Marita Obst (she/her): 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!

Rae Veillard (she/her): 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 (she/her): 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 (she/her): 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.

Elliott Bartel (they/them): Hello! My name is Elliott and my pronouns are they/them. I first learned about midwifery through a friend I met at a quilting retreat – after hearing some of the details I remember thinking: “Wow! What a tough job, I don’t think I could ever do that!” and yet, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Two years later I was starting the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery at McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario. Since graduating I have gained extensive experience in both hospital and home births and I have witnessed first hand the power of the human body to carry and bring new life into this world!

As a proud LGBTQ+ midwife, I am committed to providing excellent care to all families. I am passionate about making sure that every individual is seen, heard, and supported throughout  their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journey. I believe that everyone deserves access to compassionate, evidence-based care, regardless of their status, sexual orientation or gender identity. When you work with me, you can trust that I will hold space for your unique needs and experiences, and help you feel empowered every step of the way.

During my free time, I enjoy exploring different local walking trails and parks in search of wildflowers and spiders! I have a strong passion and affinity for spiders (strange, I know!) and love cataloguing and collecting photos of the ones I find. During the winter months, I enjoy crocheting, sketching, and experimenting with various other art forms. I live at home with my partner, our two cats and MANY house plants.

Alyssa Wiens (she/her): My journey to midwifery has been a long, winding road, with each stop lending itself perfectly towards this beautiful (almost) destination. I started my career as a primary care paramedic in 2006, working for both the city of Edmonton and then Calgary. Around 2010, I spent time in Turkey where I accidentally discovered a love for photography. This discovery led to the transition of careers in 2014 from paramedicine to full-time family, newborn and wedding photography. After doing about 200 newborn photo sessions and hearing so many birth stories, it became clear to me that there was a stark difference in (positive) birth satisfaction and outcomes when pregnant people received care from a midwife. My own births were highly medicalized and entirely impersonal, and I realized that, though I can’t change my own birth stories, by providing midwifery care I could change the stories of other pregnant people for the better. As a Métis woman, I long to change the narrative around birth for Indigenous people of Treaty 6 and am passionately committed to fighting racism in the health care system. I truly believe that better births make lives better, and that this is especially for the equity deserving in our city and our province.

Sophie McAlpine (she/her): I am delighted to be joining the Edmonton Midwifery Cooperative in summer 2024. I was drawn to midwifery because of its unique ability to weave together intellectual, physical, and emotional work within a model of care that centers the client. I completed a BHSc in Midwifery from McMaster University and am thrilled to return to my home province to practice.

Like many others, my path to midwifery was not straightforward. I initially completed a BSc from the University of British Columbia, and later pursued a rewarding career in outdoor education. While at first glance these professions don’t seem connected, it was through my work outdoors that I learned how a well-facilitated experience can reveal the depth of our strength, and in doing so, shape the way we see ourselves and the world around us. I believe each journey to parenthood can do the same. I am passionate about evidence-informed practice and lifelong learning.

In my spare time you can find me trying a new recipe or board game, thrifting, cross country skiing, and backpacking. I look forward to working with you and your growing family!

Sarah Rodger (she/her): Hi, my name is Sarah and I use she/her pronouns. I am mixed settler and Métis and a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA). I’m a mum to four kids, three of which were born out of hospital. 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. Through my experience with midwifery I learned about informed choice, 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. I found strength in knowledge, choice, and respectful care. 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 graduated from Mount Royal University and am now a Registered Midwife.

Today my family and I call amiskwacîwâskahikan (ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ), “beaver hills house,” Edmonton our home as the previous four generations of my Métis family have at one time or another. We love the ravine, the food, and the community we are growing. I am a huge supporter of informed choice, baby wearing, coffee,  and crafts, feel free to ask if you have questions. I am incredibly grateful to have a part in your care and birth, and look forward to getting to know you and your growing family. maarsii 

Teilya Kiely: As of May 2023 Teilya will be working at the Royal Alexandra Hospital as a hospital midwife. 

Layla Ahmed (she/her):  As of April 2024 Layla will be joining the team at the Royal Alexandra Hospital as a hospital midwife. 

Heather King: As of September 2023, Heather King will be on leave.