Midwives

Mahnaz Donyadideh-Torei

Mahnaz

Mahnaz Donyadideh-Torei (left)

My inspiration for wanting to help women in childbirth started by listening to my mother’s birth stories when I was very young. She had all six of us at home with a midwife; from her number three that was very fast, her midwife didn’t make it to her number five; her breech, big baby and one and only boy that was very hard and long!

I practiced midwifery in Iran between 1989-1993. I entered midwifery right after high school and received a BSc in midwifery from Esfahan Medical University of Iran in 1991. My work experience started in rural areas of Iran for 2 years.

I was very fortunate that my arrival in Canada coincided with midwifery becoming legislated in Ontario in 1994. I participated in the first group of the prior learning experience assessment (PLEA) with the College of Midwives of Ontario and successfully finished it in November of 1996.

I initially came to Midwife Alliance for an observational period in August of 1997 after I had my son. I officially started practicing with Shawn Gallagher, founding member of Midwife Alliance in January 1998 and continued to date.

I have always participated in training midwifery students from the Ontario Midwifery Programs and International Midwifery Pre-registration Program for their clinical placements. I also participate in recertifying midwives in Emergency Skills through the Association of Ontario Midwives.

I admire the midwifery model of care in Ontario the most for the continuity of care. We get to know women and their families throughout their pregnancies and they share one of their greatest life experiences with us.

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Anita Bright

Anita

Anita Bright

My name is Anita Bright. I moved to Ontario from BC in 1994, which was, coincidentally, the year that midwifery was legislated. I was accepted to the McMaster University Midwifery Education Program in 1995, and graduated with my B.H.Sc. in Midwifery in 1998. I joined Midwife Alliance that same year, and have proudly served our diverse communities since then.

I was born in Dublin, Ireland, and came to Canada as a settler as a child. I spent most of my childhood in British Columbia, and studied English and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. My original plan in life was to be a poet, which, it turns out, is not a lucrative career choice! In the small wedges of time between working and raising my hilarious and mischievous sons, I love to read and write, to find beauty in the chaos and joy of life.

My two children were born into the loving and competent hands of my friend and colleague, Mahnaz Torei. What I learned from my own birth experiences, which I already knew empirically, is that each birth is different, and no woman knows exactly what someone else’s journey is like. My job as a midwife is to help you feel empowered on your journey, to give you enough information to make informed decisions, to give you the option to deliver your baby in hospital if that is your choice, or at home if you prefer. I am committed to providing safe, respectful, informed care based on research and my years of experience delivering babies in Ontario. Like all midwives registered in Ontario, I maintain certification in neonatal resuscitation and adult/child CPR. I also teach in the AOM Emergency Skills program, work as a clinical preceptor for midwifery students in the MEP and foreign trained midwives in the IMPP. I look forward to meeting you at this special time in your life.

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Abir Hoblos

Abir

Abir Hoblos

Hello, my name is Abir Hoblos and I am thrilled to be working as a registered midwife at Midwife Alliance.

I was drawn to midwifery because I strongly believe in the philosophy of care. I respect pregnancy as a state of health and childbirth as a normal process. I graduated from the Lebanese University in 2002 with a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Midwifery. I successfully completed the International Midwifery Pre-registration Program at Ryerson University in 2005. I joined Midwife Alliance as a full time Midwife in January 2006.

I am registered with the College of Midwives of Ontario and a member of the Association of Ontario Midwives. I speak English, French and Arabic. I am very excited at the prospect of meeting all the women and families who have invited us to their lives as they prepare to greet their little ones. I have a teenage son and a little girl born in March 2019.

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Sepideh Hashemitari

Sepideh

Sepideh Hashemitari

My interest in midwifery began at an early age when my grandmother shared her own amazing memories as a traditional midwife helping hundreds of women over the years of her career.

Being a midwife means having immense responsibility. You step into people’s lives and make a difference. You see people at their worst and their best. You see a person’s capacity for love, courage, and endurance. I can’t think of any other exciting and at the same time challenging, career in my life.

I graduated from Azad University (1994) in Tehran, Iran with a four year Bachelors’ Degree in Midwifery. I started my midwifery career immediately after graduation in a hospital. Later, I was accepted in Shahid Beheshti University (1997) in Tehran, Iran to get my Master’s Degree in Educational Management. I continued to work as a midwife in different midwifery models in hospitals and clinics until 2007, after which I immigrated to Canada.

