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.
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.
Gloria Girard I learned so much from my own midwives about choice, and compassionate, empowering care. It was after my own childbearing experiences that I decided to pursue this amazing career of midwifery. I’ve since had the opportunities to work in the GTA, Waterloo & Wellington regions, and with a short spell in Nunavut. In each of these places I have loved welcoming new families into being, in all their diversity. When not working, I try to take full advantage of the surrounding wild places with hiking and foraging plants, or just hunting vintage and catching up on reading.
I look forward to meeting you all and being part of your care!
Leslie Howarth is the proud mother of three children, a Registered Midwife and founding partner of Guelph Midwives. She obtained a BA from the University of Guelph and was Registered as a midwife through the Prior Learning and Assessment Program of the College of Midwives of Ontario (CMO). She is an Adjunct Professor with the College of Family Medicine at McMaster University, a Preceptor in the Ontario Midwifery Education Program and a Peer and Practice Assessment Assessor with the CMO. As a midwife Leslie has had the privilege of attending over 1000 births.
In her off-call time Leslie enjoys gardening, companionship with her horse and family dogs, canoeing and camping, travelling and all of the other fabulous family adventures that make for a good life.
Sarah Cressman (she/her) graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University in 2005. She practiced midwifery in downtown Toronto for 6 years and joined Guelph Midwives in 2012. Sarah seeks to provide compassionate care that is from a trauma-informed and anti-oppressive framework. She has a special interest in perinatal mental health and welcomes working with parents in the LGBTQIA community.
Sarah lives in Guelph with her young children.
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 Guelph General Hospital including the Maternal Newborn Quality Team. In her free time, she loves going on canoe trips with her family and hiking with her dog. Shana lives in Guelph with her partner and two children.
Samantha Landry is a recent graduate of the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University. Prior to her midwifery training she completed a Master of Science degree in Family Relations and Human Development at the University of Guelph where she focused on the psychophysiology of sexual health. This in combination with her midwifery education have allowed her to keep researching the experiences of folks with alternative family structures with pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Sam is particularly passionate about reproductive justice, inclusive practice, and making midwifery more accessible. Originally from small-town New Brunswick, Sam is part of the Midwifery Association of New Brunswick and hopes to one day see midwives practicing in her hometown. In her free time she likes spending time with her family and chosen family, crafting and quilting, and camping.
LAUREN MOLYNEAUX (On Leave)
Lauren Molyneaux graduated from the Midwifery Education Programme at McMaster University in 2016. Prior to working as a Registered Midwife, Lauren obtained her degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2009 and worked as a Registered Nurse in many areas of nursing including home and hospital settings in the Guelph area. It was during this time she went on a mission’s trip to Costa Rica where she started the path of midwifery as she thrived on witnessing and helping guide women through this natural part of life. Since graduating from Midwifery, she has since worked in the Waterloo and Wellington regions. She has and continues to feel privileged to witness a woman’s journey into motherhood as well as welcoming children into families lives. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her partner and son outside exploring on land or on water. When not outside, Lauren enjoys being curled up knitting with a hot tea in hand.
LEAH BARRIAGE (On Leave)
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 thrilled to join the team as a registered midwife. She is excited to continue working in the Guelph area, supporting families as they grow!
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.
Michele Tuck has been practicing midwifery since graduating from the McMaster Education Program in 2018. Prior to completing her midwifery training, she earned an Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Waterloo. Before joining Guelph midwives, Michele served clients in Fergus and further north where she gained valuable experience in home births. Since becoming a midwife Michele has worked at Groves Memorial Community Hospital and is now delighted to be working at Guelph General Hospital as well. Michele has a deep love for community, connection and team building. She also enjoys being active and brings lots of positive energy to her midwifery care. Do not be surprised, if on her off-call time, you see her on a hike with her family in tow (big dog, 2 kids, chickens and her always supportive partner). Michele feels strongly connected with the midwifery profession as she is passionate about empowering individuals to help them maintain their autonomy over their health care, during such a vulnerable yet exciting time in one’s life. Michele is looking forward to meeting you and your growing family.
Natalie (Godwin) Dykstra graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Health Sciences (Midwifery) in 2019. Following her senior year with Pod F working both in Guelph and Fergus locations, she was hired to officially join the team. Spending her childhood overseas she has a respect for diversity and the commonalities humans share. Prior to becoming a midwife, Natalie previously worked as a research scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa studying gut health and probiotic use for babies born via caesarian section. She received her Master’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Ottawa in 2006 working in Crohn’s and Colitis research. She is published and has delivered talks at pediatric conferences in North America discussing the microbiome. Her fascination with human biology and the birth process, combined with a passion for informed choice is what led Natalie to become a midwife. She is honoured to be part of such a supportive team of healthcare providers. When not catching babies, Natalie may be found spending time with her partner and daughters camping with boardgames and a coffee in hand.
176 Wyndham St N
Guelph, ON N1H 8N9
71 James Street
Unit A, 2nd Floor
Elora, ON N0B 1S0