Kimberly A. Verbarg, Florida Licensed Midwife, Clinical Director, Founder
Hi, my name is Kim Verbarg, and I am the Clinical Director and Founder of Sweet Child O’ Mine. I am a Florida Licensed Midwife since 2009. I have been actively involved in the birth and natural health fields since 1989, first as a birth assistant and student midwife, then as a Midwife. I also have worked in the holistic health field as a Naturopathic Doctor, Herbalist and Reflexologist. I am a 2009 graduate of the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery in Gainesville. I became a Midwife because I believe that women should have quality birth options which include sensitive care, natural birthing, and individual control over health care decisions. I have two adult daughters which were both birthed at home and a granddaughter who was birthed at the birth center. My own birthing experiences were the most magical moments of my life, and I’d like to help make every woman’s birth experience just as beautiful. If you are currently expecting, congratulations! I look forward to meeting you.
Areline Williams, LPN, Operations Manager, Clinical Nurse, Childbirth Educator
Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your baby! My name is Areline Williams and I have been with Sweet Child O’Mine since its beginning in 2009. My role here is to supervise the operations of the facility, including various clinical administrative duties. I also teach the childbirth classes. I have been an LPN for over 30 years with a long history of working in the maternal-child health divisions of nursing. For a few years, I was a doula, supporting laboring women through the process of birth. I met Kim in 2006 when I was training to be a doula. Currently, I am a certified childbirth educator, have been trained by Barbara Harper in waterbirth. I am certified in birth assisting and worked with Sweet Child O’ Mine as a birth assistant for 5 years. Since I started working at Sweet Child, I feel I have a new lease on life and my passion for birth grows more and more every day. I have seen hundreds of births and yet, it never ceases to amaze me every time. In my personal life, I am married and have four children. My family and I are avid Tampa Bay Rays fans. In my spare time I like to go to Rays games, read, do needle work, and last but not least, continue to learn all I can about birth so that I can be a wonderful part of helping you achieve a beautiful birth experience.
Rachel Hoffman, Patient Care Coordinator
Hello! My name is Rachel, and I am the Patient Care Coordinator at Sweet Child O’ Mine. I’m a happily married “crazy cat lady” (no shame), and have two angel babies in Heaven. In my spare time, I love photography, the TV show “Friends,” the occasional video game, and further expanding my knowledge on anything pregnancy and/or birth related.
Congratulations on your pregnancy! I am so happy you’re considering us for your care. I worked in the front office at the birth center for nearly 4 years, until my husband and I relocated to the beautiful state of North Carolina in July of 2018. I am now blessed to do my job remotely from home. Although I may not get to meet you and your precious little one in person, I’m excited to get to know you virtually via phone calls and emails.
Pregnancy and childbirth are such beautiful, natural things, and I am so grateful to be apart of a team that helps bring babies into the world the way they do! Please let me know if there is any way I can be of assistance to you and your family during this experience; I’d be happy to help!
Laura Vander Kelen, Florida Licensed Midwife
Hello, I am Laura Parker, a Licensed Midwife and graduate of the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery. I have been with the Sweet Child O Mine team since 2014. I found my way into the birthing community in support of women’s empowerment and right to choose her birth plan. I believe the birthing experience to be a sacred moment for the moms and babies. Providing the moms with a supportive, safe environment to welcome her child into the world is my priority, as well as the focus of our practice. I am happy to be working with this amazing team to help you achieve a memorable birth experience!
Rebecca Finklea, Florida Licensed Midwife
Rebecca Finklea has been catching babies as a Florida Licensed Midwife since 2001. She was born and raised in St Petersburg, and as the eldest of five children, has always had a baby in her arms. She followed a long time calling to midwifery when she graduated with academic honors from the AS Midwifery program at Miami Dade College. She has been married to Willie for 12 years and is mother to three children, two of whom were born at home. She hopes that the midwifery model of care becomes the gold standard for maternity care in the United States. She is delighted to join the staff of Sweet Child of Mine to support women and their families in the joyous journey of healthy pregnancy and low risk birth.
Edie Crumley, Financial Coordinator
Hello, my name is Edie. I am a part of the administrative team at Sweet Child O’ Mine, specifically here to help you with your insurance needs, financial contract and payment solutions. I work from home, so while I may not get the opportunity to meet you in person, I do get the pleasure of speaking with you on the phone. I am here to help you with all your billing and financial questions. Please let me know how I can assist you.
Kitty Lakey, Florida Licensed Midwife
Hi, my name is Kitty Lakey. I am a Florida Licensed Midwife, and also a wife and mother to two boys. I’m thrilled to be a team member at Sweet Child O’ Mine birth center. I’m a 2017 graduate of the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery. I’ve been attending births for over five years in many settings. I developed a love of supporting families after my own personal experiences with Midwives and Hospitals. In addition to my Midwifery training, I’ve trained as Doula, Childbirth Educator, and a Placenta Encapsulator. I love that the heart of midwifery is consent, and that midwives trust in the strength of women to make their own best choices. I respect each individual’s path to their birth and hope to serve families in a truly evidence-based and empowering way.
