Heidi Fillmore, CPM, NHCM

Executive Director

Overview of the Human Body, Prenatal Complications, Professional Midwifery 3, Whole Foods Nutrition

Heidi Fillmore, CPM, NHCM is the founder and Executive Director of Birthwise Midwifery School. She has been practicing home birth in Maine and New Hampshire since 1987. In that time, she has safely delivered over 1,000 healthy babies.

Heidi studied midwifery at the Midwifery Training Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a certified professional midwife (CPM) with a license to practice in New Hampshire. Heidi also helped craft legislation, which passed in 2017, to license midwives in Maine.

Heidi is a member of the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council Board of Directors, a member of the Midwives Alliance of North America, a member of Midwives of Maine, a member of the National Association for CPMs, and acting chair of the Maine Association of CPMs.

Melissa Mayo, CMA

Business Manager


Melissa manages day-to-day business for Birthwise Midwifery School, the Birth House, and Midwifery Matters. She also handles finances, billing, and advertising. In 2018, she was elected Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) treasurer. As approachable as she is knowledgable, Melissa is often a point of contact for Birthwise students.

Melissa holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology and a MS in Accounting. She is a Certified Management Accountant, Certified Bookkeeper, and a Notary Public. She lives in Norway, ME with her two young sons, daughter, and wonderful husband.

Elizabeth McKinnon

Financial Aid Officer


Elizabeth has a B.S. in Applied Economics from the University of Maine at Orono. She helps students navigate the financial aid process and obtain the federal student aid they are eligible for while attending Birthwise and coordinates faculty contracts.

She is also a Student Exchange and Visitor Program Designated School Official (DSO) and, in that capacity, helps international students obtain student visas.

Beth Bongiolatti CPM, NHCM

Academic Dean of Students

Newborn Complications, Normal Prenatal, Postpartum

Beth (‘13) holds a master’s degree in Sustainable International Development from the SIT Graduate Institute, where she completed a dissertation on the role of birth and midwifery in communities experiencing civil conflict.

She came to Birthwise (first as a student, then later as clinical director and midwife at the Birth House) via Bali, where she worked alongside midwives from all over the world at the Yayasan Bumi Sehat midwifery clinic, and then via Southern New Hampshire, where she worked in a large, free-standing birth center.

Abby Luca, CPM

Academic Dean of Faculty

Childbirth Preparation Methods, Labwork for Midwives, Overview of the Human Body, Writing Workshops

Abby Luca, CPM, NHCM has been practicing midwifery in Maine and New Hampshire since 2016. She is a core faculty member and Director of the Midwifery Assistant Program at Birthwise Midwifery School.

Before her training as a midwife, Abby was a college English instructor at the University of Alabama. She received a B.A. in English and Religious Studies from the University of Alabama in 2006 and went on a received her M.A. in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Alabama in 2010. Abby also has a background in herbal medicine, training with Phyllis Light at the Appalachian Center for Natural Health.

Abby is an avid hiker and herbal medicine-maker, and she lives in a rambling old farmhouse with her husband Stephen in Fryeburg, Maine.

Robin Illian, CPM

Clinical Director

Complications of Labor and Birth, Normal Labor and Birth, Prenatal Complications

Robin (’05) has been a Certified Professional Midwife practicing in Maine since 2005.

She has a BS in Anthropology and Biology from James Madison University, where she also completed a pre-med concentration with the original intention of going to naturopathic medical school.

Her interest in holistic women’s health, as well as working as a hospital-based doula in Berkeley, CA led Robin to midwifery.

She worked in homebirth practices in California and Colorado before returning to Maine (and Birthwise faculty) in 2005. She became Clinical Director in 2018.

Eliza Alder

Office Manager


Eliza holds a BS in Biology from University of Southern Maine. She is the Office Manager and oversees the ongoing maintenance of the Birthwise facility. She lives in Windham, ME with her husband, her two young daughters, and her dog, Bailey.

Acadia Gantz

Program Assistant


Program Assistant Acadia Gantz is from the small dairy-farming town of Richmond, UT. Before she began her studies at Birthwise Midwifery School, she worked as a ski patroller and an EMT. Accustomed to helping people in crisis situations, she was drawn to midwifery because she wanted to help people find their power during one of the most important events in their lives.

Acadia is, currently, a student midwife at Birthwise. Before she began her studies, she completed doula training with influential midwife Kristi Ridd-Young in Utah. She also completed two clinical rotations (where she attended a total of nine births), plus a five-month preceptorship at a midwifery practice in Idaho. When Acadia isn’t catching babies, she’s busy trail running or skiing with her two dogs.

Meg Terwilliger

Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator


Meg coordinates the admissions process, recruiting prospective students and helping them apply, enroll and pursue their midwifery education at Birthwise. She holds a BA in studio art from St. Olaf College.

Meg lives in New Gloucester, Maine with her husband and two sons.