Most of my friends who were midwives back home chose to pursue nursing careers in Canada. They advised me to follow their path, as midwifery is a very demanding profession in Canada. But I knew midwifery was my calling. Being aware of the benefits of midwifery care in Ontario, to women, families and community gave me the motivation to try to enter into the International Midwifery Preregistration Program (IMPP) at Ryerson University in 2010. I started my Clerkship in Midwife Alliance in 2011 and I was lucky to be hired as a midwife here the same year. This position not only gives me the benefits of working in a friendly environment but also having the opportunity to work with truly experienced midwives.
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Jinous Shahzamani

Jinous

Jinous Shahzamani

To me, midwifery is an art and a science, a career and a calling. It is an amazing privilege to accompany families along their journeys of pregnancy, birth and early parenting. My goal as a midwife is to help you make choices about your body and your baby that make sense for you, and to use my heart, hands and head to help make your birth experience safe and satisfying.

I’ve been working with women and families for many years back home and here in Canada. I also have worked as a doula, midwifery instructor, and researcher & co-writer of the book “Labour without pain”. My formal midwifery education was through Ryerson Midwifery Program for internationally educated midwives, and also at the Esfahan medical university in Iran.

Being a midwife and a mother of two boys is a busy job, but in my spare time I love shopping, playing games with my kids, dancing to all kinds of music, and catching up on sleep!
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Janice Parsons

IMG_0786

Janice Parsons

Janice is currently on leave.

My passion for midwifery began 21 years ago in Nova Scotia when I sought out midwifery care for the birth of my daughter. Both she and her brother were born at home with midwives prior to legislation. After their births I became an active member of the Midwifery Coalition of Nova Scotia, engaging in consumer advocacy, education, and lobbying for the legalization of midwifery.

I graduated from the Ryerson Midwifery program in 2010 and completed my new registrants year followed by a locum at Midwife Alliance. Following this I worked as a midwife with the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonites in rural Ontario. Just prior to my return to Midwife Alliance I was working as a senior midwife in the Inuit village of Puvirnituq Quebec. The village of Puvirnituq was the first place in Canada to establish legalized midwifery in the 1980’s and is now a thriving Inuit run birthing centre serving isolated coastal communities in Nunavik Quebec.

It feels full circle for me to have the opportunity to return to Midwife Alliance at this time and I look forward to working with my former colleagues and mentors.

I feel a deep commitment to the informed choice model of care we offer in Ontario. It is an honour to support women and their families during such a transformative time as pregnancy, birth, and early parenthood.

It is with great joy that I look forward to meeting new clients and their families during such an important time in their lives.
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Nazanin (Fatemeh) Keivan-Far

Nazanin Kevan-Far

Nazanin Keivan-Far

Helping and caring for women and babies were my inspiration for becoming a midwife. I graduated with honours from Iran University of Medical Science with a Bachelor of Midwifery in 1994, and practiced in my home country, Iran, for more than 12 years, attending over 1000 births, and managing a variety of clinical situations. When Canada became my home, I got a diploma in Medical Laboratory Science and worked in that field for three years. But midwifery was my real passion, so  I successfully completed the International Midwifery Program and did my clerkship at Midwife Alliance. After that, I practiced Midwifery in Norfolk and Haldimand County where I enjoyed working with kind and welcoming families and a great rate of home and water births.

Now, I am thrilled to be part of the great team of Midwife Alliance, and I feel absolutely grateful to provide the family centered midwifery care that I have always dreamed of.
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Jennifer Brewer 

jennifer-brewer

Jennifer Brewer

Jennifer is currently on leave.

Greetings! My name is Jennifer Brewer.  I have been practicing midwifery since graduating, with honours, from the Ryerson Midwifery Education Program in 2013.  Since then I have gained extensive experience managing labor and birth in a variety of settings including home, birth centre and at St.Joseph’s Health Centre and have cultivated creative skills to minimize unnecessary intervention while keeping birth normal and safe.  

 

I continue my professional and personal development by mentoring BIPOC midwifery students, as well as guest instruct Advanced Clinical Skills intensives. I’m committed to growing the midwifery profession and regularly act as a preceptor to students during clinical placements. 

I am very grateful to be part of the diverse, dynamic and skilled team of midwives at Alliance and look forward to being involved in caring for you and your baby during the childbearing year.

