Community Midwives of Kingston

Heather Brechin

My interest in midwifery began in 1988, growing out of an awareness of the benefits of midwifery care to women, families and community health. I was part of the registration program at the Michener Institute in Toronto, ON. I have been attending births for the past 25 years in a variety of settings: large urban and small urban centers, the countryside and abroad. I have worked in the home, free-standing birth centers and the hospital. I have been involved in teaching midwifery students since the Midwifery Education Program began in 1994. I have a degree in Women’s Studies and a diploma in Homeopathic Medicine. I have two wonderful daughters and an incredible partner without whom I could not do this work. I wish I could reference this quote, but cannot. This is my journey: "Being a midwife means having immense responsibility with little authority. You step into people's lives and make a difference. Some bless you, some curse you. You see people at their worst and their best. You see life begin, end, and everything in between. You see a person's capacity for love, courage, and endurance".

Karen McKinley-Jones

Becoming a midwife has been a journey for me. Arriving at Queen’s University in 1989 with a desire to be in health care, I was not able to see any direction that appealed to me. Then I had my daughter, Caitlyn, in 1992 and the path became clearer. I began teaching childbirth classes with Childbirth Kingston in 1994, soon after accompanying women and families as labour support and offering breastfeeding support. Completing my Psychology degree in 1996, I was accepted to the Midwifery Education Programme at McMaster University in 1997 and my daughter and I moved to Hamilton. Returning to Kingston as a student and in 2001 as a Registered Midwife has allowed me to come full circle. I look forward to meeting, learning from and caring for women and their families as I continue this journey.

Jane Somerville

As a lifelong resident of Kingston, I feel privileged to offer midwifery services to women and their families in the community. As with my fellow midwives, my path to becoming a registered midwife has been a journey. My past work experience has included working as a high school teacher, counselor, childbirth educator and assisting new immigrants to Canada settle in Kingston. I became registered as a midwife in 2001 following the completion of a Bachelor of Health Science in Midwifery at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto. I completed the program part time, which allowed me to continue to live and work in Kingston, and maintain a more active role as a parent. I have two children, born in 1990 and 1994. 

My interest and support of midwifery has extended many years. As a consumer, a student midwife and now as a registered midwife, I believe midwifery is a partnership between midwives and women and their families.

Kelli Siegwart

After many years of pursuing my passion to become a midwife, I am honoured to be serving women and their families in the Kingston region.  I am originally from Thunder Bay Ontario and it was there, at Lakehead University where my journey into the world of midwifery began. While completing a degree in Anthropology, I became fascinated with various birthing traditions and infant feeding practices from around the world.  It was not long before I was volunteering with the local midwives, working with the midwifery consumer network and applying to the Ontario program.  I also trained as a Doula and was fortunate enough to attend births in this capacity in Thunder Bay and Calgary.  

I received my Honours Bachelor of Science in Midwifery from Laurentian University in Sudbury in 2005. I felt privileged to share in many women’s birth experiences and to work with amazing midwives during the clinical portions of my studies.  My placements brought me back to Thunder Bay, to Mississauga, Brampton and Kingston as well as to Pikangikum Ontario (a small, northern town accessible only by plane).   Kingston has now been home for the past 10 years.  My husband and I and our two daughters enjoy all the region has to offer.  I feel privileged to work with such an amazing group of women and I find caring for Kingston women and their families immensely fulfilling.

Mico Devos

I began my route into midwifery in the last year of a biology and health degree at Queen’s University.  I knew that I was interested in environmentalism and health, but had not yet discovered an avenue into either field that I felt suited my ideals and goals.  When I finally discovered midwifery I knew I had found the perfect match. 

I completed my degree in midwifery through McMaster University in Hamilton.  My midwifery placements brought me to Australia and several places in Ontario; Barrie, Kitchener-Waterloo and Kingston.  Recently, I had the extraordinary opportunity to be with my two sisters when they gave birth to their youngest children.  I am always intrigued by midwifery’s potential for empowering women to direct their own childbirth experiences so that they might find the physical and emotional demands to be rewarding and powerful.  I feel privileged to work in a field that allows me to interact with women who teach me a great deal and make for immensely fulfilling experiences.

 

 

 

Lindsay MacDougall

"Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is also about making mothers...strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength." -B. Katz Rothman

I joined the Community Midwives of Kingston in 2010. 