Maureen Berning, Student Midwife, Birth Assistant
Hello, I am Maureen Berning. I am currently a junior midwifery student at Florida School of Traditional Midwifery, I have also been trained as birth doula, a childbirth educator and also in placenta encapsulation. I have been working as a birth assistant at Sweet Child for two years and love being a part of this wonderful team. I have been interested in a career in midwifery since I was younger and couldn’t be happier working towards that goal today. My mother has been a La Leche League leader for over 30 years and introduced me to home birth at a very young age. Throughout my life I have always been extremely interested in pregnancy and delivery, and I am so excited to be dedicating my life to aiding and empowering women to birth the way they choose. I feel myself blossoming into the person I have always hoped to be and feel like my life is heading in such an amazing direction. I am so thankful to able to witness so many first breaths and I am grateful to share those precious moments with families.
Sarah Walsh, Doula, Birth Assistant
Denise Dupree, Acupuncturist, Arvigo Maya Abdominal Massage, Student Midwife
Denise DuPree is currently a 2nd year midwifery student and a Licensed Acupuncture Physician in Florida, and is nationally board certified (NCCAOM) in Acupuncture. She graduated from the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NIAOM) in Seattle, WA with a Masters in Acupuncture, 2000. Upon graduation she worked at The Helping Yi Yuan Hospital in Tianjin, China for 2 years, where she specialized in Acupuncture, herbs and Qi Gong (Taoist form of exercise and meditation). She has operated private practices on Bainbridge Island, WA, Delray, Florida, Portland, Oregon and Siem Reap, Cambodia both in a maternity hospital and a 5 star resort. She has advanced training and experience in fertility issues, common discomforts in pregnancy, labor support and pain relief, postpartum issues and newborn discomforts. She also prescribes Chinese herbal formulas tailored to your specific needs and nutritional advice. She is certified in Mayan Abdominal Massage, which compliments her acupuncture treatments and East Asian Medicine modalities and is used for a variety of women’s health issues.
Khamissa Keita, Florida Licensed Midwife
Congratulations on your pregnancy! My name is Khamissa Keita. I grew up in Africa and witnessed at a very young age the process of natural childbirth by strong and powerful women, who by deciding their way of childbirth had shaped their society. I always wanted to be part of this power of believing in yourself, with strength to carry and birth your baby your own way. I believe that with the right support and empathy we can offer this experience to every pregnant mom. I am a trained Midwife from Germany, I graduated from the University “Otto von Guericke” in Magdeburg and received my Midwife license in 1997. I worked as a midwife as well as a teacher at the Midwifery school of the same University for many years. In 2010, I received my Masters of Medical Education at the University of Berlin and have been teaching midwife students and other medical professionals in addition to practicing as a midwife. In 2014, I moved to Florida with my daughter and completed a four-month program licensing by endorsement at Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery in Orlando. I met Kim in 2014 and wanted to work with her and share her visions of empowering women in and throughout their pregnancies. After I received my Florida license in 2018, I joined the SCOM team. I am fluent in French, German and Bambara. I support and advocate natural approaches to pregnancy and birth, self-determination, education, empowerment and moral support of families as well as diversity in cultural and family structures. I look forward to meeting with you and your family. I am excited for your pregnancy and the way you will decide to influence your society.
Mary Carroll, Administrative Assistant
Hi, I’m Mary and I’m the Administrative Assistant here at Sweet Child O’ Mine. I’m one of the smiling faces that will greet you when you walk in the door. In my free time I like to spend time with my daughter, Addison, watch ‘Friends’, or go to the beach. Last year I chose Sweet Child O’ Mine for my prenatal care and delivery and I was so pleased with every aspect of my care. I worked here several years ago and I really missed it. I was so excited when I was asked to come back. I’m excited to meet you and be a part of your experience here at Sweet Child O’ Mine.
Melinda Morales, Doula, Lab & Birth Assistant
Melinda Morales is a full spectrum doula and certified perinatal educator specializing in teen pregnancy and young parent support. She is a mother to 3 boys, and a teen birth advocate supporting families in Central Florida since 2006. She is the founder of Project Teenbirth, Inc. – a community based program supporting and educating teen and young parents. She is an active board member of the Tampa Bay Birth Network. Her story has been featured in Rewire.News, Not Another Teen Mommy.com, #noteenshame.
Alyssa Bedard, Doula
Alyssa Bedard, a St. Petersburg native, became interested in birth work after receiving her master’s degree in Public Health Education with a focus in Maternal and Child Health. Through research, community work, and having personally overcome the hardships of being a young, single mom, Alyssa became passionate about perinatal support and providing reassurance to the birthing space. She has devoted her personal and professional work to empowering families through the precious moments of pregnancy, birth and parenting. As a doula, speaker, and educator, Alyssa believes that the birth experience is truly the foundation of all life’s practices and deserves to be trusted and honored. It is her deepest passion to serve families and the birthing community.