Meet our Midwives!
All of our midwives are registered with the College of Midwives of Ontario, are active members of the Association of Ontario Midwives, and hold current certifications in Neonatal Resuscitation, CPR and Emergency Skills.
KANMANI GURUSWAMI, RM
My name is Kamani Guruswami, most people call me "Kay". I am one of the midwives here at Kensington Midwives. I have been here since April, 2000, when we first opened our doors as Access Midwives of Toronto. I received my formal training as a midwife from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and was awarded a Bachelor of Health Sciences with Honours in Midwifery. As a newly graduated midwife, in the fall of 1996, I moved to Toronto. I worked at the Midwives Collective of Toronto for four years. In the years before starting the Midwifery Education Program I worked as a doula and childbirth educator. I also attended home births with midwives in the Vancouver area. I spent time tree-planting, waitressing and traveling. In 1990, I completed a Bachelors of Biology at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario.
My heritage includes a father who was born in Tamilnadu, India who came to Canada in 1965 to complete his Masters in Civil Engineering. My mother came to Canada in 1966 from Switzerland where she was born; she studied at McGill University and achieved a Ph.D. in Mathematics. I was born in Calgary, Alberta, and have two siblings. We grew up in Montreal and Ottawa and regularly travelled as a family to India and Europe. I now live in the Kensington Market area. I am the mother to Zakary who was born on December 3rd, 2000. Zakary is the love of my life and the best thing that has ever happened to me.
HOULEYMATOU BAH, RM
Hello, my name is Houleymatou Bah. I chose midwifery to be my life's work because of the holistic nature of the approach, and the opportunity for the relationship building with women during this precious time of their lives.
I graduated as a midwife in Algeria, North Africa in 1988. For the next 11 years I worked in a variety of healthcare settings, including home and hospital, in Guinea, West Africa. I speak both French and English and I am the mother of two beautiful sons.
I moved to Canada in 2000 and, in 2003, entered the International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program (IMPP) at Ryerson University in Toronto. Upon completion of the program I received the Kate Corbara Award for being "Best Student". I became a Registered Midwife in Toronto in 2004 and worked in the Kingston and Kitchener-Waterloo areas. In 2006, I joined Kensington Midwives in Toronto and I am very happy to be a part of the practice where I can share my experiences with clients and learn more from each birth, as I consider learning a lifetime continuous process.
CORRINE Hebden, RM
Hello, my name is Corinne Hebden. I graduated with honours from Ryerson University's Midwifery Education Program in 2008 and joined Kensington Midwives as a registered midwife that same year.
I believe midwifery care plays an important role in the support of women and their families. By empowering clients through informed choice, I hope we can enrich the experience of pregnancy and assist in supporting families in their early days of parenting.
My personal journey began in Sheffield, England. From there I immigrated to Vancouver, B.C. and completed a BFA in Theatre at the University of BC. After an exciting ten years of working as a professional stage actor, I moved to Toronto, where I met my parter and became a mother myself. As a new resident of Toronto I found that having a small infant can be very isolating. I became involved with a neighbourhood mothers' group and it was through my experiences there that my interest and passion for becoming a midwife developed.
As a registered midwife, I continue to learn and grow through my interactions with the clients who come through our practice. Each client's experience of pregnancy and childbirth is unique and it is my hope that I can play some small part in making that experience a positive one. I have been active with the Association of Ontario Midwives in helping to develop midwifery clinical practice guidelines that reflect best evidence and respect informed choice.
NOelia Greizerstein, RM (ON LEAVE)
I am very excited to be part of the team at Kensington Midwives. I graduated with honours from the Ryerson Midwifery Education program in 2014 with a Bachelor of Health Sciences. Throughout the program I was the recipient of a number of faculty awards and have been honoured to be on the Dean's List. During clinical training I had the opportunity to work in several practices around Ontario, serving clients in downtown Toronto, York Region and Thunder Bay. I have gained a wealth of inter professional experiences and have participated in an international placement with rural doctors and midwives in Patagonia, Argentina.
Prior to studying midwifery I was dedicated to the arts. I am a professional flamenco dancer and, even though I dedicate my time to midwifery, I still have an active interest in dance.
It is an honour to be part of such a strong and energetic group of midwives and support staff and I look forward to working alongside them.
