Sara Badger

Sara Badger, CPM

Sara has been around birth for most of her life.  Sara Started her train ing under her mom, Anni McLaughlin. Anni began as a Lay midwife in the early 80's and later trained as a CNM.  Sara began attending births with Anni in her teens.  In 1999 Sara partnered with Anni and they worked together in Fresno, CA until 2004 when Sara took over the practice to allow Anni to follow a dream to work in Guatemala. Sara worked with other midwifes over the years as well.  Sara and her family moved to Michigan at the end of 2007 and welcomed their baby number 3  shortly after.  Sara started Simply Born in 2010 and has been a gentle force of change in West Michigan’s birthing community since.


She has been married for 15 years to Chris Howard. They now have 4 children ages 13, 12, 8 and 4. Sara has opened Cedar Tree Birth and Wellness Center, the first out-of-hospital birthing suite in West Michigan in 2014, and again opened Simply Born Birth House in Oct. of 2016. She is a huge proponent of education and is a Preceptor for Midwifes College of Utah.  She is knowledgeable about the natural process of birth and the inherent strength of women.  It is quite amazing to watch her hold the birth space so reverently for women, babies, and families.

I have been working hard to change the Birth Community here so that women are more empowered with choice. -Sara Badger



Leigh-Ann Smits

Leigh-Ann grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where her passion for midwifery care ignited.  Ever since Leigh-Ann was 4 years old, she wanted to be a midwife.  Her mother was under the care of a midwife for her pregnancy, and although she doesn’t remember specifics, she believes that the way the midwife included her with her mother’s pregnancy is what sparked her interest.  She carried that interest as she grew and eventually went to Grand Valley State University to pursue her dreams. 

After graduating GVSU with a bachelor’s degree in Health Professions, Leigh-Ann started a position as an Ophthalmic Technician with a well-known Ophthalmologist in the area. In December of 2014, Leigh-Ann lovingly welcomed her first child with Sara and the Simply Born team.

In October 2016, Leigh-Ann joined the team at Simply Born.  She joined the team as the Office Manager where she will be answering phone calls, emails, assisting with paperwork and other tasks.  Leigh-Ann is delighted to be in the environment she always envisioned for herself.  We are so excited to have her on our team!


Erica Jones

Erica has over 15 years of learning, growing and working in the wellness industry, which began with massage school in 1999.  Her goal is to help restore the body and relieve pain.  Her passion is to educate and empower people to lead vibrant, healthy lives.


Paddy Raschke

Paddy is a lactation consultant who leads a weekly support group called Mamma’s Happy Hour every week at Simply Born. She is also available for individual lactation consults.