We are a dedicated group of midwives who are passionate about birth and family-centred care. We strive to provide warm and respective care that responds to each persons individual needs. There are three teams of midwives at the clinic.
Full Circle Team:
Marijke de Zwager
Cora Beitel, Registered Midwife
I am a founding member of the Strathcona Midwifery Collective. This exciting collaboration brings together my love of midwifery care and my dedication to community activism. I aim to provide inclusive, supportive and informative care to all of the families in our care.
Having grown up in Montreal, I am fluent in French. After moving to Vancouver in 2000, I presented workshops on reproductive health and fertility awareness. Shortly after, I trained and began working as a doula, breastfeeding counselor and youth counselor in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. It was after my son was born at home, with the assistance of midwives, that I felt ready to pursue formal midwifery training.
While completing my Bachelor of Midwifery at UBC, I had the opportunity to work with a diverse clientele in both rural and urban areas across BC. Over the years, I have specialized in caring for people who are marginalized in society as a result of their youth, street involvement, substance use or mental health issues.
In addition to my clinical work as a midwife at Strathcona, I co-facilitate and organize the Queer and Trans Pregnancy and Parenting Group at our clinic. This is a monthly group that provides support, resources and community dialogue for queer and trans folks on the parenting journey.
Through my work with our midwifery associations in BC and across Canada and with our college, I am deeply involved in making midwifery inclusive and accessible to all of the people accessing our care.
I am continually inspired by my community and the families I serve. I keep growing through this work and gain so much from the people who pass through my care.
When not at work I'm usually hanging out with my family, walking or running with my dog, cycling, knitting, gardening or camping. I try to get out for hikes in the mountains or to the Gulf Islands as much as possible.
Stephanie Dow, Registered Midwife
I am excited to be a part of the Strathcona Midwifery Collective. I knew for many years that I wanted to work in healthcare, but it took some time before I found midwifery and knew that this was what I was meant to do.
I studied at the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. During my training I had experiences working with midwives and other health care professionals in both urban centers, as well as rurally. I lived in 6 different communities in Ontario training with midwifes, nurses, obstetricians, lactation consultants, and community organizations. I also spent some time learning from midwives in Jamaica.
Before I began my career in midwifery, I obtained a degree in Human Geography and worked on a number of research projects in Toronto, including research seeking to understand the experiences of LGBTQ people in midwifery care, as well as their experiences of postpartum depression.
One of the most exciting aspects of midwifery for me is having the privilege to support the decisions that families make for themselves during pregnancy and birth.
I love seeing the transformation that clients and their families go through over the course of pregnancy, labour and birth; learning more about themselves, their bodies, and each other.
When I am not working I can be found outside, skiing, sailing, or canoeing. I’m also a novice seamstress, and a pretty good knitter. I love to cook for others, and I also spend a fair bit of time on the phone keeping in touch with my family who are all still living in Ontario. Pictured is my sister and I at a Blue Jay’s game.
I am looking forward to meeting you all!
Jill Parsons, Registered Midwife
Prior to becoming a midwife I worked in the fields of HIV research, harm reduction, and research ethics. I recall the day that I decided that midwifery was my calling as I walked through Kensington Market in Toronto. I realised that ushering people and families as gently and respectfully as possible through this momentous life transition was my passion and that I could combine that passion with my interest in evidence-based approaches to care while facilitating informed decision-making for clients.
I graduated from the Ryerson Midwifery Education Program in 2013 and have worked as a midwife in Toronto ever since. I have relocated to Vancouver in order to be closer to my extended family and am very excited to be joining Strathcona Midwifery Collective and continuing to provide culturally safe and inclusive care to all families.
I am a biology nerd who also loves crafting (especially sewing), baking, and generally anything that leaves a big mess. I love to walk. I feel that I observe so much more on my feet than I do with any other mode of transport and I find it crucial to my creative and critical thought process.
I am a settler of European descent. In the past, I have lived in Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa, and Toronto with my family, which includes members of the Lac Seul, Skwxwú7mesh and Cheslatta Nations. I have three children and have myself been a grateful recipient of midwifery care. I know what a transformative experience childbirth can be for a family. I am pleased to be able to offer this experience to others.
