Our Care Team
Nikki Helms, LM, CPM, CLEC
Nikki is the proud mother of two girls 12 and 17 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.
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.
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 the Root and Soul clinic in La Mesa 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, in particular for birthing people of color.
Disha Mistri, MSN, NP
Disha Mistri is a dual board certified Adult Gerontology and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner.
She is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, where she completed her Master's of Science in Nursing at the highly esteemed MGH Institute of Health Professions. Before starting her NP journey, Disha was a middle school science teacher in Miami, Florida. This is where she learned the skills needed to be a clinical educator for a broad spectrum of learning needs and styles.
Disha moved to San Diego in 2015 to work at Planned Parenthood as a flex-clinician, working at various locations throughout San Diego, Riverside, Palm Springs, and Coachella providing essential sexual and reproductive health services.
After Planned Parenthood, she accepted a role as clinical manager and the first NP at Hanabusa IVF in Sorrento Valley, San Diego. While at Hanabusa IVF, Disha worked closely with the doctors to help establish protocols and provide a high level of service to women struggling with severe issues of infertility including Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR), Premature Ovarian Failure (POF), PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and other conditions.
Disha is an LGBTQIA+ advocate and passionate about clear patient education through direct patient care. She struggled with fertility issues herself for many years. She now shares 3 beautiful daughters with her wife and wishes to help other folks along their fertility journeys.
Leslie McFarlane, CBE, CLEC, BA,
Program Director and Perinatal Navigator
Like many, Leslie's journey to birth work and birth justice began with her first pregnancy almost 10 years ago. Leslie found safety and comfort under the care of a Black midwife, circumventing the racist and outdated hospital system. She completed a Perinatal Education program with the Midwest Maternal Institute in 2018, obtaining Doula Certification, Birth Educator Certification and Lactation Support Certification. Leslie served as both Doula and Board Member for the Chicago Volunteer Doulas organization, working directly with Black & Brown women in crisis and adolescent pregnancy.
In 2022, Leslie completed the Black Sisters Birth Academy clinical Birth Assistant program as well as UCSD’s Lactation Educator program. She is currently Program Director, Childbirth Educator and Midwifery Assistant at San Diego Community Birth Center. Additionally, Leslie works as a Perinatal Navigator with the Healthy Start program, supporting Black & Immigrant families with healthcare and educational resources to positively improve outcomes for mothers and babies.
A staple of the San Diego birthing community, Leslie supports community partnership programs such as For The Village Doula Services as well as statewide policy work with the Whole Child Equity Partnership and BIPOC cross-state advisory group. Accessible midwifery care for Black families is her passion and has led her to begin her journey as a student midwife. Leslie believes in a mother’s innate ability to birth naturally, bestowing her clients and students with the tools and support to achieve their desired birth experience. Leslie moved to San Diego in 2020 and shares three joyful children with her husband. She is mama to Nari, born naturally with Midwife Racha, and mommy to Teddy and Teo both born naturally with Midwife Nikki.
Tianna Barr, CMT
Tianna is a Certified Massage Therapist, who specializes in nurturing the perinatal body.
A long time yogi and teacher, her study of yogic ideology allows her to center mindful movement in session and provides an all around somatic experience. Additionally, she supports families as a Birth and Cornerstone Certified Postpartum Doula.
She has been practicing the art of birthkeeping, by the mentorship of trusted doulas and midwives in the village that is our community, for over five years. Tianna has provided her clients support in both hospital and homebirth settings. Her most recent endeavor is bringing completion to Birthing From Within's Childbirth Educator course. She dubs herself the "seasoned novice", as a reminder that this work is fueled by curiosity and play, our bodies being the wonderful landscapes we are gifted to embark on!
Eugenia Jansen, CST, CMT
Massage and Craniosacral Therapist
With 15 years of experience, Eugenia has been guiding people to experience extraordinary health.
She specializes in:
Medical Massage Therapy
Born in Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico, Eugenia is a former doula who From an early age, she naturally gravitated toward helping others. Eugenia has worked as a CNA with dementia, hospice and Alzheimer's patients for several .
Eugenia’s mother opened the first school of Special Needs in the north of Mexico, which provided her experience working for several years with children on the Autism Spectrum. Having a son with Diabetes Type I, a grandmother and mother with Alzheimer’s, brought her the compassion and courage to change her career, and holistic healing is where her journey has taken her, as she continues to search for new methods and ways of healing.
CranioSacral Therapy from the Upledger Institute
Visceral Manipulation from Barral Institute.
CAMTC Massage Therapy National Holistic Institute
Chinese Yixue - Germany ( Qigong) Red Cross.
Eugenia has joyfully joined us at San Diego Community Birth Center and maintains a practice in Los Angeles.
For appointments, please call (310) 923-2642