Lydia Dominic, CNM
From her teenage years, Lydia has steered toward a life of helping others, specifically birthing mothers. After earning her BSN from Case Western Reserve University in 2002, Lydia spent the following 14 years as an RN, moving from a medical/surgical unit, to postpartum, to labor and delivery. Before moving to North Carolina, Lydia cared for women and babies in the hospital setting in her native Cleveland. While working at both WBWC and Wake Med as an RN, she found herself drawn to WBWC’s model of care. After moving back to Ohio for her husband’s job, Lydia earned her MSN in midwifery from Case Western. Lydia is ecstatic to return to WBWC to continue to care for, and empower women and their little ones. In addition, she looks forward to the additional opportunities that North Carolina’s climate will afford to ride her bike and hike, especially while Cleveland is covered in snow. Lydia also enjoys browsing for berries at farmers markets, cooking, bluegrass music, and being with her friends, husband, and young son.
Sarah Dumas, CNM
Clinical Midwifery Director
After being invited at age 10 to attend her aunt’s birth in a birth center in Oklahoma, she was amazed watching her aunt and uncle deliver their beautiful son. Sarah is a second-generation midwife who grew up in an Army family living in Germany, Washington, D.C. and Kentucky. She attended nursing school at the University of Cincinnati graduating in 2002. She completed her Master’s Degree at the University of New Mexico’s Nurse Midwifery Program in May 2007, she joined the WBWC team in July of the same year. Sarah enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with her husband, Jed, their son, T.S., and their dog, Lucy. Her favorite part of being a midwife is helping women become mothers (again).
Allison Koch, CNM
Allison joined Women’s Birth & Wellness Center in January of 2008. Born and raised in upstate New York and descended from midwives (including one of Mary Breckenridge’s first Frontier midwives), her entire career has been devoted to empowering and advocating for women. She has been politically active for midwifery and birth reform and strives to preserve the midwifery model of care. She especially enjoys working with healing herbs, homeopathy and energetic therapies, such as acupuncture, and actively pursues opportunities to advance her knowledge of alternative healing. She also enjoys facilitating groups for women such as Group Prenatal Care and Midlife Women’s health/Menopause groups. Allison, who lives in Hillsborough with her two furry felines, has been married to her husband for more than 30 years. They have two grown children.
Emily Joubert, CNM
After earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Ohio University, Emily studied nursing at UNC-Chapel Hill. She first had the opportunity to work with WBWC midwives and patients while working as a labor and delivery nurse for 10 years at UNC’s Women’s Hospital and was attracted to the unique care WBWC provides. During these years, she took time off to have two sons. She earned a Master’s of Science with a concentration in midwifery from East Carolina University in May 2011. Emily started at the Birth Center in August 2011. When she’s not busy catching babies, Emily enjoys spending time with her family, having outdoor adventures, and watching the boys’ sporting events. She also loves cooking and sharing meals with friends.
Carey Jefferson, RN, CNM
Carey is a native of Richmond, Virginia. After earning her Bachelor of Science at UNC-Chapel Hill, she pursued a nursing degree with the goal of becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife and graduated from nursing school in 2000 from Western Carolina. Having worked as a labor and delivery nurse in a small community hospital and in a large urban hospital, Carey came to WBWC in 2010 joining as one of our labor and delivery nurses. She became a CNM in the spring of 2013, graduating from Eastern Carolina University’s Midwifery program. Currently, she lives in Chapel Hill with her husband and daughter. When Carey finds spare time, she enjoys playing board games with her family, birding and cooking.
Jessica Albrecht, CNM
Jessica Albrecht became inspired to become a midwife after witnessing her first birth at the wee age of seven. The birth was her sister being born. Her mother (also a WBWC employee) was supported and cared for by Maureen Darcey at the Birth Center in its previous incarnation in Siler City. Throughout her childhood, the idea of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding were presented as normal parts of life. That influence led Jessica to graduate from UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing in 2003, working for several years on medical/surgical floors before joining labor & delivery in 2005. Jessica then attended Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s midwifery program, graduating in December 2013. Her first job was with a midwife who owned and operated a practice in Minneapolis, MN where she cared for both high and low-risk families. Jessica is happy to be home in North Carolina, out of the cold and working at WBWC, where she is lucky to work with the two women, Nancy Albrecht and Maureen, who first showed her the power of women and midwifery care. Not having children of her own, Jessica’s niece and nephew (both caught by WBWC midwives) are her pride and joy!
Pamela Reis, CNM
Pam is originally from Westchester County, NY. She came to N.C. to attend Duke University School of Nursing. Since then she has had an interesting career, first as a neonatal nurse practitioner and then as a nurse-midwife for the past 24 years. Pam’s passion for midwifery came about through her experiences in caring for preterm infants, and her desire to help mothers avoid giving birth too soon. Pam was fortunate to graduate from the first nurse-midwifery class at East Carolina University. Remaining loyal to the Pirate Nation she graduated with a PhD in Nursing from ECU in 2011 and is now a nurse-midwifery educator at ECU. Pam has worked as a midwife in private practice, hospital-based practices, and in a community health department. Pam stays busy advocating for women’s health through leadership roles in state and national nursing and midwifery organizations. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two adult sons, reading, walking, and traveling.
Mariah Velazquez, CNM
Mariah, a Chapel Hill native, attended UNC-Charlotte for her Bachelor’s in Nursing and began working labor and delivery at the Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte. Mariah loved supporting mothers and babies, so a year later she went back to school and completed her Master’s of Nurse Midwifery at Frontier Nursing University. During the program, she moved back to Chapel Hill and completed her clinicals at Women’s Birth and Wellness Center. She has continued her work at the Birth Center as a nurse and CNM (you may see her in either of her dual roles). Mariah is fully committed to assisting women and families in one of the most important times of their lives and is truly passionate about out-of-hospital birth. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband and three children. In her free time, she can be found spending time outdoors with her family.
Belinda Lashea, CNM
Belinda began her midwifery journey in 1998 with the birth of her second child. Over the next eight years, she apprenticed and assisted two Certified Professional Midwives in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Western North Carolina. Belinda graduated with a Bachelor’s in Nursing from UNC Chapel Hill in 2012 and earned her Master’s in Nursing with a concentration in Nurse-Midwifery from ECU in 2016. Belinda is passionate about her calling to midwifery and she strives to approach each woman with humility and an open heart. She is excited to be part of WBWC and our beautiful woman-centered community! In addition to serving women, Belinda enjoys traveling to Alaska, hiking with her daughters, and spending time with her horse, Eli.