Jenessa Payano Stark, CPM, LM
**Jenessa is currently on an educational sabbatical pursing a Masters degree in Certified Nurse Midwifery and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner from Yale University.**
Jenessa has been interested in birth since a very young age. After her cousin had a homebirth when she was only 16 years old, Jenessa knew her calling was to become a midwife. She enrolled in a doula training course, and began to shadow a midwife to births while still in high school. After graduating summa cum laude from Augsburg College as a Presidential Scholar with two BAs in International Relations and Spanish, she traveled to rural Guatemala where she spent time living and working with two indigenous midwives. After returning to the US, she moved to New York City.
Her formal midwifery training was completed at Maternidad La Luz Birth Center in El Paso, TX where she fulfilled the requirements for the Certified Professional Midwife credential through the North American Registry of Midwives. Upon graduation she moved back to New York City and worked alongside beloved midwife and friend, Cara Muhlhahn, CNM, assisting her in homebirths throughout Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. Jenessa has also worked attending births as a midwife in Puerto Rico. Since moving back to Minnesota she has worked as a staff midwife at an out of hospital birth center and is now taking homebirth clients.
Jenessa is committed to the midwifery model of care and believes in providing loving, respectful, personalized care to all midwifery clients and diverse families and treats the prenatal time, labor and birth, and the postpartum period as normal processes, not an illness. She is fluent in Spanish as well as English and is comfortable giving care in both languages.
Jenessa lives in South Minneapolis with her husband and her son who was born peacefully at home into the water with the help of midwives. They are thrilled to have a yard and room to ride their bikes with less traffic. She loves organic farming and gardening, traveling, biking, learning, and spending time with lovely people.