Maggie Pang

Maggie

Maggie Pang

My name is Maggie Pang. I immigrated to Canada when I was 8 years old and have grown up in Mississauga ever since. My mother was a labor and delivery nurse back in China and so I was exposed to pregnancy and childbirth from a young age due to accompanying my mother to work often. I’ve always known that I would like to one day work as someone who could be a part of women’s wonderful journey to parenthood. I realized from a small age the difficulties in accessing any form of health care for new immigrants when you are not proficient in Canada, especially when my mother became pregnant with my little sister. After these experiences and having worked with many clients who’s English was not their first language and seeing their struggles, I have gained a passion for working with these populations in hopes that I can become their advocates and improve their experience navigating the health care system. I also hold strong passions in supporting those within the LGBTQ+ community and hope that I can not only create a safe, all inclusive space for these clients but also allow them an environment where they can thrive as their true selves during this very personal time of their lives.

Carmita Magnaye

Carmi Magnaye

Carmi is currently on maternity leave

My name is Carmita (Carmi) Magnaye and I am thrilled to be joining Midwife Alliance! I graduated with distinction from the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University in 2018 and was the recipient of the Murray and Eleanor Enkin Clinical Excellence Award.

I was born in Manila, Philippines and immigrated to Canada in 1988.  I am fluent in both Tagalog and English.  I have a past Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Exceptionality in Human Learning from the University of Toronto and have worked with non-profit agencies and family resource programs for over 10 years prior to pursuing midwifery.

My interest in midwifery began in 2004 when I had the privilege of supporting my friend at the birth of her 3rd child.  Being with her as she endured the work of labour and then bearing witness to new life was an experience like no other.   The birth was beautiful and she was powerful and my calling for midwifery was conceived.  My own birth experiences followed in the midst of my midwifery training – my daughter and son were born peacefully at home in 2013 and 2016 with the support and guidance of skilled and compassionate midwives.  Both of my pregnancies and births and the care I received solidified and strengthened my belief in the beauty and empowerment that pregnancy and birth has to offer and how midwifery care can facilitate a positive and informed journey.

I look forward to meeting you and feel honoured to be a part of your care!

Bahja Ali

Bahja Ali

Hi, my name is Bahja Ali. I was born in Toronto, but grew up in the Niagara region. My first undergraduate degree is from BScN Collaborative Degree program completed at Ryerson University in 2015. My mother was a midwife in Somalia, and her practice was something I knew I wanted to carry on as a dedication to her. I love hearing stories and learning about global diaspora midwives and those who have familial ties to midwifery traditions. I’m excited to meet everyone and humbled to be working alongside you. Also, I was born at St. Joseph’s hospital and feel lucky to start my NR year here! 

Mary Dirmeitis

Mary Dirmeitis

Hello! My name is Mary Dirmeitis and I am so grateful to be serving my community as a midwife at Midwife Alliance.

I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University in 2019. Prior to my midwifery education, I attended births as a doula and supported families in their postpartum transition. I have a Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies and Political Studies where I had the privilege to live and study in Ecuador. Since then, I have especially enjoyed caring for Spanish-speaking clients in their first language. 

I am a 3rd generation settler on this land and respect that we live and practice on the traditional territory of multiple Indigenous communities. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to give birth at the Toronto Birth Centre and to raise my family in this beautiful city. There is nothing like having your colleagues catch your baby!

It is my honour to accompany birthing people and their loved ones through the life changing experience of pregnancy, birth, and new parenthood. I believe strongly in supporting clients through informed choice, and facilitating a safe and meaningful birth and postpartum experience. Thank you for including me in your care and I look forward to meeting you!





Jyothi Raipelli

Jyothi Raipelli

Hi, my name is Jyothi Raipelli and I am thrilled to be working as a Registered midwife and be to part of very diverse and highly skilled team of midwives at Midwife Alliance.

I was born and brought up in India. I studied General Nursing and Midwifery and graduated in 2009. I worked both as a Nurse and a Midwife with a total work experience of little over 10 years in India before relocating to Canada in 2018.

 I successfully completed the International Midwifery Pre-registration Program at Ryerson University and I have joined Midwife Alliance, where I have completed my Clinical Clerkship placement as well.

 My training and Experience over the years has made my convictions firm that midwives play a very vital role and make a difference in a mother’s life, as giving birth is a most special experience for her. Each birth can be different, hence I feel equity of care is important. Nature is very interesting; my own birthing experience has confirmed my belief that mothers are both very strong, and sometimes even best of us can be vulnerable. This is where information and care does play a very important part. Respectful maternity is right of every mother.

 I speak English, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam Fluently. 

