After witnessing her very first birth at a young age, Cammie knew at that moment that she wanted to be a midwife. She was, and continues to be, very committed to the values of midwifery and the significance of helping women through their childbirth experience. Cammie was born and raised in Ontario, and graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University in Sudbury, in April 2007. Since then, she has been practicing midwifery in Northern Ontario. Cammie had always wanted to move to B.C, and is very excited to be living in Kelowna and working with Malachite Midwives. After spending some time working in a missionary birthing centre in the Philippines, Cammie has become very interested in issues surrounding maternity care in the developing world. She is deeply committed to the goal of increasing awareness and access to midwifery not only globally, but within our own community as well. Cammie believes it is truly an honour to witness the journey of pregnancy, labour and birth, and to also be able to see babies and families grow each day. As a midwife, she feels privileged to be a part of these experiences and looks forward to many, many more. Happy birthing!
Ashley Courtney, Registered Midwife
I grew up in France and Africa and moved to Toronto with my family for most of my elementary years. My path to becoming a midwife has been full of adventure. I started with a BA in International Development and a MSc in Sustainable Development, while raft guiding down the Chilliwack river in the summers.
During my studies I chose courses based around gender and development, sexual ethics and health and democracy. I focused many of my research papers on midwifery and this further opened my eyes to the key role that midwives play in a community’s social sustainability.
Studying Midwifery at UBC has offered me many diverse learning experiences and offered inter-professional placements with obstetricians, nurse practitioners, labour and delivery nurses and with Dr. Jack Newman’s International Breastfeeding Centre. I was also fortunate to join UBC’s global placement, spending 6 weeks working with Midwives in Uganda, both on the labour and delivery floor and co-teaching emergency skills workshops in the community.
I am in awe of the families I work with every day and am grateful to be where I am. So far, I’ve had the honour of working with Midwives and families in New Westminister, Nelson and Kelowna.
When not busy in the birth world, you can find me hiking the mountains, playing in the river or gardening.
Taylor Alexander, Registered Midwife
Jocelyne Anderes, Registered Midwife
I am passionate about respectful and compassionate health care, with a particular interest in empowerment in pregnancy and birth. This passion is realized daily through my work as a midwife, encouraging women to be active participants in their own care. My favourite part of midwifery is building relationships with my clients and learning about everyone’s unique journey to motherhood. I am constantly in awe of the ability of pregnancy and birth to be both universal and unique to each woman, and am grateful to be part of the experience with women and their families.
I obtained my midwifery degree from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario following clinical placements in Scarborough, Toronto and Winnipeg. I am a prairie girl at heart, having grown up in Winnipeg and practiced midwifery there after graduating in 2011. It was wonderful to be part of the opening of Winnipeg’s beautiful Birth Centre. After the birth of my son in 2013, however, I knew it was time to realize my dream of moving west. I am thrilled to be living in Kelowna, where we’ve been exploring parks, beaches, hikes and restaurants. I welcome suggestions on things to check out!
Vanessa Samur, Registered Midwife
As a 2015 graduate of the UBC Midwifery Program, I've had the privilege of attending the births of many women in Vancouver, Vernon, Kelowna, and Uganda over the past few years. Midwifery has allowed me to combine my passion for women's health with the pleasure of supporting families through such a memorable time in their lives.
Discovering midwifery came as a surprise to me a few years back while on a bike tour through rural communities in Oregon, Northern California, and later the Maritime provinces. My husband and I were traveling in search of farmland but also in the midst of exploring ideas of professions that would compliment our dream of a rural life. During the trip, I encountered many young families choosing to have unattended home births because they could not access midwifery care. With many hours on a bike to contemplate the possibilities, I came to the decision on a highway in California that midwifery was it and I've never looked back.
My husband and I were fortunate enough to welcome our own little guy, Levon, into the world on February 3rd, 2017. When not midwifing, there’s a pretty good chance Levon and I are indoors cooking, outside hiking or stepping on his dad's crops at the farm.
