Layla Ahmed: I have dreamed about becoming a midwife since the age of 12 when my youngest brother was born. I graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor in Health Sciences specializing in Midwifery in 2010. 

I worked in London, ON for 4 years and then followed my partner to Edmonton, AB where I have been working as a midwife since 2016. It is an honour and privilege to witness the journey to parenthood and birth. I am passionate about providing informed choice and advocating for my clients.

I have a special interest in infant development, feeding and respectful parenting. At home I am the parent to 3 adventurous children. I am a lover of horseback riding, CrossFit and whole nourishing foods.

Heather King: I began my journey to midwifery while I was completing a degree in pharmacology at the University of Alberta. During this degree two things happened; I was developing a growing interest in Women’s Studies, and I was introduced to midwifery by my sister who was planning a home birth with her third baby.

I have had a strange fascination and interest in pregnancy and childbirth since I was very little, watching labour and delivery television shows and writing stories about people having babies as a young kid. Once I learned about the profession of midwifery I had a clear direction for how to direct my interest in pregnancy and childbirth and my desire to incorporate feminism and help empower women into a career path.

I spent the remainder of my degree turning most papers or research projects into something about pregnancy (ask me about cell signaling during parturition- just kidding, please don’t, haha) and applied to midwifery once I had graduated.

In 2014 I completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery at McMaster University and was so fortunate to be able to return to Edmonton and work with those same midwives I had met through my sister at Beginnings Midwifery care, where I have worked since graduating.

I am a strong believer that each pregnant person is the best decision maker for themselves and my practice is deeply rooted in informed choice and evidence-based care.

I am thrilled to be a part of Alberta’s first midwifery cooperative!

Sarah Rodger: My journey to midwifery was not a straight line, I truly had no idea what a midwife was before I needed one myself. Before midwifery was ever introduced to me I wanted to work with community development, and I graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary. Life marched on, and while living in Kelowna, BC, I began my first pregnancy. My family doctor, my naturopath, and my chiropractor all pointed me to the community midwives, and so I landed with a group of wonderful midwives. I fell madly in love with the midwifery model of care. I loved being able to ask all kinds of questions and explore my options in a setting that felt comfortable, like friends having tea and chatting. It was the birth of my second child however, that really got me motivated. Moving to Calgary and to a new midwife I found strength in knowledge and in informed choice. Nothing could excite me more than the strength I experienced with the birth of my second child through an entirely un-disturbed and peaceful birth. I was hooked. Encouraged by my midwife and partner, I became a doula and applied for midwifery school. Fast forward a bunch of years, a bunch of tears, two more babies (yes, I have four), stacks of midwifery textbooks and sleepless nights, I eventually graduated from Mount Royal University and became a Registered Midwife.

Today my family and I call Edmonton our home, and my partner, four kids, and two dogs love the ravine, the food, and the community we are growing. I am a fiend for coffee, for crafting, and my most recent family addition, my Boler. I love watching families growing and playing a role in the life altering process of birth. I am a huge supporter of baby wearing, feel free to ask if you have questions, little ones are meant to snuggle. I am incredibly grateful to have a part in your maternity care and look forward to getting to know you.

Marita Obst: I grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, in a family that was deeply involved in social justice issues, supporting human rights and sexual health education. I had always been fascinated with pregnancy and birth and knew that I wanted to engage in a career that would allow me to support people’s agency, bodily autonomy and reproductive rights from a feminist perspective. That passion was embodied in midwifery, even before I had the words or understanding to fully conceptualize what a midwife was.

I initially began my first degree in Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto, eight years ago, before being called into midwifery and being accepted to study at Mount Royal University. Throughout my time at Mount Royal, I enhanced my midwifery education through attending lactation seminars, participating in LGBTQ health forums and volunteering on a sexual abuse support line. I have been privileged to attend birthing families in Alberta as well as the Northwest Territories. 

My approach to midwifery is based in a foundation of communication and consent. Pregnancy and birth are intimate events that hold the potential for powerful personal growth, that often require vulnerability. I strongly believe that this is best accomplished when space is held for families to decide what is best for them and their children. Each time that I am privileged to witness a family grow, I am humbled by their strength and perseverance.

I love swimming, pottery, reading fiction/poetry, musicals, and drinking delicious coffee. In my off-call time I can be found enjoying those hobbies with my partner and our bulldog Sammy.

I am incredibly excited to be a part of your pregnancy, birth and parenting story at the Edmonton Midwifery Cooperative, and am so looking forward to meeting you!

Teilya Kiely: I have been a registered  midwife since 2012, and have worked at Midwifery Care Partners, Beginnings Midwifery Care and now, the Edmonton Midwifery Cooperative.

I feel strongly that it is an honour to be an ally in your healthcare. I strive to ensure people are educated and knowledgeable about their health and healthcare. I have a strong belief that birth is natural and normal and want to help you succeed with your birthing goals while helping you become a new family in all the many ways that entails.

