Our Midwives

 

Mehran Bordbar
Having a midwife grandmother, Mehran developed a passion in her early childhood years for becoming a midwife, and she loved it right from the start and knew that she would always be in thi field. Midwifery was always her passion. The miracle of new life has never ceased to amaze her and she feels incredibly privileged to be part of this very special time.

Mehran graduated from Isfahan University in Iran, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in midwifery science. Soon after becoming a midwife she practiced as a midwife for 10 years both in hospital and in the community and gained wonderful experience in assisting mothers with the safe deliveries of their babies. She immigrated to Canada in 2002 and completed the International Midwifery Program at Ryerson University. She has been practicing as a registered midwife in Ontario since 2004. With over 20 years of experience, Mehran has attended over 1500 deliveries.

Mehran prides herself in providing quality; evidence based midwifery care and enjoys empowering women with current information so that they can make decisions that are best for themselves and their families.

Mehran practices within the standards, guidelines and risk screening protocols of the College of Midwives of Ontario. She maintains current neonatal resuscitation certification and CPR certification and keeps up to date by attending conferences, workshops, continuing education and peer reviews. Like many Ontario midwives, Mehran also enjoys teaching midwifery students and is active as a preceptor to midwives.


Kristen Campbell
I have always been fascinated by the process of pregnancy and birth. I began my career working in cancer research but I always knew that I would end up caring for others in some capacity. I decided to follow my heart and become a midwife after the birth of my children. I love that midwifery allows me to provide safe, evidence based care to budding families, while supporting choice promoting positive experiences of pregnancy and birth. I have two daughters that fuel me with the richness of laughter and love everyday. We enjoy exploring the hidden gems of the city of Toronto whenever possible. I graduated with honors from the Midwifery program at Ryerson and have been very lucky to be working with the incredible families at The Midwives Clinic ever since.

I practice within the standards, guidelines and risk-screening protocols of the College of Midwives of Ontario. I maintain current neonatal resuscitation, CPR, and Emergency Skills certification and regularly attend continuing education workshops, hospital rounds, and peer review.


Stella Capisciolto
I was born and raised here in Toronto. I have always had an interest in women’s issues which lead me to my first degree at York University where I focused on women in Canadian politics. It was there that I learned about midwifery. The passion for midwifery had been lit within me and soon I began to put my efforts into learning not just about midwifery but into how to become a midwife.

I graduated from the Midwifery Education Programme at Ryerson University in April 2009 and began practicing here at The Midwives Clinic shortly after.

I have two beautiful young daughters who keep me very happy and very busy! The miracle of pregnancy and childbirth never cease to amaze me. I am honoured to able to assist clients and their families in this very special time.

I practice within the standards, guidelines and risk screening protocols of the College of Midwives of Ontario. I maintain current neonatal resuscitation certification and CPR certification and keep up to date by attending conferences, workshops, hospital rounds, continuing education and peer review.


Sarah Davies
I am the mother of two wonderful boys and have lived in Toronto since my first was born in 2002. Before becoming a parent, I studied Psychology at McGill university, worked in crisis support with survivors of recent and past sexual violence and, while living in British Columbia, I worked as a counsellor and family mediator for young people engaged in risky behaviours. Before entering Midwifery Education Program (MEP), I worked for a Toronto agency that provides supportive housing to a wide range of people at risk for homelessness. These experiences showed me the strength that lies within each one of us during even the most challenging life situations and the great value that comes from healthy supportive relationships during these times.

It was the high quality, client-centred, well informed and confidence building care that I received from my own midwives that inspired me to become a midwife; to be with clients and their families during one of life’s most challenging, joyful and potentially transformational times. I graduated with honours from Ryerson University MEP in 2013. I am always awed by the strength and wisdom of women and it is an honour to integrate my own passion for women’s health, wellness and autonomy into the personal care of each client who shares the experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenting with me.


Vanessa Dixon
I was born at home in to the hands of a midwife here in Toronto and have known since childhood that I wanted to be one myself. Before attending midwifery school my adventures included teaching yoga, earning a master’s degree in global public health, collaborating on community based HIV prevention projects, working on reproductive health research of all kinds, and giving birth to my daughter at home in 2009.

In the spring of 2015 I graduated with honours from the Ryerson Midwifery Education Program. Throughout my training I had the privilege of working with clients and families from many diverse backgrounds and communities and came to love midwifery for its blend of personal relationships, science and social justice.

It is an honour to support the clients of The Midwifery Clinic of East York-Don Mills as they grow their families. When not catching babies I can be found growing, cooking and eating food, riding my bike or spending time with my daughter.

I practice within the standards and guidelines of the College of Midwives of Ontario. I maintain current neonatal resuscitation, CPR, and Emergency Skills certification and regularly attend continuing education workshops, hospital rounds, and peer review.


