Our 1st Assistants


Michele Snyder

Michelle has been helping women birth their babies in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Israel for over 36 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and Nurse-Midwifery, currently licensed and certified to practice in California. Having chosen to be semi-retired, Michele works primarily as a birth assistant for Beach Cities Midwifery. In her own words, Michele loves helping a woman and her partner birth their baby the way that they choose, in a safe and welcoming environment.


Birgitte Damgaard

Birgitte is part of the back office team and is very instrumental in the daily functioning of the birth center. A mother of six herself, Birgitte moved to Orange County from Denmark where nurse-midwifery is commonplace in everyday women’s prenatal care. Being a certified doula through DONA and a phlebotomist, Birgitte is a wealth of knowledge on several subjects. She is also very helpful when it comes to coaching new moms on breastfeeding techniques to initiate initial bonding. Birgitte enjoys working at a birth center and takes pride in the fact that she helps bring babies into the world in a respectful, peaceful and mindful manner.


Rachel Crownoble

Rachel has always been enchanted by “pregnant ladies” and “babies being born.” As she grew, her childhood fantasies developed into a more mature passion for pregnancy and childbirth. She became a certified birth doula and a midwife assistant because she knows that every woman’s birth experience plays an important role in the way that the woman perceives herself. Rachel is a mother of three young daughters, and she wishes for all women to have a good birth experience with fond memories and a great feeling of satisfaction and joy. Rachel is a certified doula through Childbirth International. You can read more about Rachel on her website: www.doula-rachel.com.


Anna Hamp

Anna was drawn to birth assisting after her third child was born at Beachside Birth Center. This event was so transformative that she wished to help other women experience birth as it can be without the standard hospital interventions. She left her work as an instructor at UCI to dive wholeheartedly into birth assisting. She is a DONA certified doula and has attended over 100 births since 2009. You can read more about Anna on her website: www.ocbirthdoula.com.


Shannon Doyle

Shannon has always demonstrated a passion for the birth process. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCSB, she decided to pursue a career in Nursing. When she’s not assisting births at Beach Cities Midwifery, Shannon works as a Registered Nurse in an OBGYN unit in a hospital. She is also working towards becoming a Lactation Consultant. She enjoys educating, supporting, and empowering women during one of the most amazing moments in their life.


Priscilla Ortiz

Priscilla joined Beach Cities Midwifery and Women’s Health Care in 2011. She graduated from UC Berkeley and has worked for several years in areas not related to health care. Once exposed to the issues of maternal/child health, she decided to go to nursing school at Concordia University. Now a full-time Registered Nurse in Mother/Baby at St. Jude’s, Priscilla assists with the births at Beach Cities on her days off from the hospital.

Read About Our Administrative Staff