During the birth of my first niece in 2004, I was both grateful for and deeply inspired by the combination of clinical skills and compassion offered by my sister’s midwives. Experiencing midwifery care in this way led me to discover my own commitment to women’s health through providing safe and empowering midwifery care.
I first worked as a birth and postpartum doula before completing midwifery studies at the University of British Columbia in 2011. Working as a doula with a diverse range of people deepened my fascination and respect for pregnancy, birth, and new families. As a midwifery student I mostly trained with BC midwives and doctors in the lower mainland and in Nelson BC. However, I also had the opportunity to do a clinical rotation in Uganda at under-resourced and overcrowded government hospitals. I hope to fit in more international midwifery work and research in the future.
I previously worked as a midwife at South Delta Midwifery in Richmond and Delta, BC while also providing locum midwifery care at the Kitikmeot Region Birth Centre in a remote northern Inuit community in Nunavut. I then decided to come and work closer to home and have been working in Vancouver for over five years.
When I’m not midwifing, I can likely be found gardening, rock climbing, at a Vipassana center, or acroyoga.
— Jasmine, BA, BMW, RM
I grew up in Fernie, BC, a small town in the Canadian Rockies. Since a young age I knew I wanted to be in a helping profession. In my teens I was introduced to midwifery and after I completed my first degree at UBC it came back to me as a perfect way to combine my interests in public health and supporting women.
In this profession I have the privilege of caring for pregnant people and sweet little babies. I love midwifery care because I get to know each of you, what is important to you, and how best I can support you to have a healthy pregnancy and transition to becoming a parent or adding to your family.
Before midwifery school I completed a BSc in Sustainable Food Systems, Global Health and Latin American Studies at UBC during which I was fortunate to spend some time living and studying in Chiapas, Mexico where I learned about agriculture, politics, indigenous land use and traditional Mayan midwifery. It was there I became interested in birth care in other cultures. As a midwife I plan to work locally and globally to support safe, respectful and culturally appropriate care.
Outside of midwifery, I spend as much time outdoors as I can with my family and friends. I enjoy cycling, skiing, traveling, cooking, and doing yoga. I completed my final year of midwifery school with the blue team at Westside Midwives and I am thrilled to continue on with them as a Registered Midwife!
— Marella, BSc, RM
I was born and raised in Vancouver, and from a very young age had the privilege of attending births with my mother, a family doctor who backed up local midwives before it was even legislated here in BC. Given my own interest in women’s issues and fascination with childbearing it seemed only natural for me to eventually become a midwife myself, attempting to carry on her incredible dedication to the health of women and their families.
In the intervening years between completing high school and studying midwifery, I indulged a concurrent fascination with world culture and adventure. I completed a Bachelor of Arts in African Studies, as well as travelled, worked, and studied in a number of places across the globe. I also developed a strong passion for mountain and wilderness pursuits in the local BC mountains, which is still where I can most often be found if not at the clinic or attending births.
I began my formal midwifery training at a birth center in Texas supporting Mexican families through the childbearing process. Later I moved to Ontario and completed a program at Ryerson University in 2007. After a brief work experience in Ethiopia, I completed my first year of practicie in Kingston, Ontario, before returning to work at home in Vancouver. After a number of good but busy years working at the South Community Birth Program, I enjoyed the switch to a quieter practice at Open Door Midwifery. It was a pleasure to be working with the midwives at Open Door Midwifery for the past few years, and now to be working amongst the Westside Midwives as well!
— Lena, BA, RM
I grew up on Salt Spring Island, where midwifery is part of the community and many of my friends and neighbours were helped into the world by the hands of midwives. Midwifery connects my interest in physiology, my belief in supporting women and my fascination for the transformation of childbearing. My goal is to help build healthy, thriving families.
Previous to midwifery, my interest in storytelling lead me to a BA in writing and communication studies and work in documentary film and television in Montreal and Vancouver. I believe that stories are what make us human, and that childbirth is an important story in the life of woman and her family. I want to help make it the best story it can be.
I completed my midwifery training through UBC, working at urban and rural practices in BC and at three busy hospitals in Uganda. I’m thrilled to be working with Thea, Jasmine and Lena first at Open Door and now at Westside Midwives. I look forward to meeting the families in care at Westside.
— Frances, BA, BMW, RM
Thea Parkin – on maternity leave until October 2017
It’s very exciting to be back at Westside Midwives! I first worked here in a locum capacity in Summer/Fall 2008, so it feels like a homecoming of sorts. In the meantime, I established my practice at Open Door Midwifery.
I completed my Midwifery training at UBC in 2008 following a degree in Nutrition, and I actively pursue opportunities to keep learning. While providing excellent care, my goal is to support mothers and families to feel informed, confident and capable during this most incredible journey.
My volunteer work over the past six years has focused on participating on various committees and the Board of the College of Midwives of BC. I currently serve as the Vice President of the Board, which regulates our profession to offer safe and effective care.
When I’m not attending births or in the clinic, you’ll often find me out and about in the city or on Bowen Island with my family. When at home I enjoy cooking, reading and messy DIY projects.
— Thea, BSc, BMW, RM