All midwives are registered with the College of Midwives of Ontario. The college is the regulatory body, which sets professional standards and ensures the quality of services.
ELIZABETH VANDER HEIDE, B.SC., B.H.SC., R.M.
Elizabeth graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Health Science in Midwifery degree in 2005. Prior to that Elizabeth had graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1998 from Calvin College. Elizabeth’s desire to become a midwife was driven by the midwifery philosophies of continuity of care, informed choice and choice of birthplace. It was important to her that the women she cares for are receiving holistic care and being educated and given the opportunity to be the primary decision makers for their care.
ANNETTE RUDEL, B.A., B.H.SC., R.M.
Annette is a graduate of the Ryerson Midwifery Education Program. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto with a major in Women’s Studies. Her midwifery training brought her to London where she has had an opportunity to work with a diverse group of women in both urban and rural settings. During her midwifery education, Annette focused some of her learning on increasing her awareness of the history and culture of First Nations Peoples. Annette also has a particular interest in substance abuse in pregnancy and in supporting breastfeeding for new mothers.
“I am excited to be working in a field that is founded on principles that promote humanity and equality. I believe that pregnancy and birth are powerful, life-changing events for a woman and her family. The midwifery model of care supports women in fulfilling their unique hopes and dreams on the path to motherhood. As midwives we strive to make this journey positive and meaningful.”
DIANE MERONYK, HONOURS B.A., B.H.SC., R.M.
Diane was first drawn to midwifery while studying a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Science at McMaster University. Born and raised in Thunder Bay, she returned to the north to study at the Laurentian Midwifery Education Program in 2008. Having lived in several cities throughout the program, Diane could not be happier to call London her home after completing her final year of placement at Womancare. Her time in the program has fostered in her a deep trust in normal, spontaneous birth.
“I am ecstatic to provide support and care for women and their families at such a pivotal time in their lives.”
Kathryn is a graduate of the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University. She was drawn to midwifery through her personal experience of pregnancy and childbirth; she realized that midwifery philosophy fit well with her own values of autonomy, feminism, and access to alternative health care. During her midwifery education, Kathryn enjoyed working with a diverse group of clients in Sudbury, Toronto, and a four-week placement in Jamaica. Kathryn feels honored to be able to share in the process of pregnancy, birth, and early parenting with her clients and their families.
Prior to becoming a midwife Kathryn worked in international development and environmental protection, both in Canada and abroad. She comes from beautiful Manitoulin Island, in Northern Ontario, but is now happy to call London home.
Annie grew up in St. Marys, a small town 45 minutes north of London. She completed a degree in Health Sciences at Western, which is where she first heard of midwifery. Having an interest in women’s health and community based health care midwifery, it seemed a perfect fit. While in the midwifery education program at Ryerson, she was lucky to have had learning opportunities here in London, Kitchener, and Hamilton. Annie completed her final clerkship with Womancare Midwives where she had the opportunity to get to know many Womancare families. Annie is delighted to work with this dedicated team of midwives and to call London home.
BINH HUYNH, B.H.SC., R.M.
Binh graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences Degree from the University of Western Ontario in 2001. She believes in a wholistic approach to health care and the important role individuals have in defining and achieving wellness in their lives. This led her to enroll in the Midwifery Program at Laurentian University. During her midwifery training, Binh has provided individualized care to families in both Sudbury and London.
Prior to joining the team at Womancare, she enjoyed the challenges of rural practice as a midwife working in Eastern Ontario. It is a joy for Binh to be once again working closely with the families in London—a community she considers home.
AIMEE FEHLNER, B.SC., B.H.SC., R.M.
Aimee graduated with her Bachelor of Health Science in Midwifery from McMaster University in 2007. During her student midwifery placements, she had clinical experiences in London, Ottawa Valley and Toronto. Aimee also has a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo. She has experience working in chiropractic and physiotherapy clinics as a Kinesiologist. She also spent several years in a community called L’Arche supporting adults with developmental disabilities.
MELISSA COUBROUGH, HONOURS B.A., M.A., B.H.SC., R.M.
Melissa graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery from McMaster University in 2012. Prior to entering Midwifery, Melissa attended the University of Guelph, earning a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science, majoring in Molecular Biology and Genetics. During her midwifery training, Melissa trained in Hamilton, Woodstock and the Niagara region.
“I love Midwifery because it inspires and empowers women to be active participants throughout their pregnancy, labour and postpartum. It is such an honour and privilege to be involved in each client’s journey to motherhood.”
From a young age, I understood the importance of communication and support between women. My mother owned a hair salon in our basement outside of London and thus, I spent my formative years being passed from lap to lap of the neighbourhood women. As I continued my education, I studied development psychology at Huron University at Western University. Following my undergraduate degree, I spent a year working as a therapist for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders within the families’ own homes. This incredible opportunity helped me build upon my love of supporting each unique family to make informed decisions.
