Meet the Pacifica Team


Cindy Lara Haag, Lm, CPM, Director, Co-Founder

I have been a Licensed Midwife attending out-of-hospital births since 1990. After completing my training at Maternidad La Luz, a freestanding birth center and midwifery school in Texas, I accepted a position as a staff midwife and then as clinical director at the birth center. During my seven years there, I provided full scope midwifery care and supervised students and midwives.

In 1998, I gave birth at home to my daughter, Elia. In 2000, I moved to the Bay Area where I was a founding midwife of a Marin birth center and began my own home birth practice in the East Bay. In 2012, I co-founded and opened Pacifica Family Maternity Center. Throughout my midwifery career, I have attended over 1300 births. I am fluent in Spanish and English and committed to making midwifery care accessible to all families. 




I have been supporting families during pregnancy and childbirth since 1997. I graduated from UCSF as an RN and a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Midwife. I came to midwifery with a passion for supporting clients and families during a time of dynamic transition. I emphasize education and informed choice in all areas of health care. 

I am actively involved in legislative work to improve access to midwifery care. I am happily married and the mother of two adult daughters born with the support of midwives. I am excited to be part of the Pacifica team and to devote my energy to a long-held dream of midwifery-led care in the birth center setting.


Jaqxun Darlin, LM,cpm

I was called to midwifery from my background in community health, education, and health equity activism. I have been a birth and postpartum doula since 2001 and began midwifery training in 2010. I graduated from Birthwise Midwifery School in 2014, having apprenticed with both rural and urban home and birth center practices in Minnesota, Maine, and Cambodia. I became a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) in 2014 and attended both home and birth center births in Oregon before moving to California. 

I am the Director of Professional Development for the Midwives Alliance of North America and on the Advisory Committee for the Queer and Trans Midwives Alliance, two national organizations that seek to increase access to midwifery care and education for all people. I am thrilled to be serving Bay Area families as part of the Pacifica team! 

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a’maya Ettien, lm, cpm

I was born at home and came to the path of midwifery after giving birth to my two children at home with midwives. I graduated from the National Midwifery Institute and became a Licensed Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife in 2008. I provided midwifery care in a high-volume birth center in Texas for 4 years and have been attending births at home since 2011. I have attended nearly 800 out-of-hospital births, and trained approximately 30 midwifery students throughout my career. 

I believe strongly that birthing families should be respectfully supported in having a safe, healthy and positive birthing experience. I am delighted to join the Pacifica Team.

Consulting OB/GYN

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Dr. Lisa Bernard-Pearl, MD

I have been practicing obstetrics for over twenty years in a variety of settings, with the last five years being primarily high risk OB. I am currently an OB Hospitalist for La Clinica de La Raza. I earned my B.S. in Zoology and my B.A. in Women’s Studies with a minor in African-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

I cared for my first pregnant clients and caught my first baby as a medical student at Stanford. I went on to do my Ob/Gyn residency at UCSF; I credit the midwives and L&D nurses for teaching me the art of caring for families during their birthing experience. I have always had a special interest in natural childbirth. My daughter was birthed by my partner in a birth center in New York City. I strongly believes in all client’s right to make choices about their own birthing experience and I see my role as a guide to help clients make informed choices.

      Assistant Midwife - Postpartum Care


Ellen Levitt, Lm

I have a strong passion for women’s health and over 30 years experience providing midwifery care. I value informed choice when supporting families in making decisions regarding their care. Since 1987, I have attended more than 1300 births. 

I trained as a midwife in a variety of settings, including in the home, birth center, and hospital settings. Prior to midwifery training, I worked as an EMT in San Francisco. Teaching and training students, has been an essential part of my practice and I enjoy passing on the midwifery model of care. I have been part of the Pacifica Team since the birth center opened in 2012!

                             Office Manager


Dajana Mutabdzija

I was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and came to California when I was 9 years old. I travel home every summer and enjoy bringing my two daughters. I studied Art History at Sonoma State University and began my carrier working in early childhood education for the Piedmont school district.  

I am enjoying learning more about birth work and contributing my management experience to the Pacifica Team!


                            Student Midwives

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Amanda kessner  

My interest in midwifery and public health was piqued during my undergraduate work in Feminist Studies and Community Studies at UC Santa Cruz. After college I continued studying feminist theory in addition to working with public health organizations The Body Positive and Peer Health Exchange. In 2013 I started attending births as a volunteer birth and postpartum doula at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and at Homeless Prenatal Program. In 2014 I became a steering committee member of Imeinu, a Jewish birth professional collective. In 2015 I started the distance-education program at the Midwives College of Utah, and have been apprenticing in private home birth practices and in accredited birth centers since 2016. I feel passionately about the safety and accessibility of midwifery care, and feel privileged to apprentice at Pacifica Family Maternity Center.


Sydney Jones

I come from Newport News, Virginia, but grew up in several different places as a military child. I have known since childhood that I wanted to be a care provider for pregnant people in some capacity and I have always been fascinated with medicine.I came to birth work in 2017 as a birth doula and soon thereafter began midwifery school at Birthwise Midwifery School in Bridgton, Maine. I am pursuing midwifery because I want to be able to provide safe and culturally appropriate care for those who need and desire it, especially Black and Brown people. In my career as a midwife, I intend to contribute towards the reduction of racial disparities in maternal healthcare in the United States. I am honored to be a student here at Pacifica and I am excited to serve the Bay Area!


Jinny Pagle

I grew up in the High Desert of Southern California and moved to Northern California to pursue my undergraduate degree in 1999. I earned two bachelor degrees from UC Davis in International Relations and French. After graduation, I spent three years traveling and working for the French government as an English teacher in Paris, French Guyana, and then Costa Rica. In 2010, I moved to the East Bay and finally felt at home.

My first baby was born in 2011 and my interest in reproductive healthcare was ignited thanks to the wonderful midwifery care I experienced. I began working as a birth doula shortly after my daughter was born. I am also a postpartum doula, newborn care specialist, and placenta encapsulation specialist. In 2017, I began my studies at the National College of Midwifery and I am very excited to be part of the caring and collaborative team at Pacifica!


Kashika Pride

I am a professional certified birth doula, massage therapist, prenatal & postnatal massage specialist, health educator, patient care nurse assistant, and medical billing office specialist along with pediatric massage & pediatric oncology massage and two years of midwifery college classes, all this is a great strength in the healthcare field.I have been focusing on my goal to midwifery, what I hope to learn from my midwifery training is a lifelong career that will allow me to be successful and business oriented with a well-rounded overall professional master standard of care for my clients during their most precious and vulnerable stage of their life during childbearing years and well care. I am the most graceful to have this opportunity to be a student at pacifica maternity.