BirthWorx is brought to you by Laura Dhanwant and Robyn Cowie, Registered Midwives currently practicing in Calgary, Alberta.
After initially being brought together as midwifery colleagues, it wasn’t long before our similarities led us to working together on the same team. Our friendship grew from there, sharing in the everyday highs and lows of supporting our clients and relying on each other for emotional support in what is often a challenging profession to navigate.
With an already close friendship, our journeys became inexplicably intertwined when we became pregnant within weeks of one another. It was an incredibly unique experience sharing in such a pivotal stage of life, not only as friends but also by providing each other with midwifery care. It’s certainly not a connection that we imagine many get to experience and this bond was strengthened even further when we gave birth just four days apart.
As we have continued to navigate the challenges of parenting together, we see a common thread that has weaved itself through our stories: the direct impact that our knowledge and support system has had on every step of our journey. We have tirelessly researched all the questions and conundrums that were thrown our way during each pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding experience and continue to crop up as we raise our children. The more we discover, the more apparent it's becoming that many other parents are doing just the same. We are all striving to learn and do the best as we raise our children. Looking back we can see how differently so many of our personal experiences would have unfolded had we not had the foundational knowledge and support that we do.
We know that many people choose midwifery care due to our ability to form strong trusting relationships. However we are acutely aware of the many families who are unable to receive midwifery care due to government funding restrictions, having high risk pregnancies or limited access within their communities. We also recognize that while working within the time constraints of our health care system, even midwives cannot fully prepare families for all aspects of the labour, birth, and parenting experience.
We believe that everybody has the right to education that is truly comprehensive and goes beyond the basics, in order to become confident informed decision makers. This is what inspired us to reenvision the way we guide families through this transitional stage of life. Through BirthWorx we have combined our own midwifery expertise, love of teaching and personal wisdom to bridge this gap for all families in our community.
- Laura & Robyn
Registered Midwife, BirthWorx Educator
I began my career in health care as a Licensed Practical Nurse in Kelowna, working in acute and long term care. However, it was during my Practical Nursing training that I was invited to my first birth. It was powerful and beautiful. Following this eyeopening experience I knew midwifery was my calling. After relocating to Toronto to begin my midwifery education, I graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery with Honours from Ryerson University in 2012.
In 2018, my own birth experience was transformative as my son was born peacefully into my partner's waiting hands. After traversing a pregnancy that had the potential to be quite complicated, during my birth I was surrounded by warm, skilled and loving people who guided my partner and I through a process I knew so well, only from a different perspective.
While I am a Registered Midwife by trade, the birth of my son led me to strive for change. Change for my family dynamic and change for the birthing community that I have worked countless hours in. I am a strong believer in informed choice and have witnessed the unfortunate informational gaps families are required to navigate through during a time that can already be fraught with inaccurate information. I will forever be grateful for the knowledge and expertise of my own maternity care providers and wish to empower others with knowledge, just as they empowered me.
Registered Midwife, BirthWorx Educator
I’ve always found birth intriguing and as a child I was more interested in medical documentaries than I was in cartoons! I can still vividly remember my mother labouring at home supported by the community midwife as she prepared to give birth to my brother. After emigrating from England I initially studied geology at the University of Victoria, but in 2010 I shifted direction after learning about Canadian midwifery. I instantly felt an affinity to the continuity of care focus and when a friend invited me to attend my first birth, it became clear that I had found my calling.
I was granted a place in Mount Royal University's first Bachelor of Midwifery class in 2011 where I went on to earn my degree. It has been a long and hard journey filled with many profound experiences that have impacted so many aspect of my life. I am continually inspired by the work that I do and feel privileged to share in such raw and intimate moments with my clients.
The home birth of my son in 2015 was one of the most empowering and affirming moments of my life. In 2018, I was again able to birth my daughter with the guidance and support of those I trusted most: my best friend as my midwife and her 9 year old daughter present to witness her first birth. I have always felt safe, respected and heard as I have navigated this journey into parenthood but I am painfully aware of how uncommon my personal experiences have been. Through BirthWorx I hope that more families will be able to experience similar opportunities of informed choice, respectful care and empowerment.