Knowing I was on the right path, but not quite there yet, I continued to pursue my love of learning and teaching by completing a Masters degree in Lifespan Developmental Psychology; my focus was on infant development and emotional attachment, at Brock University. I completed my Midwifery degree at McMaster University and spent my final year of placement here at Womancare Midwives. Following graduation, I took a position with Stratford Midwives and continued to build my experience. It is with great pleasure that I have now returned to my hometown of London with my partner and set down roots here at Womancare Midwives. I look forward to the privilege of meeting you and supporting you and your family through such an important time in your lives.
My journey into midwifery began following the birth of my son. I had a beautiful birth at the hospital with an obstetrician, and my son was born screaming. Although everything went well, I felt like there was something missing. I did not feel like I was a part of the decision-making process, I did not feel informed, and I felt that my care providers did not trust the birth process as normal and natural, but instead one that needed to be managed medically. With a previous degree in Biology, I was still unsure what I wanted to do as a career, and had heard about midwifery through casual conversation. Learning about the principles of midwifery care, I knew I wanted a midwife for my next children, and I also began to contemplate midwifery as a career.
Midwifery encompasses many of the things I feel passionate about including but not limited to; a holistic approach to childbirth, the empowerment of women through childbirth, and trust through meaningful clinician/client relationships. I decided to follow my dreams, was accepted into the Midwifery Education program at McMaster University, and the rest is history. My goal is to support women on this beautiful adventure, letting them take the wheel as I sit in the passenger seat helping to navigate the way.
In my spare time, I enjoy the rewarding yet hectic life of a mom, Pinterest crafting, and staying active through swimming and cycling. I am extremely excited to embark on this incredible journey with you.
CARLY GRIFFITH, B.H.SC., R.M.
Carly came upon midwifery at a young age and it has been her career path ever since. Ingrained with the strong principles of feminism and holistic health care from her family, midwifery seemed the perfect choice.
After a year of studying Humanities at McMaster University, with a focus on women’s issues and languages, she began the midwifery program at McMaster. Throughout the program, Carly spent her clinical placements in urban and suburban communities throughout South-Western Ontario.
“There is nothing more gratifying to me than seeing a woman discover her strength after a birth, and every birth teaches me something new and amazing. I feel so lucky to work in this field.”
KATIE POUNTNEY, HONOURS B.H.SC., R.M
Katie is a graduate of the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University. Prior to midwifery, Katie was born and raised in London. She also earned a Bachelor of Health Sciences with a Specialization in Rehabilitation Science from Western University. During this time, she grew to believe in a wholistic approach to health care; where individuals are active participants at the centre of their own care. This belief, coupled with her interest in women’s health is what led her to midwifery.
Katie has previously trained with the midwives at Thames Valley Midwives in London, and completed other placements in London, Hamilton, Barrie and Kitchener. She is thrilled to be back home and working with the families and team at Womancare Midwives.
During her spare time, Katie enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, board games, and playing with her parrot Jake and dog Charlie.
JACQUELINE FERREIRA, B.H.SC., R.M.
Having always felt a great interest in and passion for the world of pregnancy, birth and newborns, Jacqueline’s journey to midwifery began when she first beheld the word midwife as a young girl.
Prior to the Midwifery Education Program, Jacqueline graduated from the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocacy program from George Brown College. This program has a large focus on women’s issues, as well as child and youth development. During that time, she completed a placement with and was employed by Jessies Center, which provides a variety of services for pregnant and parenting teenagers in Toronto.
Originally born and raised in North York, Jacqueline completed her midwifery training with the North York midwifery practice, and also completed placements in Markham/Stouffville, Scarborough, and York regions. She is so excited to be a part of the London community working with new and blossoming families, and approaching care in a woman-centred way!
Sydney grew up in Toronto where she had her first experience with midwifery care when she saw her sister born at home in 1996. She completed a degree in psychology and biology from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she was also a presenter at the Diversity and Equity Office. During her time there she developed a passion for community building, health care and in particular women’s health care.
Sydney’s time in the midwifery program brought her to Cambridge, Haliburton and Guelph. She completed her midwifery program at Ryerson University and is thrilled to be part of the team at Womancare Midwives. Sydney is a board game enthusiast who enjoys doing yoga, baking and playing with her three-legged cat.
ERIKA MAASKANT, B.H.SC., RM
Erika is a graduate of the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University, and is thrilled to be a part of Womancare Midwives to work with families in the London area. Before attending midwifery school, Erika studied Anthropology and African Studies at the University of Toronto where she had the opportunity to learn about gendered, economic, and cultural dimensions of healthcare provision. She became passionate about midwifery through supporting her family and friends in their birth process, and has since completed midwifery placements in Waterloo and Toronto, as well as gaining experience with a Lactation consultant in the Toronto area. She looks forward to supporting clients in their journey through pregnancy, birth and the postpartum.