UBC Student Bio: Melissa Sanford

Melissa Sanford

Returning to BC after many years is a privilege and I am so excited to have Thea Parkin as my principle preceptor for second year. My journey into midwifery began twenty one years ago with the birth of my first daughter. I was blessed to have midwifery care for my following three pregnancies and experienced two hospital births and two homebirths. Being a mother of my four daughters ultimately led to me to midwifery. Although, my passion for women’s health began in university where I studied sociology and realized that midwifery care is integral to women creating an empowered birthing experience true to their own needs, family and culture. I moved with my daughters here to Vancouver from Ontario last year to attend UBC, and it’s been an amazing “new” beginning!

I look forward to getting to know the families here at Westside Midwives over my placement. I consider it a true honor to share your birth experience, which is perhaps one of the most significant life transition for families! I am grateful and humbled to share this journey with you as I learn. Thank-you!

My background includes an MA in Sociology from Queen’s University, during which I focused on maternal health inequity globally and especially for Aboriginal women here in Canada. I have a strong desire to promote equitable maternal care options for mothers, and especially for women that face sociological, economic and cultural disadvantages to receiving quality maternity care. I love doing research that sheds new light on birth, and the importance of midwifery care as a sustainable model of care that can provide solutions for women here and globally. I care about justice and equity for women and their families in birth. Prior to my MA studies, I provided Doula care in Edmonton, AB for many women as a volunteer and birth advocate within a local organization, ASAC, Association for Safe Alternatives in Childbirth, that publishes the magazine, Birth Issues, a collection of birth stories, and provides a platform for birth advocacy and education. I love hearing women’s birth stories and I hope that I can assist with women having an empowered birth story.

My daughters and I love Vancouver and we explore the hiking, ocean and trails with our Dog Lily as often as we can. We live on UBC campus in Acadia park family housing and enjoy the vibrant, diverse community very much, as well as participating in the local arts community in dance and performance. I look forward to being part of the Westside community!