Meet Our Staff
Melēna Sandifer, CPM, LM
Primary Midwife, Owner
After serving the East Texas area as a Licensed Paramedic for over 6 years, and then working as a Registered Nurse, the opportunity to apprentice with my personal midwife presented itself in 2011. I jumped at the chance! After completing all aspects of apprenticeship required by the North American Registry of Midwives, I became a Certified Professional Midwife and a Licensed Midwife with the state of Texas in 2014. I was honored to be the primary midwife of a busy practice for nearly 2 years, before opening Cherished Birth in 2016.
I believe that pregnancy and childbirth are normal, natural functions of life. This is a sacred time of growing families, both literally and figuratively. I strive to offer my clients respectful, up-to-date, and evidence-based care. I am a firm believer in informed choice. It is my desire to offer current research and education, and come alongside my clients as they make choices that best suit their family’s needs. I trend toward holistic/alternative options and recommendations for my clients, as well as for my own family. I am blessed and honored to serve each client, and truly believe God has called me to this work. I’m happily married, with 3 children.
Sarah Friberg, LM, CPM
Sarah was first exposed to midwifery when she was just 3 years old when her mom chose a midwife and homebirth for her fifth pregnancy. She first felt God’s call on her life to midwifery at the age of 17, at a medical missions’ conference. In 2005, she attended her niece’s homebirth with a local midwife and felt God’s call again on her heart. Sarah quit her full-time job in October 2007, joined the Association of Texas Midwives Midwifery Training Program, and began her midwifery apprenticeship in April 2008 at a busy freestanding birth center here in East Texas. After completing all requirements for licensure by the North American Registry of Midwives, she became a Licensed Midwife by the state of Texas and also became a Certified Professional Midwife in 2011. Sarah began her own homebirth practice and continued working for the birth center. She left the birth center in August of 2014, after giving birth to her first child. She still has her own home birth practice based out of Pittsburg, Texas, and is thrilled to join the Cherished Birth team! Sarah believes that birth is a normal physiological process. Birth is not a disease or an illness that requires medical treatment, as long as the woman is healthy, and pregnancy remains low-risk. She also believes that in most cases, it requires little to no intervention. Sarah’s goal is to provide evidenced-based care and share the best information with clients so that they can make informed decisions. She prefers a holistic approach to midwifery, and with her family. Sarah feels so blessed and called by God to be in the ministry of midwifery. Sarah is happily married and has two children, both of whom were born at home.
Rachel is a midwifery apprentice, doula and mother to 7. She first experienced the benefits of midwifery care 14 years ago with the birth of her second child. Rachel went on the have five more home births including two water births. The care she received from her midwives sparked a desire to see more women and families given the opportunity to take an active role in their health care, pregnancy and birth. That desire led her to become a certified doula. As a doula, she helps couples become empowered, informed, and supported through the entire birth experience. Becoming a midwife was the natural next step in Rachel’s desire to serve women in birth. She is honored to have the opportunity to work with the Cherished Birth families as she studies under the instruction of Melena Sandifer.
In 2001 Sharon began work as an assistant at births under Thalia Hufton, CPM and owner of Childbirth Services. She continued in that capacity and eventually also took on the role of Office Manager/Administrative Assistant. When Childbirth Services evolved into a group practice, Sharon took on more of the administrative role at the Childbirth Services office and let the new apprentices do the birth assisting as part of their training. Melena Sandifer came on board in 2011. She and Sharon have been privileged to not only work together but become good friends. With Thalia’s untimely death in 2014 and the eventual closing of Childbirth Services in 2016, Sharon took some time off but kept in contact with the midwifery friends that were near and dear to my heart. She is happy to have joined the Cherished Birth family as office manager, and looks forward to meeting and greeting our wonderful clients and their families. Sharon has been happily married to Karl for 40 years, has 3 grown children, and enjoys the wonderful role of Grammie to her adorable grandchildren.