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.
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 moved to Canada as a child. I spent most of my childhood in British Columbia, and studied English and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University, graduating in 1992 with a B.A. 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 in life’s small gifts.
My two sons were born at home in 2005 and 2008 into the loving and competent hands of my friend and colleague, Mahnaz. My births were humbling and empowering experiences for me. When I think back on my first labour, my challenge was perseverance. The journey was slow and there was an eternal moment when labour stalled and I was not sure my baby would come. Fortunately, that long moment passed, labour progressed, and Mahnaz lifted my son into my tired and joyful arms. My second birth was a completely different experience. Mahnaz arrived at my house early in the morning. When things really got going, it was fast and furious, and I only had to let it happen. The baby was born by breakfast time, and I remember just feeling shocked and filled with wonder.
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.
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.
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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Hello, my name is Caroline Dönni and I graduated from the Midwifery Program at Bern University of Applied Science, Switzerland, in 2008. After my graduation I was working for a few years in a large regional hospital where I attended several hundred births as a midwife. I have been with Midwife Alliance since 2012 and I am very happy to be surrounded by great colleagues and wonderful clients.
My personal journey began in Switzerland, where my grand mother was a postpartum ‘assistant’ in the 1930-1950’s. She went to new mom’s houses to help them with breastfeeding, baby and general mother care during the first week after the birth. Unfortunately, I only learned that about her after her passing. I am sure she would have had some interesting stories to tell.
I went back to school to become a midwife in 2005, transitioning from a comfortable but mundane business job to a job that didn’t have the same work/life balance but really made a change in peoples lives. During the third year of my midwifery program, I spent 4 months in Ethiopia in an international midwifery placement. This experience was very powerful, and made me appreciate the abundance of choices women in first world countries have when experiencing impending motherhood.
I completed the International Midwifery Preregistration Program at Ryerson University in 2012 and have been very happy to work in Ontario as a midwife. I love the full scope of midwifery care here (beginning of pregnancy until 6 weeks postpartum) and think it is wonderful that women are encouraged to make their own informed decisions.
I am still amazed every time with the absolute joy I receive by supporting women going through pregnancy, labour and birth on their way to motherhood. I am on maternity leave after the birth of my little boy in March 2019.
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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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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
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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Hello! My name is Tara Wodelet. I graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University, with distinction, in the spring of 2017. I spent five years within the Midwifery Education Program, with my final year of placements being at Midwife Alliance. I am thrilled to now be working alongside this group of caring and competent Midwives.
I grew up in the prairies of Alberta, and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Family Studies and Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 2009. I have always been fascinated by pregnancy and birth, and over the course of my first degree I became increasingly interested in the profound and powerful transition to becoming a parent. I also became more firmly rooted in my commitment to social justice, and when I learned about the exceptional Canadian model of Midwifery care, I knew I had found what I was looking for. I believe in a health care system where all people have access to high quality respectful care.
I have a two-year-old child of my own, whose birth has enriched the way I practice. I originally planned a home birth, but my baby remained breech (head up) when I went into labour, so I moved to the hospital where I maintained the support of my Midwife as well as the care of an Obstetrician. I laboured for a long time before finally choosing a C-section. This experience deepened my belief that there is no one ‘right’ way to have a baby. While labour and birth typically follow a more straightforward path than mine, none of us has total control over what our bodies or babies give us. My goal is that, no matter your path, you feel strong and powerful, respected and supported, and are able to make decisions that you’ll feel good about for years to come.
It is a privilege to be involved in your care!
Hello! My name is Vanessa Cates, I graduated from the Midwifery education program at Ryerson University in May 2017. I spent the final year of my studies with the midwives at the Midwife Alliance and am delighted to be able to continue working beside them as a Registered Midwife.
I am originally from Ottawa where I grew up in a very busy household with my older sister and 2 younger brothers. Before finding midwifery, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science from Carleton University. I spent many years working as an administrator for a community health organization that provided assistance to differently abled adults and seniors. I enjoyed the work I was doing but wanted to be doing service work that took me out of the office. I was introduced to Midwifery when a close friend had her baby at home in the care of midwives. I read everything I possible could about it and was hooked. I was drawn to the philosophy of care and am passionate about supporting choice in maternity care and love that our model gives me the opportunity to get to know my clients and provide the care most suited to their family’s needs.
When I’m not “midwifing” you can find me reading, scrolling social media, spending time with my niece and trying to get out and enjoy our diverse city. I feel honored and privileged to work with you as you grow your family!
Disha (Farhana) Alam
Hi! My name is Disha, and it’s a great pleasure to provide services here at Midwife Alliance. My training and experiences are wide-ranged around Ontario, from South West to South East to East and now back to Central. I am a certified yoga instructor and I like blending the benefits of yoga in my midwifery practice.
I graduated from the MEP from McMaster University in Hamilton. Prior to becoming a midwife, I obtained a double major in Biology and Geography with a minor in Biochemistry, an honours Bachelor’s degree with distinction from McMaster. Currently, I am an active AOM board member, ESW instructor and an exam invigilator.
My personal journey began in Saudi Arabia, then I moved to Canada at a young age, and settled in Hamilton. While growing up, my family traveled widely, which helped pick up languages such as Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and some working knowledge in French. I avidly enjoy travelling, trying different cuisines, and seek adventures. Therefore, during my spare time I love to explore and partake in excursions, preferably with my puppy, Arya.
I feel honoured and grateful for the opportunity to be with women and their families throughout their pregnancy, birth and postpartum periods. I look forward to working with you!
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.
I am a New Registrant at The Midwife Alliance. I graduated with from the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Health Science, with distinction, in the spring of 2019. I spent my final year of studies being mentored by the midwives of Midwife Alliance. I am honoured to be working with an extremely knowledgeable, powerful and highly skilled group of caring women.
My interest in health began almost thirty years ago when I attended Simon Fraser University to obtain a Bachelor of Science. After years of study my path went in a different direction and I worked in film and television for many years. My love of midwifery began when I experienced the birth of my niece with midwives. I choose midwives for my own prenatal care and then was blessed to deliver my nephew with midwives while enrolled in the program. All of those experiences made an impact on me and touched me in a way that made me want to take a small part in this incredible journey with clients. My goal is to respect, support, guide and care for families and make this experience one of empowerment and joy.
On my days off I love cooking and gardening, long walks with my partner and big lovable dog and catching up on sleep.
Hi, I’m Stephani! I completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery at Laurentian University in the spring of 2019. After spending my final year of training at Midwife Alliance, I’m excited to now be working alongside the midwives and clients in this community.
Before studying midwifery, I completed a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics, studying how the way we talk about the environment impacts the way we care for it. My sister became pregnant while I was in school, and I was (and still am!) completely fascinated by the way our bodies adapt to grow these little ones. While I’m still always happy to chat about language, I realized my heart was in midwifery.
Midwifery lets me work with my heart and my hands and always keeps me on my toes. I love that each day is different because each client is different. I genuinely enjoy the process of getting to know my clients and their families and see my role as helping you make the decisions that are right for your own body, baby, and family. I’m passionate about community, health equity, and accessible healthcare, and I’m grateful for the ways my work as a midwife lets me support these values.
When I’m not midwifing, you can find me reading books, tending to my plant-babies, or having dance parties with my niece and nephew.
Thank you for including me in your care—I look forward to meeting you!