Mary Anne Richardson is the primary midwife with Tender Beginnings Birth Services LLC.

Celesta Bargatze is the back-up midwife who can and will assist as necessary.

Rebecca Hightower doesn’t currently practice midwifery, but she assists with the “Stick ’em up IV Therapy” course.

Mary Anne Richardson, CPM-TN, EMT, RN

Mary Anne Richardson

Since August, 1994, Mary Anne Richardson, as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), has been assisting couples with births in the Nashville Area. During that time she has trained and worked in hospital settings and in the homes of clients.

Her experience with birth includes management of: breech, twins, shoulder dystocias, VBACs, and hemorrhage. She has dealt with placenta previa, placenta abruption, retained placenta, cord wraps, and velamentous insertion of the cord.

In 1997 she founded Tender Beginnings and was the sole midwife for much of that time. She is active in providing education to other midwives and students to improve midwifery care for mothers and babies across the country.

In pursuit of her passion to improve the reputation of midwives, Mary Anne has served two terms as the President of the Tennessee Midwives Association (TMA) as well as other positions on the TMA board and still serves the TMA as a legislative liaison. As a legislative liaison she worked tirelessly, along with other midwives, to legalize CPM/Home birth midwifery in the state of Tennessee by successfully lobbying for three different bills through the state Legislature.

She has served two terms on the Council of Certified Professional Midwives, a division of the Department of Health state of Tennessee, as Vice-Chairperson and the Chairperson. Currently she serves as the consultant to the Council of Certified Professional Midwives reviewing complaints to the Council. Mary Anne currently sets on the board of the North America Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is the Director of Accountability for this organization.

While caring for families as a midwife and monitrice, she maintains three TN State licenses, and she is currently active in providing education to other midwives and students to improve midwifery care for mothers and babies across the country. She has presented courses to students in local universities and colleges about midwifery. She was honored to serve as the Keynote presenter at a “Empower Your Birth Conference.” She has developed and presented courses for midwifery students and midwives, some of which have been accredited by MEAC (Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council), and a presentation at Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), a international midwifery conference. Mary Anne has also been an Instructor at the College of Traditional Midwifery. Her most current MEAC accredited class is “Stick ’em up IV Therapy”


  • Tennessee Birth Place: Basic Midwifery
  • Tennessee Birth Place: Recognition and Management of Emergencies and Complications of Pregnancy
  • International School of Midwifery, Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Jamaica: Hands on training dealing with complications
  • Columbia State Community College: Emergency Medical Technician Intravenous Therapy
  • Columbia State Community College: Nursing Program, 2006 obtained Associates Degree
  • Middle Tennessee State University: two years in the nursing program,
  • Doulas of North America: Doula Training
  • S.T.A.B.L.E. program completed 2009, 2013, 2017, and 2019.



Celesta Bargatze, CPM-TN

Celesta Bargatze

After experiencing a C-section with her first child in 2006, Celesta became interested in childbirth, specifically in helping women to be empowered in childbirth. She became a childbirth educator and has helped prepare mothers for birth in the United States, Kenya, and Uganda.

She has since had three peaceful births at home. After living in Uganda with her family in 2010 and seeing the incredible need for skilled birth attendants, she decided to become a midwife. She started training with Tender Beginnings May 2012 and acquired her CPM-TN certification in 2015.
Celesta caught her first baby, March 11, 2013!

She works with Nova Birth Services; however, she has agreed to back up Mary Anne when needed and teaches classes at Global Outreach Developments International.


  • Trevecca Nazarene University: B.S. Biology and Chemistry
  • Institute for Global Outreach Developments Int’l: currently meeting requirements for Certification of Mission-Theology
  • CAPPA Lactation Educator Training
  • Childbirth International: Doula and childbirth educator training
  • The Farm: Midwifery Workshops
  • Certified Professional Midwife Certifications
  • Certified Childbirth Educator
  • Certified Doula
  • Neonatal Pulmonary Resuscitation

Rebecca Hightower, CPM-TN, RN

Rebecca Hightower

During her OB rotation in nursing school Becca became fascinated with the miracle of childbirth. To the surprise of her teachers and classmates, upon graduation, she took a job on a vascular floor as a registered nurse. After a couple of years in adult nursing Becca had an opportunity to work in a level II NICU caring for premature babies. She was able to attend many high-risk births with the NICU birthing team. This was a huge catalyst in rekindling her interest with not only the birthing process but with the laboring woman as well.

May of 2010 she was able to begin pursuing her dream of becoming a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) with Tender Beginnings. Since then she has also had the privilege of having two of her own water births, experiencing firsthand the joy of having a babies at home.

After years of hard work, Becca obtained her Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification in June or 2017. Becca has her own midwifery practice aside of Tender Beginnings. She is an instructor of the “Stick ’em up IV Therapy” workshop. Her experience with the difficult veins on the vascular floor as well as working with the tiny veins of premies makes her the perfect person to teach IV therapy.


  • Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
  • Mercy School of Nursing in Charlotte, NC, RN program
  • Adult CPR
  • Neonatal Pulmonary Resuscitation
  • Certificate of Bible- Torchbearer Bible School in Holsby Brunn, Sweden