I am thrilled to be working in such a fantastic community with midwives that love to laugh as much as I do!  Raised in Montreal, I am fortunate to have traveled abroad and have lived in many places across Canada. My work experience prior to midwifery was primarily in the woods of backcountry Canada on canoe trips with youth at-risk. It was there that I met my partner Harris, and we now have 2 young kids, Sullivan and Maeve. 

After graduating from the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University in 2006,  I worked downtown Toronto with a focus on families who tend to be marginalized in society.  I loved the rush of working and living in the big city, but yearned for some fresh country air, and a change of pace for our young growing family.  We share passions for wild places, food and farming, and so the Kingston region is a great match for us.  

I love being a midwife for many reasons, but ultimately because I enjoy supporting women and their families as they navigate the rewards and challenges of making informed and intuitive decisions.  The pregnancy and birth is the beginning of an amazing parenting journey with your child, and I feel honoured to be joining you on this journey.

Susan Hubbard

My family and I moved to Kingston (from Portugal) in order that I might begin working with the Community Midwives of Kingston. It was difficult for our family (3kids, a husband and a cat) to leave our life of sunshine and a house by the sea and we knew that we would have to find somewhere really wonderful to compensate for all that we were leaving behind.  I had heard great things about the Kingston midwives and the work they had done to firmly establish midwifery in their community. I was thrilled when I was offered a position with this practice.

I remain very excited about this opportunity to be a midwife in Kingston. I have met many wonderful women and had the privilege of walking with them and their families through pregnancy and birth. It is the first time I have had privileges at a teaching hospital and I continue to find it an interesting and vibrant atmosphere where staff and students are constantly learning together.  I have had the privilege of being at home with women as they birth and I find it a great honour to be welcomed in and allowed to help that family grow within the warmth and security of their own home.

For me midwifery is a vocation and I feel incredibly blessed with each opportunity I have to care for women and their families as they go through the life changing experience of birth.

 

Alyssa Byers-Heinlein

I was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick. While New Brunswick is a province with many virtues, due to the lack of governmental support there were/are no registered midwives. As such, I was not exposed to the profession of midwifery until I neared the end of my undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. While I enjoyed my degree in molecular genetics, within five minutes of researching midwifery in Canada I knew that supporting women through their pregnancies, birth and postpartum period was what I wanted to do with my life. I entered the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University in 2010 and graduated in May 2014. Throughout the program I was fortunate to work with amazing midwives throughout communities in Ontario (Peterborough, Toronto, and Kingston) in addition to placements in communities in both rural and suburban Africa. I spent my final year of study with the Community Midwives of Kingston, and I am thrilled and honoured to begin my career with the same midwives and community that encouraged, supported and allowed me to grow both personally and professionally. Throughout my career I will strive to emulate the words of the 5th century BC philosopher Lao Tzu: “You are a midwife. You are assisting at someone else’s birth. Do good without show or fuss. Facilitate what is happening not what you think is happening, If you must take the lead, lead so that the mother is helped, yet still free and in charge. When the baby is born, the mother will rightly say, we did it ourselves.

Teri Clarke

In 1989, I attended the birth of good friend. 

I walked away shocked and  disillusioned with birthing practices in our society.   How could my vision of childbirth be so out of alignment with that of the cultural norm?   A couple years later, I saw a license plate that read “MIDWIFE”.   I  enquired around and was astonished to learn that midwives were working  in my community and their philosophy (informed choice, continuity of  care, appropriate use of technology, etc.) reflected what I valued.

 So began my journey toward midwifery as a pregnant woman and as a  career option:  I completed the degree I was working on (a BA in Cultural  Anthropology); worked as a doula for 7 years; taught prenatal classes;  and best of all, I had three beautiful babies.  With midwifery still on the fringe in Alberta (where I lived), in 2001, I applied and was accepted into the education program in Ontario. I graduated from McMaster in 2005.  I worked in London for a few years and when it became clear we would remain in Ontario we chose the Kingston area as our home. We loved the limestone, the granite outcroppings, the lakes, the St. Lawrence River and the people!  I worked with the Community Midwives of Kingston between 2008-2011 until I decided I needed to focus on 3 busy teenagers exclusively.  I am so grateful I was able to make the choice to step back from work for a bit.  But alas, my birdies are now leaving the nest and I am ready to resume the on-call lifestyle.  Midwifery has caught on, it is no longer on the fringe, and women are lining up for care.  The renaissance of this age old profession is changing cultural norms and that is so heartwarming.

