Meet Your Birth Team

Linda Weaver, LM, CPM

Linda Weaver, LM, CPM

Licensed Midwife

I was introduced to the idea of midwifery while pregnant with my second child. I had given birth in a hospital the first time and felt very out of control. I allowed a physician to induce my labor, and was given medication against my wishes. I labored in an overflow room with only a curtain separating me from the other laboring women. I knew I wanted a different experience the second time around. A friend introduced me to her midwife and I was hooked on the idea of having a natural birth at home with a midwife. Laboring at home seemed so natural to me. I could use my own linens, dress in my own clothes, and choose who would be attending. After the birth, my daughter could see her newborn sibling right away. I could sleep in my own bed.

I currently have seven beautiful, smart and active grandchildren, six of which were born at home or in a birth center and one received into my hands in the hospital.

I decided to study midwifery when my children were in high school. It was in my heart and soul. I love serving other women and helping them achieve the birth of their dreams. I have been licensed since 2001 and have attended over 1,200 births

Irena Freystaetter, LM, CPM

Irena Freystaetter, LM, CPM

Licensed Midwife

I have always been fascinated with pregnancy, birth and babies. My mom says that as a child, while my siblings happily examined exotic animals at the zoo, I ran from stroller to stroller examining babies. As I grew I loved learning about the human body, I soaked in anatomy and physiology classes, got certified as an EMT the summer before my senior year of high school, and headed off to college determined to pursue medical school. However, as I learned more about the medical system, I began to feel that being a doctor may not be the right fit for me. When I heard about midwifery I knew that it was the job I was looking for. A calling you might say. I loved that midwifery would allow me to spend time with my clients, get to know them, and provide individualized care and information. Getting to know a woman and her family prenatally, holding that sacred space and watching her find her strength through her birth, and supporting her through the postpartum period is the most rewarding career I can imagine. And I’m not complaining about the squishy baby cuddles either!

After four years of rigorous learning at the Midwives College of Utah, a two year apprenticeship in Argyle, Texas, and having a baby of my own, I graduated and became certified as a Certified Professional Midwife in 2018. I regularly attend continuing education workshops and trainings, and am certified in NRP and CPR. I worked for a little while in Texas, then my family relocated to South Carolina, where I am proud to be joining the Labors of Love team. I am so grateful to get to do my dream job every day and bear witness to the ordinary miracle that is pregnancy and birth.

Sheila Dell, CNM

Sheila Dell, CNM

Certified Nurse Midwife

Shelia Dell, a devoted midwife practitioner, has delivered over 1100 babies in both
in hospital and out of hospital settings in the past ten years.
She served 26 years in the US Navy. Twelve years as a labor and delivery nurse, and
four years as a midwife.
Showing great leadership in other practices, Sheila contributed to the creation of an
additional location to a midwifery practice in Corona, California as well as
spearheading the addition of a midwifery practice to a hospital here in South
Carolina.
Sheila is the mother of five ambitious children whom have grown pursuing their
dreams across the US. Her favorite birth experience was her third, which was, of
coarse, a water birth.
Her hobbies include decorating, gourmet cooking, and entertaining family and
friends.
Sheila believes in supporting women in their choices throughout their pregnancies,
births and postpartum experiences. Women should be comfortable in the birth
location and environment to which they choose to birth in. She is an advocate to the
gentleness of water birthing and is experienced in delivering in this capacity.
Sheila practices full scope midwifery and women’s health care.

Damaris Pittman, LM, CPM

Damaris Pittman, LM, CPM

Licensed Midwife

I’ve always been in the health care field, having trained as a chiropractic technician. When my children, Christian and Elias, were both born with the help of midwives, I knew I’d found my true calling.

In 1991, my husband and I packed up our two boys and moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to Texas so that I could attend Maternidad La Luz midwifery school in El Paso.

Most of the women giving birth at the midwifery school’s clinic have no medical insurance and limited or no access to medical care, yet deliver their babies without complications or the use of anesthesia. In addition to my classroom work, I cared for 30-50 pregnant women per month.

I came back home to Charlotte, North Carolina with the basic knowledge and experience to attend home births. Because North Carolina does not license midwives who are not registered nurses, I have always limited my practice to women in nearby South Carolina, where my profession is legal and regulated.

While my children were still at home I kept my practice small, attending about ten births each year. As the boys grew so did my practice, experience, knowledge and wisdom. From 2009 until 2015 I owned, operated and practiced in a birth center which further advanced my experience.

