

MACKENZIE MORUA, RN
CLINIC NURSE

Mackenzie grew up in the south suburbs of the Twin Cities. After spending time in Costa Rica, she graduated with a degree in Spanish and Iberian Studies and worked as an ESL teacher. Later, the process of carrying a child and giving birth forever changed her life. In her own words, “The care I received from my traditional OBGYN was adequate but I was left feeling like I had missed out on something during my daughter’s birth. I later realized that something was education and autonomy. I decided to go back to school to get my nursing degree and was determined to work with pregnant people and be around birth. When I became pregnant with our second daughter, Cecilia, I sought out a new provider who more closely aligned with my values and wishes, which led me to MBC. As a patient here, I was in awe of the clinical staff, their care and knowledge, their time and attention. Instead of questions being brushed off, I was educated and given choices. My concerns were heard, my feelings validated and my birth was MINE. I am honored to now be a part of the staff at MBC. I’m excited to provide care, education and autonomy through evidence based practice to all the families of MBC.” In her free time, Mackenzie enjoys watching Minnesota United soccer, going to the MN Zoo with her daughters and shopping for things she doesn’t need at Target.

Robyn Estes, RN

Robyn is a Minnesota-native who currently lives in St. Paul with her partner, son, cat, and dog. She has always been drawn to families and children and studied Family Social Science during her nursing education at the University of Minnesota. During school she worked as a nursing assistant in an ICU and started there as an RN. Her intention was always to work with families. Five years later, and after the beautiful birth of her son, she felt drawn to birth work. She chose the Minnesota Birth Center to support families seeking physiologic birth and the Midwifery Model of Care. In her free time, she enjoys reading historical fiction and non-fiction, walking outdoors, skiing, and snowboarding.

CHLOE BUFORD, Clinic assistant & Medical Supply Coordinator

Chloe is a yoga teacher and nursing student who LOVES to bake. She is also studying herbalism and natural remedies. She is passionate about birth work because she believes birth to be an intimate, beautiful, and even political thing. Chloe wants to help birthing people (especially BIPOC and POC) to have healthy pregnancies and to be listened to and heard while also guiding them to make healthy decisions. The birth center is the perfect start to her career centered around birthing bodies and birth itself!

Becca Andreassen, CPM, LTM

(She/They) Becca has always been a midwife, but took a winding route figuring that out. She grew up in Texas, and from a young age loved learning about birth, babies, and chestfeeding. Becca followed their many passions. They studied Theatre and Classical Studies at Cornell College (2009), and taught sewing and costuming for seven years before local theatre led them back to birth. She began studying midwifery in 2014, and in 2019 completed an immersive, bilingual, Borderlands midwifery program at Maternidad La Luz birth center and school in El Paso, TX. In 2021 she gained the Certified Professional Midwife and Licensed Traditional Midwife credentials.

Becca loves supporting and advocating for all pregnant and birthing people, and newborn babies, and takes seriously the responsibility of midwives to be teachers. She is honored to witness families grow as new humans take their first breaths, and delighted to assist the Nurse Midwives at The Minnesota Birth Center. When not working, they’re mostly hanging out with their own family – two partners, two kids, and two cats – in their Minneapolis home. Becca enjoys sewing, knitting, dancing, singing, acting, voting, communing with nature, playing games of all kinds, and spending time with friends and family.