A personal message from
Founder of THRIVE
And I pivot again!
If you have come to THRIVE because your family is growing, congratulations on taking this step to owning your birth! If you have come as a doula or childbirth educator and want to put more tools in your toolbox, welcome and thank you for all your hard work. Regardless of what brings you to THRIVE, I promise you won’t regret the investment of your time and finances.
In August 2022, I resigned my license as a Registered Midwife in Ontario after more than 10 years, so that I could support freebirthing families as a Birth Coach.
Over these years I have developed a passion for empowering families to take control of their health care, make informed decisions and own their birth experiences. I can’t wait to pass on to you the tools and skills I’ve learned throughout my own journey, as both former/resigned midwife, Birth Coach and mother. You have no idea the joy it brings me when families stand up for themselves and their health! Thank you for opening your life to me and my passion project. See you soon!
Why Birth Coach (doula) instead of working as a Registered Midwife?
On my own journey I have come to learn that a “textbook birth” from the provider’s perspective may very well be remembered by the family as having been very traumatic. Research, and experience, has shown me that it’s not about the kind of birth you had; whether you had a water birth with oils diffusing and romantic music or a scheduled Caesarean, but rather it is primarily about the care you receive at the time of birth and the degree to which your autonomy was honoured and celebrated.
Our Canadian healthcare system is still deeply steeped in paternalism, a remnant of birth being pushed from midwife-led home delivery to male physician-led hospital birth. This system encourages women to be “good patients” by donning a gown upon hospital admission and doing what the care provider says, lest you be considered “non-compliant”, which causes women and their families to have great difficulty speaking up for themselves and their babies.
I felt myself moving in a different direction than typical Ontario maternity care and left my work of 10 years in February 2020, and before Covid hit, my family and I strongly considered moving to the US so that I could work in a birth centre/homebirth environment. I was so done with navigating the Ontario healthcare system as it stands, as a Midwife who was supposed to support her clients, but watched them get trampled as soon as they entered the hospital or accessed OB services.
From 2020-2022, I focused on creating online prenatal education content while doing occasional midwifery work through short-term locums, as I contemplated my next step in the birth work world. The more time I spent outside midwifery, being reminding of what TRUE physiologic birth looked like, and learning from alternative birth workers all over the province, I felt myself being pulled in this direction as an obvious next step.
I am convinced that leaving midwifery allows me to be a better support to families who are choosing to freebirth or birth outside the system, who have also come to the conclusion that the medical-industrial complex is going to hell in a handbasket, and a new economy of birth support must rise.
My own birth stories
I am not the birth worker I was when my children were born, and a deep part of me aches to have a third chance to try at a physiologic birth, but I also know that my stories give depth and meaning to the work I do.
My son was born via Caesarean Section in 2016, following a two-day 36+5 weeks gestation induction for low amniotic fluid.
My daughter was born in 2019, after another 36+5 weeks gestation induction for the same reason. I fought for a VBAC against both midwifery and obstetric recommendations to have a repeat Caesarean after my first ordeal, and after a quick labour and vacuum delivery due to low fetal heart rate, I reached down and lifted my daughter onto my chest.
My determination and ability to advocate for myself served me well, but I see so many ways I could have perhaps changed my story, through nutritional healing, health awareness, and radical responsibility. Let me pass on these lessons to you.
Who am I?
I originally grew up in the Niagara region of Ontario, the oldest of six kids. In 2004 I left Dalhousie university after a brief foray in Neuroscience, and started looking into midwifery. In 2008 I completed my midwifery training in the Philippines through an American-run charity-birthing clinic and school, attending more than 200 births and performing over 800 prenatal exams. In 2010 I graduated from Ryerson’s ‘International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program’, which allowed me to practice midwifery in Ontario. In August 2022, I resigned my midwifery license to become a Birth Coach. I have called Chatham, Ontario home since 2010, where I live with my welder husband, son and daughter. We have an urban homestead, where I love learning practical skills, growing food and preserving it.