Our Midwives & Staff
What is a Licensed Midwife?
A Florida licensed midwife is a professional practitioner providing expert prenatal, labor, delivery, and postpartum services to women having normal, healthy pregnancies. In order to qualify for licensing, candidates must graduate of a 3-year academic and clinical midwifery education program. License requirements meet established national and international professional standards.
- Quality care, with informative, family-centered guidance through the childbearing cycle.
- International track-record of excellent maternal-child health outcomes.
- Lower maternity care costs, in part through reduced reliance on cesarean surgery.
For more information of licensed midwifery visit the Midwives Association of Florida website, at www.floridamidwives.org.
Debbie is the owner of the Hollywood Birth Center and has been a licensed midwife for 24 years and is semi-retired. In 1983 Debbie had her first daughter, a water birth at home in a state where direct entry midwifery was not legal. That experience was just the beginning. For several years Debbie attended births as a lay midwife and in 1998, upon returning to Florida she attended the South Florida School of Midwifery for 3 years. Debbie was instrumental in helping to change the midwifery law to allow more licensed midwives to practice in Florida including serving as president of the Broward chapter of Friends of Midwives. She wrote a midwifery curriculum that was implemented in a National School of Technology in South Florida and was the clinical director, administrator, teacher and a student in that program. The two classes of women she graduated have gone on to become midwives in Florida. Debbie opened The Hollywood Birth Center in 1993 and has since trained countless midwives. She has dedicated her life to empowering women and keeping birth safe. She has two daughters of her own, Ariel and Munirah.
Mirlande “Mimi” Casseus – Licensed Midwife
Mimi first came to the Hollywood Birth Center as a student midwife and has been with them ever since. Mimi always had an interest in pregnancy and childbirth and after giving birth to her son she began to seek out alternative options for childbearing women. She knew she had found her life’s passion when she discovered midwifery and quickly set about meeting the requirements to become a Florida Licensed Midwife. After graduating from the nation’s only publicly accredited college offering a degree in direct entry midwifery, Mimi began working for the birth center as an on staff birth assistant. She continues to offer a variety of services in her community including postpartum doula work and childbirth education. Mimi speaks English and Creole, enabling her to better serve a diverse clientele.
Dellareece was born in the Caribbean island of the Bahamas and was raised in Miami. Her love for Midwifery began long before her training. With her gentle and calming spirit she was always asked by family and friends to be there with them when they went into labor. Patiently coaching and cheering them on through these moments gave her the pleasure of knowing that those women are now empowered to be Birthing Warriors. In 2006, DellaReece began her journey by attending and graduating from the International School of Midwifery. Her love for caring for women is as equally balanced as her love for her children, plus two adoptive ones and 8 grandchildren. Upon being licensed she has been serving the women in her community ever since. Also, as a certified Nutritional Therapist, she believes that a healthy mom, equals a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.
Jamarah Amani is a community midwife (licensed in the state of Florida) who believes in the power of birth and that every baby has a human right to be breastfed/chestfed. Her mission is to do her part to build a movement for Birth Justice locally, nationally and globally.
A community organizer from the age of sixteen, Jamarah has worked with several organizations across the United States, the Caribbean and in Africa on various public health issues, including HIV prevention, infant mortality risk reduction, access to emergency contraception and access to midwifery care. She is currently the director of Southern Birth Justice Network, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to end of shackling of pregnant people and make midwifery care accessible to all.
Jamarah studied Africana Studies, Women’s Studies and Midwifery at centers of learning such as University of Pennsylvania, Clark Atlanta University and, most recently, International School of Midwifery. Jamarah is also a Certified Lactation Consultant. In addition to raising four lively children (who are also raising her), Jamarah offers midwifery care, breastfeeding consultations and childbirth education to families across the state of Florida.
Jamarah is the 2016 recipient of the Midwives Alliance of North America Sapling Award.
Shannon Evans is a Miami native and mother of four children. With her first pregnancy in 2004, she discovered two great passions in her life: motherhood and midwifery. After her second baby, she felt a strong calling to become a midwife herself. Leaving her job as a social studies and science teacher in the Bahamas, her family was uprooted back to Florida, where she began formal midwifery training in 2008. In addition to midwifery, she has extensive experience in lactation counseling, working as a breastfeeding peer counselor for the Miami-Dade WIC program for three years. She was also a co-founder of All Women matter, a local non-profit organization which provided free and low-cost access to midwifery care to uninsured and undocumented women. She hopes to continue improving access to evidence based and compassionate midwifery care to women for many years to come.
Cecilia “Betty” Bilbao – Lactation Consultant
Betty Bilbao was born in Havana, Cuba and raised in South Florida. She has three children and one grandchild. Betty graduated in 1999 earning a science degree from Miami-Dade College. She has been a licensed Midwife in the state of Florida since 1999 and has been attending births since 1996 in Florida and in Jamaica. Betty is a certified lactation counselor and holds a monthly breastfeeding class at Hollywood Birth Center. She is currently teaching Midwifery courses at International Institute for Health Care Professional School in Boca Raton, FL. Betty is fluent in both English and Spanish. Her passion is empowering women through education and her goals are to guide women through pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, helping to develop trust and confidence.
Becky began her journey to becoming a midwife in 2002. She started working for Healthy Start as a Childbirth Educator and quickly became a supervisor. There she developed an understanding of the health disparities and struggles that many pregnant women face in our society. In 2004 she attended the International School of Midwifery and became a Licensed Midwife in 2007. After one year of working as a midwife, attending over 150 births, and sensing that much more could be done, she decided the timing was perfect for her to pursue her dream of helping underserved women. Thus Mobile Midwife, a non-profit organization, was founded. The name came about because her vision was to use a mobile unit in order to bring services and care to those immobilized by their financial disadvantages. In January of 2009 she decided to paint her dream into reality, and dedicate her career and life fully to this organization, for the betterment of the community. Her goal is to educate, empower, and provide quality care to underserved pregnant women, with the end result being that of a healthy mother and baby.