Meet The Midwives

Guelph Midwives is a collective of like-minded women focused on promoting normal birth and client-centred care throughout pregnancy and into the postpartum. All of our Midwives are registered with the College of Midwives of Ontario and maintain current certifications in CPR, NRP and Emergency skills.


Celeste MacDonald has been a practicing midwife in Ontario for ten years. Prior to joining Guelph Midwives in 2007, Celeste worked in London, Ontario at Womancare Midwives.She trained as a midwife in a very busy birth clinic in El Paso, Texas, where most of her clients were Mexican women choosing to give birth in the United States. Outside of her midwifery duties, Celeste practices the art of mothering daily. She has three teenaged children.


Gabrielle Hammond-Kannegieter graduated from midwifery school in Heerlen, the Netherlands, in 1993. She worked in both solo and group practices, attending both home and hospital births. Gabrielle immigrated to Canada in 1995 and now lives in Elora with her husband, four children and sixteen animals. She became eligible for Ontario registration through the Prior Learning Assessment program of the College of Midwives of Ontario, and was registered in June 1997. She has attended over 1200 births. Gabrielle is one of the founding members and partner with Guelph Midwives and past liaison Midwife at Groves Memorial Community Hospital in Fergus.


Iwona Kempa received her midwifery education in Poland. She graduated from Midwifery College in 1987 and worked in a Level 3 Obstetrical Hospital in Warsaw. During her five years of work in Poland, she conducted over 200 deliveries. In Canada, she successfully completed the Midwifery Prior Learning Assessment in 1998. Iwona joined Guelph Midwives in 2000 and has attended over 1100 births as a primary and secondary midwife. Iwona was Chief of the Department of Midwifery at Guelph General Hospital between 2006-2012. She also held the position as chair of the Obstetrical Quality Care Committee at Guelph General Hospital for 6 years. She is a Partner with Guelph Midwives.


Leslie Howarth graduated from the University of Guelph. She completed a three-year apprenticeship in 1991 and provided primary midwifery care in Ontario and Ohio until legislation in 1994. Leslie successfully completed the Prior Learning Assessment program of the College of Midwives of Ontario and was registered in August 1997. She is one of the founding members and Partner with Guelph Midwives in 1996 and the past Chief of Midwifery at Guelph General Hospital. She is currently a Clinical Practice Auditor for the College of Midwives.


Sarah Cressman has been a midwife with Guelph Midwives since 2012, and is one half of Team C. She began her academic training with a degree in Women’s Studies at the University of Guelph. Sarah then graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery at Laurentian University in 2005. She worked in a busy downtown Toronto midwifery practice for six years before happily returning to Guelph in 2012. In addition to being passionate about midwifery, Sarah also enjoys spending time with her young children and partner.


Shana Blackburn graduated from the Midwifery Education Programme at McMaster University in 2003 and has been practicing with Guelph Midwives since that time. Prior to obtaining her degree in Health Sciences in Midwifery from McMaster, she studied for two years at the University of Guelph majoring in Biology with a focus of electives in Women’s Studies. Shana was drawn to midwifery at a young age after attending several births while still in high school and witnessing midwives at work. After over a decade of practice, Shana remains passionate about her work as a midwife. Shana has volunteered her time on several leadership committees at the Guelph General Hospital (GGH) including the Obstetrical Quality of Care Committee and is currently part of the Process Improvement Program at The Family Birthing Unit at GGH. In her free time, she loves going on canoe trips with her family and playing ultimate frisbee. Shana lives in Guelph with her partner and two young children.


Claire Ramlogan-Salanga was introduced to midwifery after the birth of her twin boys. Her path began when she utilized her Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ryerson University to open a small business teaching childbirth education and Canadian Red Cross courses. That business venture provided Claire with the encouragement to become the midwife she wanted to be. While completing her midwifery degree, Claire and her husband happily added two more baby boys to their family! C lair graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University in 2015 and was the recipient of multiple academic awards. After completing her senior year at Guelph Midwives she was hired as the second member of pod A. She is currently a member of the Emergency Skills working group at the Association of Ontario Midwives. She is looking forward to working with families in the community and advocating for choice.


Leah Barriage graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University in 2017. She had an interest in pregnancy and birth since a young age, and realized she could turn her interest into a career after discovering midwifery. Throughout her midwifery education, Leah completed placements all over Southern Ontario, including working with midwives, nurses, social workers and obstetricians. Following her senior year at Guelph Midwives, Leah was hired as the second half of Pod F. She is excited to continue working in the Guelph area, supporting families as they grow!


Having been drawn to the arts and science of women’s health care from a young age, Elizabeth Cripps studied Nursing at McMaster University with a focus on women’s studies. After transferring into Midwifery in 2009 Elizabeth graduated with honours from the McMaster Midwifery Education Program in 2013 and has been practicing in southern Ontario since that time. Elizabeth is excited to be working in the Guelph community again where she was trained, and to be involved with the promotion of midwifery services as a member of the community Breastfeeding collaborative and Guelph General paediatric department.


Lauren Wattam graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University in 2012. She initially began her career in the durham and northumberland region of Ontario, where she enjoyed working with a variety of clientele in both urban and rural settings. In 2015, Lauren began working with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without borders, she provided Sexual and Reproductive health care over a three year period in Ethiopia, Kenya, Yemen and Sierra Leone. Through this experience, Lauren developed a strong interest in Global Health and continues to be an active part of the Médecins Sans Frontières Association. Upon returning to Canada in the beginning of 2018, she was privileged to begin practicing with Guelph Midwives. Lauren feels that informed choice and non-authoritarian health care practice is essential to quality care in all settings. She looks forward to working with you and your family as you take on this transformative journey.