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Morning Star

Wisdom of Ages, Science of Today™

Babies Love Morning Star!

Meet Our Staff

Morning Star's trained specialized staff is passionate about serving women and families in our empowering, holistic model of care. With our unique and personalized approach to all aspects of your care experience, we strive to create a loving, nurturing community that you’ll always feel connected to. Professional Midwives make your pregnancy and birth event a relaxed, enjoyable experience.


  • Paula Bernini Feigal, CPM, LM
    Paula Bernini Feigal, CPM, LM

    CEO/Executive Director

    Philosophy

    Women deserve safe options in childbirth. They have the right to make educated, informed decisions about their health care including the choices they have for maternity care providers and birth locations. I believe that all women need to be treated with dignity and respect. Birth is an event whereby a woman's life is inevitably transformed. It is a powerful and sacred process and my goal is to safely facilitate this passage with patience, intuition, skill and compassion. An empowering birth experience sets the stage for infant-mother and family bonding, the effects of which last a lifetime.

    Education

    Paula's education in midwifery began with the successful completion of an academic and clinical apprenticeship program with Barbara Cook, CPM, in Dallas, Texas, in 1993. She served as the resident midwife at a state licensed Birthing Center during the duration of the program. At that time she completed the requirements for certification by the Department of Health and became a Neonatal Resuscitation Program provider. She has earned CPM certification by the North American Registry of Midwives and holds degrees in Biological Sciences and Psychology.

    Experience

    Paula has been practicing independently since 1993, when founding Morning Star Birth Services, LLC, and now owns and operates Morning Star Women's Health and Birth Center. She enjoys the opportunity to speak regularly at our local high school about career paths in midwifery. She is committed to midwifery education and mentors student midwives.

    Personal Information

    Paula has lived in Menomonie since 1996 and lives with husband Mike and daughter Alexandra. We enjoy the arts, gardening, our pets and traveling (when we can!).

  • Rebecca Gorski
    Rebecca Gorski

    Chief Operations Officer Assistant Director-Menomonie and St. Louis Park Birth Assistant-Menomonie (Photograph courtesy of Zane Taylor Photography)

    Rebecca has been with Morning Star in some capacity for almost five years, as well as serving as a charter member on the Advisory Board since its inception in 2009. Rebecca is originally from the Milwaukee area, and moved to Eau Claire in 2003 with her husband, after serving four years in the Air Force. She received her B.A. in Scientific and Technical Communications from UW-Eau Claire in 2005 and worked for several years in that field, prior to having children and migrating to birth work. In addition to being the COO of the organization, Rebecca is also a birth doula and birth assistant in our Menomonie location, and cherishes her role in the sacred space of birthing moms.

    Rebecca lives on the outskirts of Eau Claire with her husband, their two free-range boys, and a varying array of farm animals. They enjoy living sustainably on their small plot of land and raising free-range, organic chickens, pigs, sometimes a few ducks, and whatever fruits and vegetables they can convince to grow there. Rebecca is thrilled to be a part of enabling Morning Star to be an influential and stabilizing force in the birth center community, and to open up this option of care to mothers and families everywhere.

  • Kim Blue
    Kim Blue

    Executive Administrative Assistant Office Manager-Menomonie

    Kim comes to Morning Star with a background in administrative office work and coordination. Prior to her employment with Morning Star, Kim worked as the State Grants Coordinator and provided administrative support for advisors of students from special populations at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisconsin. Supporting midwives as part of the management team of Morning Star Birth Center is an exciting opportunity to blend philosophy and work for Kim; she looks forward to working with staff to help create and nourish a culture that promotes women-centered birth options.

    At home, Kim enjoys writing, reading, gardening, cooking, preserving food, growing and using herbs, and mindfully participating in the local ecosystem with her two children and homeschooling husband. Originally from the part of Illinois where anything below 20 - above zero - was considered really cold, she took her B.A. in Creative Writing and moved to Mankato, Minnesota to complete an M.S. in Women's Studies. Pulled by the beautiful winters and friendly cooperative nature of the North, she has called Wisconsin home for over 15 years.