Carolyn Saunders, Registered Midwife
My path to midwifery began in my teenage years when I was exposed to the homebirth movement in Ottawa, Ontario. Ina May Gaskin's "Spiritual Midwifery" was an eye-opening journey into women-centered pregnancy care, and natural birth outside of the hospital. It was a book I passed onto my older sister during her first pregnancy. Sharing in her pregnancies and births and seeing her approach each experience with such amazing strength and courage made a lasting impression on me. We both went on to pursue careers in Midwifery. She now practices in Stittsville, Ontario.
My formal training in Midwifery began in 2003 when I was accepted into the University of British Columbia Midwifery Program. Since graduating in 2007 I often remark how fortunate I have been to work with such amazing women and families who continually teach me more about the complexities of this work and the importance of respecting the beauty and uniqueness of each experience. In addition to my midwifery training, I have completed a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Biology. Anthropology has given me an understanding of the cultural diversity of our province and an appreciation of the rewards of working with women from different social, economic and cultural backgrounds. Summers spent studying birds in northern Canada in 2002 and 2003 gave me a deep respect and appreciation for biological processes, in particular the miracle of reproduction and the creation of new life.
Over the years I have been involved in a number of research projects in the field of midwifery and women's health including publishing papers in the Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research & Practice as well as the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Canada. As part of the clinical faculty of the Department of Family Practice at UBC I enjoy numerous opportunities to contribute to the education of midwifery students. It is work I really enjoy and hope will help expand excess to midwifery care across the province. In 2003-2004 I was involved in a project whose aim was to facilitate better communication between health care providers and their clients. Through this work I developed a strong commitment to empowering women to make their own health care decisions. It is my philosophy that a woman should leave midwifery care feeling empowered by her birth experience, feeling that she has done her very best, and feeling greater confidence in her own body. I hope that I can help women accomplish these goals.
In my free time I can often be found riding my bike, strolling through the Vancouver Art Gallery or taking a walk in the mountains. I gave birth to my daughter Violet in 2009. My own parenting journey is now something I can share with the families in my care. I look forward to supporting women and their families through their own birth and parenting journeys.
Andrea Mattenley, Registered Midwife
It was the birth of my son that brought me to midwifery. Both the birth itself and the personal experience through the maternity care system were inspirational in shaping my career. The support we received in those early years and that continues now that he is growing up inspired my own intention to build and contribute to community. My hope is that as a midwife, I am able to assist women in their discovery of their inner wisdom and knowledge through their pregnancies, and labours & births. My hope is that this trust and strength in themselves continues in the early days and as their children and families continue to grow.
While working towards my degree in Midwifery at the University of British Columbia I had the privilege of taking courses which provided training to support women with more complex social backgrounds, including training to act and acting as a doula for women in the FIR program as well as a course relating to HIV and how health care providers can support people with more complex medical histories.
My son was born in 2002, shortly after finishing my first degree, which is in Microbiology and Immunology. The significance of his birth was obvious, though I have maintained a strong tie to the academic aspect of myself, most recently through the study of acupuncture for use in labour.
Aside from work, my son and I enjoy hockey, biking, camping and hosting community dinners. While not working or parenting, I enjoy my book club, canning and I spend every spare minute knitting. I look forward to working with your family, sharing stories and helping to achieve your intentions as parents.
Natalie Johnson, Registered Midwife
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be involved in the miracle of birth. I grew up with my mother telling birth stories at the dinner table and always dreamed of sharing in her experiences. I chose midwifery specifically because of its focus on birth as a normal experience and its value in empowering families.
Through my midwifery journey I have had the opportunity to work with families and care providers all across Canada. I am originally from Ontario, which is where I completed my midwifery training at McMaster University in Hamilton. During my schooling I spent a month in Nelson, BC with a team of midwives, which is what convinced me to move west after graduation. Since then I have spent the past few years living and working in Abbotsford, Squamish and finally Vancouver.