I have been licensed and regulated by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) since 1993 and in 1998 I was nationally credentialed as a Certified Professional Midwife through the North American Registry of Midwives.

Birth-Choice.com

Nicole Vazquez MBA, CBC (CBI)

Nicole Vazquez MBA, CBC (CBI)

Certified Breastfeeding Counselor (CBC)

Hi! I’m Nicole, mother of 3, puppy mother of 1, wife and coffee lover. And I absolutely love all things birth, babies and breastfeeding!

I was born and raised in the west coast of Puerto Rico and grew up among palm trees, salty air, sand dunes and surf waves.  My family and I reside in Roebuck, SC. I am fully bilingual in English and Spanish, and proudly work with all communities in my area.

I worked in the financial industry and as a business instructor for over 15 years. But my love for all perinatal periods led me to a career shift, and motivated me to enroll in lactation-specific and childbirth education studies.

I completed a 2-year training program in lactation and graduated as a lactation counselor in 2019. During my studies and experience in lactation, I learned how childbirth practices can greatly impact breastfeeding success and how stress can impact breastmilk supply. I decided to continue my studies and became a The Leclair Method HypnoBirth and HypnoFertility Educator. In April 2020, I became a GentleBirth Certified Childbirth Educator under the under the mentorship of Tracy Donegan- Founder and President of GentleBirth Inc.

I am passionate about prenatal education and supporting women in a compassionate, respectful, multicultural and diverse setting. All my GentleBirth Hypnobirthing Workshops are taught in-person at the Labors of Love Birth Center or virtually. 

Prarie Gatlin

Prarie Gatlin

Midwife Apprentice

From the time I was a small child, I was fascinated by pregnancy. I always knew when my mother was pregnant, even before she told us. I watched her mindset evolve from standard hospital births where she was uncomfortable and out of control, to then being with a midwife in a birth center for two water births. When I was twelve, my fifth sibling was born, and I knew I wanted to be a midwife. By the time I graduated high school, I had accumulated a number of midwifery textbooks and birth books that I couldn’t wait to dig into. The September after I graduated, I was able to attend my first birth, and I fell even deeper in love with what I wanted to do. Only a few months into my first apprenticeship, I had the sweet (and unexpected!) privilege of my youngest sibling being my first catch. Over the past two and a half years I have attended more than fifty births with four different midwifes while continuing online studies to work towards my Certified Professional Midwife license. I am hoping and planning to finish my coursework and required births in the next year and half. I?m excited for my future in midwifery!

Lauren Van Pelt, IBCLC

Lauren Van Pelt, IBCLC

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

Lauren Van Pelt is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), mother of two, grandmother of three , and wife. Lauren has spent thousands of hours counseling breastfeeding mothers in the Upstate if SC.

Lauren prides herself on her unique ability to relate to moms of different backgrounds and to personalize her advice to help each mother meet her individual breastfeeding goals.
Lauren considers it a privilege to have cared for breastfeeding mothers and babies for over 30 years. Initially, she worked as a Mother-Baby Registered Nurse and then earned her IBCLC certification in 2002.

Lauren has provided care to mothers and babies in many capacities including inpatient , outpatient, and home settings, as well as via telephone warmline, prenatal classes and support group. She is currently helping lead a free, new parent workshop series at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate.

Lauren believes while breastfeeding may be natural and instinctive , it is not always easy for mothers and babies. A little help can go a long way . Lauren loves to help mothers come up with a customized plan for reaching their breastfeeding goals and to ease their transition into their roles as mothers

Diane Weaver

Diane Weaver

Office Manager

After working in Banking for over 30 years. She worked for a Tax preparation company for several years, and has been Trained in Quick Books and Microsoft products.
She will be the smiling voice you will hear when you call the office number and answering the email messages you send in. She handles all appointments, uploading of documents in patient’s charts, communication with auxiliary services, account receivables and banking. We truly could not function on a day to day basis without her.

Jay Weaver

Jay Weaver

Administrator

Jay Weaver is the Administrator, who handles everything except delivering babies. Truly he is the muscle behind the midwives and is responsible for Spartanburg having a birth center. He was saddened to see women in other areas have access to this type of facility and the women in Spartanburg having to travel to deliver their babies naturally. Little did he know when we opened our doors than women would travel for as much as 1 1/2 hours to be able to give birth in our facility. We are thankful for his behind the scenes work that keeps us all going.