Jennifer Gardiner
I grew up in a small town outside of London, Ontario. I first became interested in midwifery when I attended the birth of my niece many years ago. At the time I was studying human biology and psychology at the University of Toronto, and was very interested in working in the health care field. Midwifery seemed the obvious direction to take with its focus on client-centered care and informed choice.

I completed my Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto and shortly after was accepted into the Midwifery Education Programme at Ryerson University. I graduated in April and became a practicing midwife in August of 2006. I live in the city with my partner, 14 year old daughter, and 9 year old son.

I practice within the standards, guidelines and risk-screening protocols of the College of Midwives of Ontario. I maintain current neonatal resuscitation, CPR, and Emergency Skills certification and regularly attend continuing education workshops, hospital rounds, and peer reviews.


Tracy Gerster
After earning a Bachelor of Arts (in Sociology) from the University of Western Ontario in 1991, I began working towards a Bachelor of Social Work from York University. In one of the social work placements, I acted as an advocate and doula for drug-addicted clients through the childbirth, postpartum and early parenthood period. That’s when I developed an interest in midwifery.

In 1995, I received my Bachelor of Social Work degree. That same year, I delivered my fourth daughter, at home, under the care of midwives. In 1996, I entered the Midwifery Education Programme, and I earned a Bachelor of Health Sciences (in Midwifery) from Ryerson Polytechnic University in 2001. I have been a midwife in Toronto ever since.


Nabal Kanaan
My name is Nabal Kanaan. I was born and raised in Toronto. I was first introduced to midwifery through a former student of the Ryerson Midwifery Education Programme.

Before this, I had only read about midwives in books, so with this introduction to the profession, my interest and passion for it only grew. I previously obtained a Bachelors of Science in Nursing at Ryerson University. With this degree I was able to work in community health nursing, community outreach for the Thorncliffe and Flemingdon park area and working for Saint Elizabeth Healthcare doing a variety of clinical work with diverse populations throughout the GTA.

I began my midwifery training in 2011 when I was accepted into the Ryerson Midwifery Post-Baccalaureate Education Programme. I have now graduated with honours and am happy to work as a midwife in the East York-Don Mills area again.

I practice within the standards, guidelines and risk-screening protocols of the College of Midwives of Ontario. I maintain current neonatal resuscitation, CPR and emergency skills certifications. I also regularly attend continuing education workshops. Hospital rounds and peer reviews.


Sarah Leslie
I attended my first home birth at the age of seven – when my younger sister was born. I remember that the room was very warm, the doctor sat in a rocking chair in the corner watching the midwife do her work, and there was a lot of joy once she came screaming into the world. At ten years of age, with my sister on my lap, we witnessed the quick home birth of our little brother. Later, as I grew into my teenage years I was invited to help out at family home births while my mother attended as the midwife. I learned from these births that women are strong and that I could personally make a difference in people’s experiences.

With my solid history of natural birth behind me I went off to York University to study Women Studies. After I graduate I wanted to apply my strong commitment to women with a profession where I could make a difference in our society. The logical answer for me was to become a midwife! I graduated from Ryerson University in April 2003, with honours, as my family looked on with pride. My partner and I live in Cabbagetown and have two daughters and a son.

I am currently a registered midwife with the College of Midwives of Ontario and follow their standards and guidelines. I maintain a current certificate in neonatal resuscitation, CPR and emergency skills. In addition, I keep my skills and information current by attending conferences and workshops.


Melinda Levy
I love being a midwife because I am continually inspired by the emotional and physical experience of birth. I am honoured to be working in a profession where I can assist clients and their families through this life-changing transition.

I received a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Biology and Psychology from Trent University in 1999. My longstanding interest in women’s health issues led me to volunteer at a women’s natural healthcare clinic in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala. It was there that I had the pleasure of working with local midwives and attended my first home birth.

I returned to Toronto eager to be more involved in birth work. After training as a doula, I worked as a labour support volunteer at Jessie’s Centre for Teenagers before applying to the Midwifery Education Program.

I graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University with honours in April 2007. I benefited from the diversity of my midwifery education, including an elective placement with the doctors at the Baffin Regional Hospital in Iqualuit, Nunavut.

Today, I practice within the standards, guidelines and risk-screening protocols of the College of Midwives of Ontario. I maintain current neonatal resuscitation, CPR, and Emergency Skills certification and regularly attend continuing education workshops, peer reviews and hospital rounds.

Some of my other interests include: yoga, dance and knitting. I also enjoy camping and have been known to laugh myself silly on a few occasions.

I have lived in the east end of Toronto for more than thirty years. I currently live in East York with my partner and our 2 amazing kids, both of whom were born at home into the loving hands of midwives. I look forward to working with you and I am excited to be part of your birth story. 