During my time off I love exploring the city and its incredible surroundings: hiking, biking, swimming and lazing at the beach. I am very excited to be joining Carolyn and Andrea and I am looking forward to getting to know you and your families!
Kayley Redgers, Registered Midwife
Hello! My name is Kayley Redgers. I am honoured to cover Marijke and Lauren’s maternity leave at
Strathcona and look forward to providing you with care. My path to midwifery grew out of my
passion for women’s health. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Victoria in
Women Studies with a focus on women’s health and social justice. Soon after, I became a doula
and volunteered my services before starting my Midwifery training in Ontario at Laurentian
Midwifery spoke to me on many levels – I strongly believe that knowledge is power and that guiding
people through informed choice is one of the most important things that midwives can provide to
clients. I strive to support your choices that reflect your beliefs along the way. I recognize the many
barriers that can exist for women accessing health care, and as a midwife I can play a key role in
providing care to a diverse range of clients.
I am licensed to an expanded scope of practice to provide contraception counselling and
administration, and am trained in IUD insertions.
When I’m not catching babies, you can find me cooking, knitting, hiking, camping, and doing
anything that involves mountains and the ocean.
Amanda Cordocedo, Registered Midwife
Hello! I am originally from Vancouver, BC and am of Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Chilean and European decent. I’m thrilled to be returning home and am honoured to be joining the community here at Strathcona. I moved to Ontario in the fall of 2011 to pursue midwifery education at McMaster University. Throughout the program I had the opportunity to work with varied healthcare providers in both urban and rural settings and have been providing care as a registered midwife in Toronto, Ontario since graduation.
I have long been interested in reproductive rights and hold a strong belief that everyone has the right to safe, accessible, and compassionate healthcare. These beliefs are part of what led me to the birth community, first as a doula and now as a midwife. Breaking down barriers to care and supporting those marginalized by society are the foundations of my commitment to midwifery. My aim is to provide care that holds space for people to feel empowered in their journey. I remain grateful for, and inspired by the opportunities and magic provided by such a rewarding profession.
In my down time you can find me enjoying the great outdoors, spending time with loved ones, engaging in community building and social justice, or simply enjoying a coffee in a quiet moment. I look forward to getting to know many of you and hearing your stories during our time together. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your experience here!
Lauren Redman, Registered Midwife- on maternity leave
I came to midwifery wanting to be of service in the field of women’s health. After attending a friend’s birth, I knew I had found my path.
Prior to entering UBC’s midwifery program I completed a bachelor’s degree at UBC in Women’s and Gender Studies. I focused on midwifery, women’s health and Aboriginal health. During this time I worked at UBC, both at the Institute for Aboriginal Health and at Aboriginal Student Affairs. As a person of Métis descent, I have an interest in increasing access to midwifery care for Indigenous peoples and in pregnancy and birth as ceremony.
During my time in the UBC Midwifery program, I had the great honour of learning from families, nurses, midwives and doctors in diverse communities-including Langley, North Vancouver, rural and urban Uganda, and East Vancouver. All of theses experiences (as well as my training in yoga and acupuncture) influence my approach to midwifery care.
When not catching babies, I can be found curled up with a book, playing with my loved ones, traveling and practicing yoga and surfing (my new love!)
Marijke de Zwager, Registered Midwife- on maternity leave
I came to midwifery from years of working in community development and social justice, both in Canada and in Latin America. For me, being part of building a community of support around women and their families as they grow is an honour and a privilege. I am constantly awed by the power, strength and wisdom that pregnancy, birth and babies offer.
I started my formal midwifery journey, through working as a doula with young mothers, followed by a Bachelor of Midwifery from the University of British Columbia. Along the way I have worked with hundreds of diverse families, including recent immigrants and refugees, young mothers and substance-using women. I have been fortunate enough to work in high volume city practices and smaller rural practices around BC, providing care in English, French and Spanish (I have yet to do a birth in Dutch!). While I love being a midwife here in Vancouver, I am also passionate about decreasing maternal mortality/morbidity in low resource settings and have worked as a midwife in Zambia and Haiti.
When I am not catching babies, you will find me paddling around in my kayak, riding my bike, doing yoga or camping.