  • Rosa Oesterreich, CPM, LM
    Rosa Oesterreich, CPM, LM

    Staff Midwife

    Rosa Osterreich, CPM, LM, is a temporary staff midwife at Morning Star Birth Center-St. Louis Park. She is also a home birth midwife working with Blue Moon midwifery. She has attended over 1,000 births and has a three-year MEAC-accredited degree from Maternidad La Luz, where she also completed her midwifery residency. She has studied midwifery in Calcutta, India, where she attended home births with traditional midwives. She currently resides in the Powderhorn Neighborhood of Minneapolis.

  • Erin Birk
    Erin Birk

    Practice Coordinator

    Ever since her first pregnancy, Erin has been passionate about natural childbirth.  She believes that women’s bodies were designed to give birth and is thrilled to be working in an environment where women are empowered to pursue the birth experience they want. 

    She is a momma to two precious children.  She had a hospital birth with her son, Isaiah (3), and while she had the natural birth she had hoped for, she knew that there had to be a better, more supportive way to do so.  When she became pregnant with her daughter, Eliyah (18 mo), she began care at Morning Star.  She loved her experience of birthing here so much that she began volunteering at Morning Star last winter before being brought on staff in July 2014.

    Erin has a BA from Bethel University and is currently a full time student working towards a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Master of Divinity.  Though not yet certified, she is also trained as a birth doula and hopes eventually to use her training in therapy, ministry, and childbirth to provide specialized support to families experiencing difficulty in childbearing, such as loss and infertility. 

    Erin has been working towards living a greener life for several years now and dreams of someday purchasing farmland where she and her children can live sustainably.

  • Julia Swart, CPM, LM
    Julia Swart, CPM, LM

    Clinical Director

    Julia Swart, LM, CPM, BSM has been attending births for over 30 years, beginning by an apprenticeship in 1980 working with the clinic of Dr. Paul DuGre in southern California, who was an MD with a naturopathic family practice that supported midwives, homebirth and waterbirth.

    Later, after catching babies as a midwife and herbalist and several years off between giving birth and raising five children, she found time to increase knowledge via another course of study.  This spurred a challenging yet happy adventure with other midwives and birth centers spanning from Texas to Oregon, where she was also active with legislative changes for birthing families and their midwives.

    Julia is state licensed, has been NARM certified since 2005, certified in Neonatal Resuscitation (level 4) and in IV Therapy, Medications and Suturing for midwives and has a college certificate in clinical phlebotomy. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from National College of Midwifery.

    A favorite part of the calling of midwife for Julia has been helping students on their journey to becoming midwives. Also, serving as executive director for a nonprofit organization promoting maternal and infant well-being and choices in childbirth, she has been responsible for developing and coordinating programs for increasing awareness and access to safe options in maternity care.

    Her approach to birthing mothers and their families is one of humility, noting that it is a blessing to be invited to share in their care and an honor to attend their births. When not developing maternity outreach programs, Julia attended over 400 new mothers and babies with over 250 births as primary midwife, serving families in remote rural areas as well as inner city.

  • Jacqueline Lynch, CPM, LM
    Jacqueline Lynch, CPM, LM

    Staff Midwife

    Jacqueline began her path to midwifery while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bénin, West Africa. Returning to the US, she tried to continue her career as an English/TOEFL teacher, but the idea of attending women through their childbearing years wouldn’t leave her alone. As a master’s student in Boulder, CO. she began to meet women and families who were using midwives to birth their children, many on their rural lands way up in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. It soon became apparent that this was her true calling, and no other life path would do. After working as a doula for several years throughout Boulder and Nederland, Jacqueline relocated to Portland, OR in 2005 to attend Birthingway College of Midwifery. She apprenticed with several independent midwives in the Portland area, and then went on to complete her studies at two birth centers in central and southern Oregon. She has also attended births at the MamaBaby clinic in Cap Haitien, Haiti.