 

Iryna Didyk

Hello. My name is Iryna Didyk and it is my great delight to be a part of the Community Midwives of Kingston! My path to midwifery in Canada started from a small university town in Ukraine, Ternopil, where I studied Medicine. After medical school, I enrolled in an Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency program at the local hospital for one year. The time spent in the program, though short, was very rewarding and ultimately, shaped my career pursuit. After immigrating to Canada with my husband, I became keenly interested in the concept of natural birth hence midwifery became a natural extension of my professional interest, belief and passion. Subsequently, I received Bachelor of Health Science in Midwifery from McMaster University in 2009. During my training, I had the opportunity to do my placements in Hamilton, Grimsby, Niagara Falls and Welland supporting women through their preferred birth experiences either at home or in a hospital. Upon completing my program, I practiced in a busy Midwifery clinic in Hamilton before relocating and settling down in Kingston in 2012. Here in Kingston, my husband and I had our two daughters delivered by midwives. Undoubtedly, being a midwifery client further broadened my understanding of midwifery care and I believe will improve my clinical approach in care for my future clients. We hope to make Kingston our home for many years to come. The beauty of this historic limestone city and reasonable distance to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal are very endearing to my family and me. I look forward to meeting you all.

photo coming soon!

Karen George

Hi, my name is Karen George and I am excited to be the newest midwife at Community Midwives of Kingston. I am very grateful for this opportunity to assist women in their pregnancies. I have lived in Kingston for most of my adult life, with a brief time in Guelph to finish my midwifery degree and start my first year of practice. I am returning to work after a maternity leave. I have two small wonderful children who keep me very busy!
 
I also have a degree in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University. I worked in environmental consulting for 5 years. That work gave me a wonderful opportunity to travel to the Canadian Arctic and Northern Labrador, but something was missing. I’d always been fascinated with pregnancy and birth, and I began pursuing that interest by training as a doula and working as a childbirth educator. After 5 years of deliberation, I took the plunge and applied to the program. It was the right decision, and I have not looked back once! 
 
It brings me joy to support women and their families through the transition of pregnancy, childbirth and the early postpartum period. It is my goal to provide compassionate care to women through the myriad of challenges that intertwine with the magic and beauty of birth. I endeavor to support women to discover their own strength and resilience while providing excellent, evidence-based clinical care.

Alison Gorringe 

 

I'm Alison and I am from Wales in the UK. I came to Canada in 2010 with my husband, our daughter and our son. Both our children are adults now and our daughter has given us a gorgeous grandson who is 15 months old. I was at his birth but I was not a midwife that day, I was a mum (haha). I left that to my midwifery colleagues.

 I have been practicing midwifery for 13 years and I've enjoyed every minute of it. After working as a registered nurse, I decided to pursue a career in midwifery which is my absolute passion. I completed my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Glamorgan in Wales, and then worked on an obstetric unit in my home town. As well as a hospital-based midwife, I've also worked in the community and a stand-alone birth centre.

I completed the International Midwifery Pre-registration Program at Ryerson University in 2011. My clerkship placement was with Barrie Midwives where I continued to work for 3 years.  I am excited to be working with the Kingston midwives and I look forward to meeting you all soon.

Sarah Chisholm  

Greetings, I’m a new registrant graduating from Ryerson’s Midwifery Education Program in June of 2016 and am thrilled to be joining Community Midwives of Kingston! I was born and raised in Toronto. My passion for people and places, lead me to Halifax to study International Development and Spanish at Dalhousie University, where I spent a semester abroad in Havana, Cuba. After focusing on large scale issues like social justice and sustainability for my undergrad, I turned my focus to individual health and pursued a diploma in Holistic Nutrition and studied under a medical herbalist. During that time, I ran cooking and gardening programs for at risk youth, and began volunteering with the Single Parent Centre of Halifax as a doula. It was my experiences as a doula that ignited the fire that lead me to Midwifery. Bearing witness to the power of women during childbirth, made me want to obtain the skills that allowed women and their families to feel safe, supported and in charge during their childbearing experience. Through my training, I’ve worked in the communities of Stratford, Ajax, and Toronto, in rural, urban and suburban settings, with a wide range of families from all over the world.  I’m so happy to be living with my family in the beautiful vibrant city of Kingston, so close to nature. I’m continually humbled by this work, and in awe of the individuals I work with. I look forward to meeting you and am grateful to be assisting you on this journey.

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