I feel at ease and feel content each time I help a mother to sail through this wonderful phase of life. I look forward to working alongside my team of midwives and helping mothers.

Emma Taylor

Emma Taylor

Hello! My name is Emma Taylor (she/they pronouns), and I feel privileged to be a part of the care team here at Midwife Alliance. My interest in birth came to me over a decade ago when I was in nursing school at the University of Toronto, it was an honour to bear witness to such an intimate and memorable experience. For the next seven years I worked as a Registered Nurse on the birthing unit at St. Michaels Hospital here in Toronto. I absolutely loved my time there as it sparked my passion for all things obstetrics and family centred care. I met many wonderful midwives and began exploring their model of care, I am particularly drawn to the practice of continuity of care and a commitment to client advocacy through informed choice. I graduated from Ryerson University’s post baccalaureate program in 2021, completing my senior placements here at Midwife Alliance and couldn’t be happier to spend my New Registrant year here.  

I am a first generation Canadian of Irish-settler ancestry, and it will always be a priority to provide safe and equitable care to all, using my privilege as a white healthcare provider to combat systemic racism and xenophobia. When I am not providing midwifery care, you can find me spending time with my biological and chosen families, going on hikes, biking around the city, or just dancing (poorly) in my apartment.     

Pregnancy is such an intimate and sacred time, and I am so grateful to be a part of your journey, I look forward to meeting you!

Courtney Graham

Courtney Graham

My name is Courtney Graham, and I am thrilled to be returning to Midwife Alliance. Prior to midwifery, I completed a degree in Gender Studies and International Development at Queen’s University. Afterwards, I used my love of food to work within the hospitality industry to fund an avid travel habit before settling in on my deep desire to work with birthing families in a health-based context. Midwifery was a natural next step. I completed my degree in 2014 with my final placement at Midwife Alliance under the esteemed supervision of Mahnaz. I worked as a New Registrant with Midwife Alliance and since then, have worked serving the diverse communities in the City of Toronto and with Inuit midwives in Nunavik. I pride myself on offering fully informed choice to clients so they can feel empowered to make decisions that are best for themselves and their families.

I am passionate about the health and wellness of midwives and the midwifery profession and have been a Trustee with the Association of Ontario Midwives Benefit’s Trust since 2015. I am also a clinical preceptor to midwifery students, as well as a partner and a parent to two littles.

Karen Rodrigue

Karen Rodrigue

My name is Karen Rodrigue and I am a registered midwife, practicing these last eight years, serving women in the greater Toronto area.

I, myself was born in my grandfather’s house into the hands of a midwife. I came to Canada from Guyana, at the young age of 3 and grew up learning how to serve a community by the example of my parent’s humanitarian efforts at home and abroad. I’d like to think that I bring that same spirit of care into the relationship with my clients today. I have always worked with the simple and careful dedication to the people who seek out our care, ‘To be with Women’ (the birthing person) from what it means to be a “Mid-Wife”.


I completed my studies in Midwifery with a honours degree from Ryerson University.  Before becoming a midwife I had studied the medical sciences and received a double Honours Degree in Human Biology and Religious Studies from The University of Toronto.  It was at that time too that I was  learning the most about my direction in life, being a young mother myself.

As a midwife, I work to facilitate an environment where informed choice and best practices through evidence base care are possible in the home, birth centre and hospital setting. I love to empower and be an advocate for the decisions that my clients make. It’s a fortunate and interesting thing that this work starts at our first meeting with the pregnant person and isn’t simply finished with the birth itself, but continues to 6 weeks postpartum. I hope to make this process  a safe and memorable experience for each of my clients.
I feel privileged to work at Midwife Alliance with the other wonderful midwives in this diverse community.  Thank you for having me as part of your team.

Rachel Stewart Pathak

Rachel Stewart Pathak

Hello, my name is Rachel and I am delighted to be working with Midwife Alliance!

I graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University in 2019. My training involved placements with midwives, nurses, physicians, and lactation consultants in Northern Ontario, Markham, Ottawa, and in Toronto. Before becoming a midwife, I worked caring for people with severe mental health issues and with seniors.

My favourite moments as a midwife are to be present at birth and witness when a person meets their baby for the first time. I am passionate about equity in healthcare, reproductive justice, and providing care rooted in dignity. I appreciate that I am able to support these values through my role as a midwife.

I can provide care in English and en Français. I am honoured to be one of your midwives and look forward to being involved in your care!