Because pregnancy is a whole body experience, I will work hard to provide alternative measures and medicines to complement more common allopathic treatments. I will use nutritional supplementation, dietary recommendations, homeopathy, acupressure, aromatherapy, body positioning and exercises to help you. I will often refer to chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopathic doctors, massage therapists, physiotherapists, general practitioners, doctors, and obstetricians.

Previous to becoming a midwife, I worked as a mother to 2 children (I still do that, but now they are teens), as a doula since 2005, as a phlebotomist doing home collections for dynalife and as a fitness instructor, server, and plant lady a lifetime ago.

Christi Gruchy: Hi! I am Christi Gruchy and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am incredibly privileged and grateful for the opportunity to serve midwifery clients and their families in Edmonton.

Prior to pursuing midwifery, I worked at a busy rural medical clinic & pharmacy in La Ronge, Saskatchewan for close to a decade.  My experience working in a remote healthcare setting, along with my own birth experiences, ignited a passion for person-centred care and advocating for the needs of birthing people and their families in the North. After completing my degree at McMaster University, I am excited and humbled to be returning West to pursue this passion as a registered midwife.

My midwifery training was born out of a desire to increase access to choice in reproductive healthcare with a strong emphasis on supporting client autonomy, continuity of care, and the empowerment of families through education. My goal is to provide care that is not only evidence-based, but also deeply rooted in respect for traditional knowledge and the life experiences and values of birthing people and their families. I believe that respectful allyship in pregnancy, birth and postpartum care plays a significant role in building empowered, healthy families and communities and I am committed to fostering relationships that promote partnership, communication, and compassion.

Outside of midwifery, I enjoy playing catch or going for bike rides with my family, reading, thrifting, expressing myself creatively through food, music or art, and exploring the great outdoors (especially camping).

Rae Veillard:I was born and raised in the Northwest Territories, and have now spent many years living in various parts of Alberta. It was through my undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Alberta that I became drawn to alternative healthcare and gender studies. I distinctly recall sitting in an Anthropology class and learning of midwifery as a career choice. I experienced a genuine “Aha!” moment and knew that my future would involve midwifery.

Since that moment, I have completed two degrees, pursued travelling endeavours, and had the privilege of working with many families as they have welcomed new life and all of the changes that come with it.

I consider pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum periods to be some of the most intimate, raw, and foundational experiences that we are offered. Through the principles of evidence-based care and informed decision making, I hope to support families through this transition in a positive and empowering way. 

I believe in the individuality of every family, and truly appreciate the opportunity to work within the spectrum of diversity to provide you with your own unique experience.  I look so forward to working alongside you in your parenting journey.  

Deanna Kumpf: My name is Deanna and my pronouns are she/her. I am an Indigenous midwife – I’m Métis through my dad’s family line rooted in northern Alberta and the former St Paul de Métis community, and I am member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. Other important pieces of my identity I honor are that I am a queer woman, happily married to my supportive spouse, a dog-mom, and Auntie to many.

The art and science of midwifery has called to me since the moment I arrived earth-side, born in my parents’ home into the hands of midwives. I love the midwifery model of care and I approach birth from a perspective that supports physiology, respect, education, and self-sovereignty. I have always had an interest in community-building and I found my way to midwifery as a way to ensure inclusive and intersectional approaches to reproductive health continue for 2SLGBTQ+ parents. As well, I am always learning and supporting traditional and post-colonial Indigenous birthing and parenting practices. I strive to bring kindness, sharing, honesty and laughter into my work as a midwife.

I completed my Bachelor of Midwifery Degree through Mount Royal University in Calgary, and complemented my clinical education with mentorship, ceremony, and circles with Indigenous Aunties, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers through kihew awasis wakamik.

I love to have fun and weave my time between clinic and births with joyful movement, good company, live music, storytelling, and walking our favorite river valley trails with my sweet dog, Apollo Creed.

Louise Helder: My fascination with pregnancy and birth began early in life when I rode my bike to the local library and took out every book on the subject of childbearing so that I could educate my mother on how to have a healthy pregnancy. My life changed at the age of 17, as I navigated my own pregnancy and birth experience. As I was laying in a labouring tub at the Red Deer Regional Hospital, I learned that the nurse who was caring for me that day was also a midwife in the community. The years that followed brought a variety of birth and life experiences, as I explored and eventually committed to the pursuit of midwifery. It is because of the profoundly life-altering care I received at 17 years old that I am now a Registered Midwife.

I obtained my degree in the Bachelor of Midwifery program through Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. Throughout my education, I remained intent on learning how to best support the needs of individuals of low socioeconomic status, with a focus on adolescent pregnancy. I believe that pregnancy and birth experiences are the richest when they occur in the context of warm, safe, and respectful relationships and I strive to support the choices and autonomy of pregnant people while working to enhance agency and an understanding of informed decision making.

My family and I have recently relocated to Edmonton from Red Deer, Alberta and I’m deeply humbled and grateful to be working alongside the folks at The Edmonton Midwifery Cooperative. I deeply value relationships and eagerly look forward to meeting you!

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, obsessively knitting, wandering along the river, and tending to my mediocre garden.