California Families for Access to Midwifery represents families from across the state, all devoted to ensuring ensuring that all California families have access to safe, affordable midwifery care. To learn more about how to take action today, click here. Want to volunteer your talents? Contact us here.
Teresa Yu is a new mother, who chose midwifery care at home because she wanted client centered, personalized, empowering care and for her birth to be respected as a natural process. Her sister is one of the co-owners of Bay Area Midwifery in Oakland and learning about her birth and lactation work over the past 20 years has had a profound impact upon her, as well as working in the anti-violence against women field where she grew aware of the ways that institutions can disempower women.
She previously was on the board of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence and the Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Advocacy Consortium, and managed a non-profit domestic violence program for over 10 years. She is a Marriage and Family Therapy pre-licensee working at the Department of Public Health in San Francisco, where she oversees Innovation Programs and supports consumer-driven initiatives as a Mental Health Services Act Program Manager. She is an alumnus of the Blue Shield Against Violence Strong Field Leadership Development Program and also recently was on the Planning Committee for the conference "Radical Action Against Domestic Violence: A Time to Focus on Black Women and Girls".
She has a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley, an MA in Theology (Social Ethics) from the Graduate Theological Union and an MA in Counseling Psychology (Expressive Arts Therapy) from California Institute for Integral Studies.
Meet Our Board
Alex is the mother of three children. Her interest in midwifery began when she was pregnant with her 2nd child and seeking VBAC supportive care providers. When she found local midwives, who supported VBAC, shared information and encouragement, she knew she had found something special and her passion was ignited. Alex’s passion for access to midwives comes from her desire that all pregnant people have the same options for care that she had.
Alex is a chapter leader for International Cesarean Awareness Network in Northern California, has worked as a property manager, real estate agent, doula and childbirth educator and is now working to complete her studies towards her Bachelors of Science in Midwifery.
Desiree Robles is a new mother living in the Bay Area. She is currently studying to be become a Certified Professional Midwife through the Midwives College of Utah and is also apprenticing with a couple midwives in the Oakland area. She is excited to be joining CFAM and help midwives become more accessible for everyone. Desiree is an avid movie fan and enjoys cooking and baking with her daughter's supervision.
Adeola Adeseun earned her bachelor’s degree from UCLA, and went on to attend law school at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. While in law school, Adeola had her first of two home births with the support of midwives, and has since been fiercely dedicated to preserving and expanding women’s rights to access out-of-hospital maternity care. Adeola’s commitment to midwives is a natural result of her upbringing, as she was raised in a family where women were celebrated for the critical role they play in the healthy progression of communities. Adeola believes strongly that the lessons learned in natural childbirth and parenting have broad application, and transformative potential for our society as a whole.
Education: UCLA, 2004 [BA, Psychology]; Gaia, 2008 [23 hours, 8 lbs 4 oz]; UC Berkeley School of Law, 2009 [JD]; Heru, 2011 [8 hours, 8 lbs, 10 oz]
Adeola Adeseun, Esq.
Jennifer Neira Heystek is a licensed midwife who provides care to families throughout Alameda County. She is also the mother of a toddler, Olivia, who was born at home with the help of midwives and Jennifer’s wonderful husband, Louis. Jennifer is proud to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother and great-grandmothers, traditional, community-based midwives who served Mexican-American families in Texas and California.
Jennifer was profoundly changed after becoming a mother and by the way in which she was treated during her prenatal and postpartum care and while giving birth. She believes all mothers, fathers, and babies deserve to be treated with the same dignity, compassion and respect. Jennifer is proud to be a part of CFAM to help ensure that midwifery care remains an accessible, safe option for all California families.
Meghan McLean is a Bay Area native. The daughter of a midwife—CFAM co-founder Treesa McLean—Meghan was born at home in Hayward California. With a background in publishing and creative writing, Meghan has a passion for social media and content marketing, and is excited to be part of California Families for Access to Midwives.
Meghan currently lives in Oakland California with her boyfriend and two husky-malamute mixes, Jackalope and Spiker. When she is not working on marketing for CFAM Meghan can often be found hiking in the East Bay Regional Parks, baking, or planning her next travel adventure.
Design and Marketing Chair
Leilani is a mother to two children born at home lovingly attended by midwives. In her early 20s, she was womb-empowered when a nurse midwife handed her the speculum for a cervical exam; this small act of self determination transformed her relationship to reproductive health and launched her quest to reclaim woman-centered models of care. Her experiences as a new mother supported by traditional, Viet sacred mother-roasting has forged her into a passionate advocate for continuity of care throughout the childbearing year and for birth choice as a reproductive justice issue.
She has a decade of nonprofit sector experience and two decades of volunteer experience in youth empowerment, campaign research and research analysis. She was most recently a childbirth educator & postpartum doula until the birth of her youngest. She is a co-leader of the Eden area (Alameda County) chapter of the Holistic Moms Network. She has published matrescence essays, poetry, and photojournalist art in Squat! Birth Journal, Mothering.com and personal blogs.
Past Treasurer, founding member
Tanya Smith-Johnson is a mother of 4, homeschooler, Navy veteran and military spouse, who always dreamed of helping women and babies have the best birth outcomes and experience possible.
Tanya earned her B.S. Biology and M.S. Medical Science while having her first two children with the help of a midwife/Physician team. Becoming a mother and birthing naturally and on her terms was empowering.
After briefly attending medical school, it opened her eyes and changed the way she believed women could best be supported in their birthing options and choices.
Mothering and having two more children with the aid of midwives, the last of which was a homebirth, transformed her even more. Tanya is more dedicated than ever in the quest to ensure that all women were able to have and afford the birthing experience of their choosing.
Treesa Mclean is a mother of two grown children. Even before becoming pregnant with her first child, she was interested in midwifery, and women’s health.
When she became pregnant she sought out midwifery care, and her midwives were by her side during her birth in the hospital with her son and at the homebirth of her daughter 3 years later.
After her children were grown and after having been a doula, childbirth educator and breastfeeding counselor for years, she went back to school and became a Licensed Midwife. Treesa Mclean is a strong advocate for the midwifery model of care, and wants all families to have the opportunity to work with midwives if that is their choice.
Jinny is a mother of two beautiful children, birthed with the assistance of wonderful midwives. She has been a birthworker since the birth of her first child and is now a student midwife. She is passionate about supporting families through the transition from pregnancy, to birth, and postpartum integration. Jinny’s goal is creating more peaceful communities through supporting all birthing people, babies, and their families in having loving, supported, and empowering births in the environment of their choice and with the people of their choice. In her spare time she raises chickens, grows delicious food, knits, creates in the kitchen, and dances.
Past Vice President
Julia is the mother of three children who were brought into this world through midwife-assisted homebirths. She is also a La Leche League Leader for Oakland and Castro Valley.
Before having children, and while working on a degree in Women’s Health from Prescott College, Julia apprenticed to a Certified Nurse Midwife who had been arrested in California for practicing medicine without a license, prior to the legalization of midwifery in California. Julia's passion and understanding of the absolute importance for expanding acccess to midwifery care were ignited through the experiences and stories of her mentor.
Julia went on to work as the accountant and administrator for Border Action Network, a human rights organization working with immigrant families along the Southern Arizona Border. While there, Julia developed her non-profit administration prowess and attended Arizona State University's Non-profit Management Institute.