Crystal Childs, Registered Midwife
Crystal started the journey to midwifery on an ambling trail through the natural world. As a child, she witnessed many lambs and calves being born on her father’s farm, and this instilled amazement and wonder at the incredible entry into the world we all make. As a young woman, this wonder and amazement was further fostered through adventures and apprenticeships with herbalists, healers, yoga and spiritual teachers and energy workers. Eventually this journey led to the world of birth, in support of the amazing transformation women, families and communities make when a baby is born. Crystal has been supporting women and families in pregnancy and birth for over a decade, having completed a 400hr holistic doula training program in 2003, and graduating the Midwifery Education Program, cum laude, at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario in 2011. After practicing for a year at the beautiful Birth Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Crystal and her family relocated to Kelowna in 2013. Her favourite part of being a midwife is supporting and witnessing women, individuals and families make informed and empowered decisions about their own health and pregnancy journey. And, of course that first newborn cry! That’s pretty amazing.
When not midwifing, Crystal spends her time with her supportive husband and their two life-loving sons – camping, hiking, gardening and enjoying wild-crafting herb walks. She also loves a good cup of strong black tea with milk and honey.
Anne-Marie Cayer, Registered Midwife
One of my earliest memories is walking hand-in-hand with my mother, after a half-day at preschool when I was three years old. There was a pregnant woman walking and speaking with my mom, and they were both were encouraging me to look at her pregnant belly and touch it if I wanted. I started crying because it was overwhelming for me to imagine a woman growing a baby inside of her body, and my mother apologized to the woman for my weird behaviour. Today, I am still overwhelmed by the miracle of pregnancy and birth on a daily basis; some things never change.
After high school, my parents encouraged me to study something that I loved; so, I earned a Bachelors of Kinesiology from McMaster University, inspired by my interest in the human body as a dancer of many years. Amidst academia, I took my itchy feet on as many international expeditions as I could manifest. One such expedition took me to Costa Rica. There, I met a midwife, and was overcome as I witnessed the profoundness that empowered childbearing can have for women and families. I completed the Midwifery Program at the University of British Columbia, a four-year Bachelors degree. I learned from many wise women in BC, at a waterbirth centre in Alberta, and at two public hospitals in Uganda, East Africa. Since then, I co-founded Malachite Midwives here in Kelowna, and have worked for Doctors Without Borders internationally.
When not catching babies, I am dabbling in beginner piano playing, exploring Okanagan Lake in my inflatable kayak, and attempting to mature my Okanagan wine-tasting skills.
Rebecca Geddes, Registered Midwife
I am deeply grateful to be part of your birth experience, knowing the privilege, vulnerability and importance that this experience holds to you and your loved ones. My diverse background has allowed me to merge my training the sciences, teaching, counseling and the fine arts into the field of Midwifery. I have been fortunate to have travelled globally for my education and when in Australia I obtained my Masters of Arts and my Cabinetry Certification. I used these tools and my love of community, working with others and creativity to co-direct and co-found an arts centre in Sydney Australia. This work in advocacy and passion for mindful community has followed me through my completion of my Midwifery studies at UBC and now as I join the Malachite Team.
When not catching babies, I can be found in coveralls making art, listening to music or sipping a cup of tea.
Charlene - Office Goddess
After growing up in Alberta, I heard the West Coast of BC calling. There, I raised my wonderful daughter and enjoyed a successful career for over 32 years as a Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnography Tech.
Not long ago, I felt the need for a shift in my life and began a journey of self discovery. After a lot of travel and reflection, I landed in beautiful Kelowna and found myself drawn to the Malachite Midwives team.
Using new skills, engaging with, and being accepted by this wonderful group of caring women makes me feel very fortunate. Motherhood has been an exceptional journey to experience and as time moves forward, the bond is strengthened.
Travel has always been a passion of mine, in which I have gained much awareness, acceptance and outstanding life experiences. May my future continue to transform as I embrace the wonder of all those around me!