Our Midwives

Shari Stone-Ulrich, MSN, CNM, Clinical Director

Erina Angelucci, MSN, CNM

Brooke Ray, M.S., CNM

Sarah Khorram, M.S., CNM

Joanna Bronkema, MS, NP, CNM

Rosanne Gephart, CNM, NP, IBCLC

Nancy Baird, LM CPM

Birth Assistants

Kaydee Welchons


“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Kaydee’s job at BSBC is to embrace each mother as she enters a time of profound change and wonder unique to every women in every delivery and season. Pulling from 7 years of attending births, in a wide range of roles, Kaydee is able to provide knowledgeable support, assistance and care to the mother, family and midwife. Kaydee is a home birth baby catcher herself as a Licensed Midwife since 2014 and has attended over 250 births.

Sophia Shen

LM, CPM, Arvigo® Therapist

I’m native Chinese from Hong Kong.  My passion to serve women originates from overcoming many of my own challenges.  My mother was new to Hong Kong when she gave birth to me. Even though she is Chinese and was married, she didn’t speak the local dialect and was still very alone in many ways.  As one thing led to another, my parents didn’t get to hold me until I was a week old, and I was never breastfed.  As an adult, I faced physical and emotional issues.  Fortunately, I never gave up hope.  I learned about the existence of traditional midwifery in 2008, and the rest was history.  I deeply believe that “peace on Earth begins with birth”.  My wish is to guide women through their journeys and protect the normalcy of pregnancy and birth. I’m grateful to Best Start for allowing me be part of the team, and I look forward to meeting you at your birth!

Andrea Meyer


I want to live in a world where every woman can acknowledge with confidence that her journey to motherhood was just right because it was hers!!  For over 18 years I continue to be dedicated to a home birth practice here in San Diego.  I also teach childbirth education and infant massage. Advocacy for woman’s birth choices in provider, location and procedure are my professional passion second only to my voice for the newborn!  I believe that a baby’s needs are best met when mothers’ are educated, listened to, supported and trusted. My hope is this will bring a new baby into a loving world and into many healthy relationships. Andrea has seen that nurturing a mom to be who she is, coupled with the help and love from her midwives, family and community can set that child on its best path!  Andrea believes a mother’s journey will show a woman her unlimited capacity to be there for her child and herself.  Midwifery has been a joy in Andrea’s life both as a mother giving birth and as a profession.  It is absolutely a joy to now assist the mothers and midwives at the birth center.  Call Best Start Birth Center soon and share some of your story!  Birth is where the fun begins!

Sarah Davis


I am honored to be a part of the births at Best Start as a birth assistant, and enjoy seeing families again at the home visits. I have been working around birth for several years as a birth assistant. I’m a Licensed and Certified Professional Midwife and Birthing From Within childbirth preparation mentor. I was born and have lived most of my life in San Diego. I am an activist in several community organizations and I love to witness the births of new little San Diegans!

Connie Merritt


I am honored to be assisting the midwives of Best Start Birth Center and the families that they serve! My path to midwifery began in 1987, when I was my cousins birth partner. Years later while I was supporting my daughter at my grandson’s birth, her nurse suggested that I become a doula. Since then I have dedicated myself to helping new families in every aspect of having a baby. I have been professionally involved in birth for 18 years and have attended well over 300 births. Over the years, providing childbirth preparation and professional labor support, breastfeeding support and teaching infant massage. I attended Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery (class of 2012). I became a Licensed Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife September 2015. Being a native of San Diego I am glad to say it is my home (after moving around a bit!). I have 6 children by way of a blended family and 12 grandchildren!

Sarah Burns


After witnessing a homebirth in 2007, I knew that I wanted to support women and their families during pregnancy and birth. I completed my DONA training and began my doula career shortly after. I’ve been a doula since March 2008, and my love for serving women and familes has continued to grow. I graduated from Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery with high honors in 2016, and I am now a Certified Professional Midwife licensed to practice midwifery in California. It is such a privilege to care for families during this transformative time. I truly enjoy helping woman have safe and satisfying birth experiences.

Rachel Flores


Rachel has been attending births since 2002. She is a graduate of Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery and is a local Midwife. She teaches HypnoBirthing in Carlsbad and Poway. She is a Placenta Preparation Specialist and also provides labor & birth support as a Monitrice. She is passionate in her abilities to encourage, educate, and empower families throughout their journeys into parenthood. She’s dedicated her life’s work to helping parents make their birthing experience everything they wish it to be.