Christie Lockhart
I was born in British Columbia, however I have spent most of my life here in the East End of Toronto. I first became interested in midwifery after witnessing the birth of my youngest brother at home. Since then I have developed a passion for birth and client-centred health care. Prior to studying Midwifery I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph. I graduated from the Midwifery Education Programme at McMaster University in April 2007, and began practicing here at The Midwives Clinic in August 2007.

I practice within the standards, guidelines and risk screening protocols of the College of Midwives of Ontario. I maintain current neonatal resuscitation certification and CPR certification and keep up to date by attending conferences, workshops, hospital rounds, continuing education and peer review. I enjoy teaching midwifery students and mentoring new midwives. I am a clinical preceptor and Adjunct Professor in the Midwifery Education Programme at Ryerson University and am currently serving on the Program Advisory Council for the Midwifery Education Programme at Ryerson. I hold staff privileges at Michael Garron Hospital where I am the Chief of the Department of Midwifery. I very much enjoy the balance of administrative leadership with clinical practice.

I live in Toronto with my partner and our 3 children. When not catching babies or attending early morning meetings at the hospital, I love skiing, camping and spending time with my family and friends. I absolutely love being a midwife and feel privileged to do this work. I look forward to meeting you and being involved in your care.


Katie O’Brien
I grew up in Toronto, and first left the city to attend the University of Guelph in 2005 where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. I have always been very interested in women’s rights, and I returned to Toronto in 2009 to study women’s counselling and advocacy. During a student practicum at a women’s shelter, I was asked by a client to attend her labour and birth. I was deeply moved by her mental and physical strength; the following year, I began my training in the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University. I graduated with honours in the spring of 2016. I feel privileged to work in a field that inspires me everyday.

Thank you in advance for allowing me to follow you on your journey through pregnancy and early parenting. I look forward to meeting you!

I practice within the standards, guidelines, and risk-screening protocols of the College of Midwives of Ontario. I maintain current neonatal resuscitation, CPR, and Emergency Skills certification and regularly attend continuing education workshops, hospital rounds, and peer review.


Simone Rosenberg
I was caught by midwives here in Toronto, so I suppose I was introduced to midwifery as early as one can be. When I was 19 I attended the home birth of my brother and that was when I knew I wanted to be a midwife.

I hold a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery from Ryerson University. I had many amazing educational opportunities including training with midwives and doctors in the Northwest Territories. I spent my final year of school at The Midwives’ Clinic East York-Don Mills being guided and inspired by our fabulous midwives and I never left!

Before attending midwifery school I volunteered as a doula to uninsured people in Toronto, Halifax and New Orleans. I also graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NSCAD in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Though I have rambled far and wide, I am very happy to live and practice in the east end of Toronto, where my family is from. My grandmother delivered her first baby at Michael Garron Hospital which gives me an added thrill every time I attend a birth there.

I practice within the standards, guidelines and risk-screening protocols of the College of Midwives of Ontario. I maintain current neonatal resuscitation, CPR, and Emergency Skills certification and regularly attend continuing education workshops, hospital rounds, and peer review. I have recently been elected to the Association of Ontario Midwives Board of Directors.


Kirsten Taylor

I grew up in rural Nova Scotia and have lived across Ontario for the last 5 years. I became interested in midwifery while in a development course during my first degree, a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience from Dalhousie University. This sparked my ever-evolving passion for feminism, reproductive rights, and birth. After earning my degree, I headed directly into the Midwifery Education Programme at McMaster University. I had the opportunity to spend an elective placement with midwives in The Netherlands where I was humbled by the power of midwifery globally. In 2016 I graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery after spending my final year working with the amazing midwives at The Midwives’ Clinic of East York-Don Mills. I am extremely grateful to part of such a wonderful team.

When I’m not ‘midwifing’ I enjoy dancing, writing poetry, theatre, running, and cooking. I have been dancing for over 16 years, and in 2012 founded a dance/art collective with a close friend and collaborator in Nova Scotia. Being a dance artist has helped me connect deeply with the human body, and I bring that knowledge back with me in to the world of birth.

I practice within the standards, guidelines and risk screening protocols of the College of Midwives of Ontario. I maintain current neonatal resuscitation certification and CPR certification and keep up to date with current research and practice by attending conferences, workshops, hospital rounds, continuing education and peer review. I feel extremely grateful for the open hearts of every family in midwifery care, and am forever thankful for those who have invited me to be a part of their pregnancy and birth stories.