    In her spare time, Jacqueline enjoys organic gardening, growing medicinal herbs, and spending time with her canine & feline "family." She is brand new to the Midwest, and is excited to become a part of the Morning Star team.

  • Holly Fix, Student CPM
    Holly Fix, Student CPM

    Student Midwife

    Holly is a student midwife working towards the Certified Professional Midwife credential.  She has two years of experience as an apprentice in a home birth practice.  Prior to pursuing midwifery, she taught biology at a community college, and has served as a doula for almost five years.  She has additional training in supporting mothers using childbirth hypnosis, and considers herself a lactivist and intactivist.  She feels truly honored to be able to learn from and help care for the families of Morning Star.   Aside from birth, Holly is a fan of musical theater, gardening, and animals.  A Southern California native, but longtime Midwestern transplant, she lives in St Louis Park with her husband, three young sons, and golden retriever.

  • Emily Fried
    Emily Fried

    Administrative Assistant, Peer Counselor

    Emily is an Administrative Assistant and Peer Counselor for Strong Start at Morning Star. She started as a volunteer in July of 2013 and was hired on in September as a part of the Morning Star family. She holds an Associate of Arts degree from Cottey College, a private liberal arts women's college in Missouri. She is currently in her last year of nursing school, where she will be graduating with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree. She can't wait to graduate so that she can continue her education in a nurse-midwifery program, where she plans to earn a doctoral degree. 
    Emily has been drawn to birth since she took a women's studies class in 2009 and learned about orgasmic birth and watched "The Business of Being Born." She immediately knew that she had found her calling and wanted to be a part of the movement to empower women through their birth and healthcare experiences. She fully embraces the Midwives' Model of Care and feels so blessed to have the opportunity to positively impact women through her positions at Morning Star.
    As a full-time student with multiple positions at Morning Star and another job with a home healthcare agency, she doesn't have much spare time. When she does, she enjoys hiking with her fiance, Rich, and their beloved dog Mishka. They hope to get chickens this summer and expand their garden. Other passions include crafting, urban-exploring, yoga, cross-country skiing, and trying new types of cuisine. 

Adjunct Providers Offering Services at Morning Star

  • Cat Burns, RSMT, CST
    Cat Burns, RSMT, CST

    Registered Somatic Movement Therapist, Craniosacral Therapist

    • How can I get comfortable in my pregnancy and be well aligned for birth?
    • Can my baby find the best position for birth?
    • I want to bring mindfulness and movement into healing and mothering.

    Catherine can help you and your baby in pregnancy, birth, nursing, post-partum recovery and early childhood.  She specializes in helping childbearing women, infants and young children.  With gentle craniosacral therapy she has relieved many backaches, and helped newborns resolve breastfeeding problems, often in just a few sessions.  Catherine retrains myofascial alignment problems that create discomfort in pregnancy and impede birth.    

    As a somatic movement therapies Catherine supports body-mind integration.   Catherine helps women prepare for birth by connecting deeply inward within oneself, heal old traumas and ready for mothering.  A woman can directly experience in utero movements of her baby to kinesthetically connect with her child’s journey of creation and birth.  She can prepare to actively partner with her baby in birth.  Catherine combines mindfulness and movement awareness in somatic therapy.

    • Help! Isn't breastfeeding supposed to be easy?
    • Why is my baby crying all the time?
    • We had a hard labor, and I'm on an emotional roller coaster!

    Early intervention can reduce risk of ear infections, and help stabilize a child’s visual and auditory systems.

    Infant developmental movements are nature’s design for forming a child’s emerging sense of self, emotional balance, attentional networks, strength and grace.  Catherine can give your baby the best start.  She provides hands-on therapy and teaches parents simple activities that you can do at home to help your child.      

    Catherine offers craniosacral therapy, lactation support and somatic developmental movement therapy at Morning Star Birth Center, St Louis Park, every other Tuesday. For appointment contact Catherine at Catherine@MamaBebe.org or 612-227-3071.