Nikki Helms, LM, CPM, CLEC
Nikki is the proud mother of two girls 10 and 16 years old. She's a Licensed Midwife, Monitrice and Perinatal educator.
Nikki's career in birth work started when a dear friend asked if Nikki would be her doula in 2003. After serving several families in the Bay Area, she got pregnant with her first child in 2004, and relocated to be closer to family in San Diego that next year and was warmly welcomed into the birth community in San Diego.
Since the start of midwifery school in 2014, she has had the need to start a birth center that serves every body: LGBTQIA+ family builders, marginalized BIPOC, immigrants and asylum seekers, educating along the way.
After a successful, ongoing GoFundMe effort, Nikki is the principal midwife behind San Diego Community Birth Center, currently working tirelessly to ensure the birth center and its nonprofit foundation are well situated to serve the San Diego community.
Every pregnancy and birth is a miracle and as a Licensed Midwife, Nikki is honored to be able to contribute experience, genuine love and culturally competent care to families in San Diego.
Darynée Blount, LM, CPM
Darynée Blount, a Licensed Midwife and proud mother of five, began her midwifery education in 2003. She was the first student in the "pilot program" for Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery, now a MEAC accredited midwifery program.
She went through all of the routes to midwifery to obtain her license for the state of California: utilizing the NARM PEP process, California Challenge through National Midwifery Institute and graduating from a MEAC accredited program in 2009.
Most recently, Darynée was practicing in her own home birth/birth center practice: Birth Roots, Women's Health & Maternity Center where care was taken and pride shown while offering evidence-based, fully informed choices to birthing people of all backgrounds, making services accessible with a particular focus on serving people of color.
To strengthen her midwifery community and skills, Darynée has been an IBCLC, Midwives of Color Section Chair for Midwives Alliance of North America, and founder/board member of NABCCC - National Association for Birth Centers and Clinics of Color.
Darynée hopes to be able to reach more midwives and students to address bigger issues that are going on, in regards to racial and health disparities among people of color.
Jarrah Foster, IBCLC
In 2016, Jarrah left the corporate business world to focus on a career in maternal health, after watching many family and friends struggle with breastfeeding, Jarrah completed her International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) education. Jarrah has also completed certification in pregnancy health coaching with the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, a babywearing educator through the Center for Babywearing Studies, and training for trauma counseling with the Organic Intelligence organization.
Darynée and Nikki helped deliver Jarrah's daughter during the COVID-19 outbreak. Simply put, Jarrah understands that Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding is very challenging with or without a pandemic. Often the biggest hurdle to overcome when it comes to breastfeeding success is getting support, which has been limited for so many families. Support may look like help with latch and positioning, clinical assessment of baby for oral function, or management of common lactation issues.
Jarrah will meet with you and listen to your desires and goals, troubleshoot issues and provide you with information to make informed decisions, and come up with a plan that works for you. Jarrah's wish is for all families to have the support they need to feed their babies and enjoy the breastfeeding/chestfeeding journey.
Shani Cooper, DACM, LAc, CLEC
Shani Cooper is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Shani has created an Integrative Medical Practice that focuses on natural chronic pain management, digestion issues and Full Spectrum Birth Work from preconception to postpartum and beyond. Shani is passionate about people being able to fully live in their bodies and live their best lives. She's taken this passion to China to study with teachers of her mentors, and bring the highest quality medicinal botanicals to her patients.
Dr. Cooper has created integrative programs to address postpartum and gynecological health with
the proper balance of science, botanical and traditional medicine, to encourage and work towards the World Health Organization's definition of health: "a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Shani is also incorporating cutting edge therapies to treat chronic pain, digestive issues and autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Cooper is licensed in California and practices out of her clinic in San Diego as well as joining the team at San Diego Community Birth Center. I am super focused on Traditional Chinese Medicine gynecology and birthwork and working to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in my community, particular for birthing people of color.