Esther Willms
My name is Esther Willms and I am one of the founding midwives of The Midwives’ Clinic of East York-Don Mills. I graduated from the Midwifery Education program at McMaster University in 1999 and it has been my pleasure to work as a midwife in Toronto since then. I have also had the opportunity to work for three months in Northern Quebec with Inuit midwives and to teach emergency skills to rural midwives in Tanzania.

Before becoming a midwife, I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a B.Sc. in Health Studies. I worked in Community development in Toronto and Somalia, and then as lactation consultant at Women’s College Hospital. I have two children, one born in a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya and one born at home with midwives in Toronto.

I practice within the standards, guidelines and risk-screening protocols of the College of Midwives of Ontario. I maintain current neonatal resuscitation, CPR, and Emergency Skills instructor and regularly attend continuing education workshops, hospital rounds, and peer reviews.


Sarilyn Zimmerman
Thank you for considering me as part of your care. I have been inspired by the strength and love of the families I have worked with over these past 30 years. I look forward to helping and supporting you and your family to make personal choices so that you birth feeling confident, respected and safe.

My training to become a midwife has been broad from apprenticing in Toronto in the late 70’s, studying midwifery at Maternidad La Luz in El Paso Texas in the early 90’s and then being in the first graduating class of the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University. I have been a full time midwife since 1996 and have attended birthing women in hospital, home, The Toronto Birth Centre and at the birth centre, Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha at Six Nations of the Grand River.

I have worked on promoting women’s health throughout my life time and have over the past three decades focused on supporting natural birth, birth choices and the expansion of midwifery in Ontario and internationally. I have been involved in the Canadian Association of Midwives global projects working with midwives from Tanzania and currently working with the South Sudanese midwives.

Since 1993, I have worked to ensure midwives are skilled and ready for emergencies by being involved in the development and design of the Association of Ontario Midwives’ Emergency Skills Program. I have the pleasure of teaching future midwives at the Midwifery Education programme at Ryerson University and with our own practice as a clinical preceptor.

John and I have three amazing children, Kaili, Zack and Karina. Their births were a turning point for me and confirmed my heartfelt decision to become a midwife. I remain committed and dedicated to pregnant clients and their families during this joyous and profound journey from pregnancy to labour to the first breath of their newborn.


Christine Allen – on leave
My mother always spoke of her births with a sparkle of joy in her eyes; so ever since I was small I have believed in the power of pregnancy and birth. I didn’t decide to be a midwife until I had finished my degree in Women’s Studies and International Development at the University of Guelph and realized that the model of midwifery care was so aligned with virtues I hold dear. The model of midwifery care supports and empowers our clients as the experts of their own experience. I began my midwifery training in 1995 when I started attending births as a doula for marginalized and isolated clients. I was accepted into the Midwifery Education Program in 1998 and graduated with an Honours BHSc in 2003. I have been practicing full time ever since, except for the times I was home with my boys, Evan born in 2004, and Finn born in 2008, both with the support of midwives.

I have a special interest in inner city health and the powerful effects of poverty, racism and access to health care for new Canadians. I volunteer at the Toronto Birth Centre, both as a Board Member and a member of the Midwives’ Council. I have privileges at Michael Garron Hospital where I enjoy good relationships with the Maternal Newborn/ Family Birthing Centre team. I am an adjunct professor at Ryerson University — I enjoy teaching and mentoring new midwives. I practice within the standards, guidelines and risk-screening protocols of the College of Midwives of Ontario. I maintain current neonatal resuscitation, CPR, and Emergency Skills certification and regularly attend continuing education workshops, hospital rounds, and peer review. I am proud to be a midwife at The Midwives Clinic of East York Don Mills – we serve an amazing and diverse community.


Deborah Bonser – on leave
  I was born and raised in Toronto. My mother adored babies, and my father was a fire chief who was on call 24/7, both of which are requirements for being a midwife. I did not, however, find my passion for midwifery until I gave birth to my own children.

In 1977, I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Toronto. For the next 20 years, I worked in community development in Canada, Southern Africa and the Caribbean. Working in community development gave me the pleasure of seeing people empowered to make decisions which could change their lives. With the births of my two children, Max and Eve, I became interested in how clients could have more control over one of life’s most important events. To me, midwifery is a way to give choices and resources to our clients during pregnancy, birth and parenting.

After deciding to become a midwife, I enrolled at Ryerson where I received a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree in Midwifery in 1999. I worked in an established practice group for three years. In 2002 I became one of the founding partners of the Midwives’ Clinic of East York-Don Mills. I served for 9 years as the Head of the Division of Midwifery at Michael Garron Hospital, and for 4 years on the Health Professions Advisory Committee of the TCLHIN. I love working with midwifery students as a clinical preceptor, and I also have a strong interest in working with midwives internationally to strengthen our profession.

I feel privileged every day that I work with clients and their families through pregnancy and birth.