SAFIRE NARANJO, RM
Hello! My name is Safire. I was inspired to become a midwife during my travels in Hawaii as a young woman, when I came across the book "Spiritual Midwifery" by Ina May Gaskin. My path from there lead me to Ghana, West Africa where I apprenticed with a midwife in a rural village and then later became a doula. l believe that birth is a natural physiological process and a meaningful event that shapes each family into who they are. It is an honour to be a part of that journey with my clients and support them in their decision making process and their birth experience.
I graduated with honours from the Ryerson Midwifery Education Program in 2009. I was born and raised in Toronto (born at St Joseph's Health Centre!) and I speak Spanish and some French. I have a dedicated six day a week yoga practice in the Ashtanga Yoga Mysore tradition.
SARA CHAMBERS, RM
My name is Sara Chambers and I graduated in 2008 from the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University. I completed my midwifery training in Toronto and also spent time in Iqaluit, Nunavut, attending births and providing prenatal care. Prior to becoming a midwife I attended births as a doula.
I have practiced in Toronto and London, Ontario since graduation. In addition to my clinical experience, I have worked for the Ontario Midwifery Program at the Ministry of Health and have served on the Ontario Maternity Care Expert Panel. I am active in several committees with the Association of Ontario Midwives.
I strive to provide compassionate, client-cantered care through my commitment to informed choice. I believe that pregnancy and birth can be powerful, meaningful events for families and I am inspired by client's strength and the diversity of their choices.
My goal as a midwife is to help clients have positive pregnancy and birth experiences and to feel their own ability in the process. I feel honoured to be able to work with clients and their families doing something I love.
COURTNEY GRAHAM, RM
My name is Courtney Graham and I am returning from a parental leave to rejoin Kensington Midwives.
My road to midwifery began in my hometown of Kingston, Ontario. Drawn by my desire for my work to be meaningful, my first degree was in Women’s Studies (now Gender Studies), with a minor in Development Studies and a certificate related to a specialization in LGBTQ2A studies. While trying to determine my career path, I traveled and tried to narrow down a field that allowed me to work with women, pregnant people and families in a health-based context that involved social justice. Midwifery was the perfect marriage of these elements. I was accepted into the Ryerson midwifery program in 2010 and moved to Toronto for what was to be a rigorous four years of training. During that time, I had exceptional access to urban placements and opted to complete an elective in a hospital in Arusha, Tanzania to gain international experience in a resource limited setting. After I completed my midwifery degree in 2014, I worked with a practice in Toronto’s west end. Afterwards, I had the good fortune to work with an Inuit-led midwifery program in Nunavik and spent a summer working in Puvirnituq. I returned to Toronto after the completion of my contract, covering a parental leave at an east end practice with a large home birth rate. Upon completion, I returned to Nunavik and finally made my way back to the west end where I found my home with Kensington Midwives.
In addition to midwifery work, I am also a Trustee with the Association of Ontario Midwives Benefits Trust and have enjoyed building new skills and being involved in advocating for the health and wellness of the wider midwifery community. Most recently, I have enjoyed my new role as partner and parent, and love spending time with my family.
Kate Mansbridge, RM
Hi! I’m Kate Mansbridge, one of the midwives here with Kensington Midwives. I graduated with honours from the McMaster Midwifery Education Program in 2015, and have been with Kensington since I was a senior student. Prior to following the path of midwifery I received an H.BA and MA at McMaster in the Classics and Philosophy departments. It was my ongoing interest and passion for bioethics, and the philosophy of midwifery care that drew me to this profession. I have very strong beliefs in informed choice, autonomy and accessibility of care – something everyone here at Kensington strives to provide. It is an incredible honour to be able to support individuals and families as they navigate their way through pregnancy and birth, and to see families growing and flourishing. This is such a powerful and transformative time in life, and it is such a pleasure to be part of that experience with our clients. I look forward to meeting you and being part of your care team!
JESSICA LEIBGOTT, RM
Hi, my name is Jessica Leibgott. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University in 2017. I completed my senior year of training at Kensington Midwives, and was delighted to join the team as a registered midwife in the fall of 2017.
Originally from Montreal, Quebec, I came to Toronto in 2008 to undertake a theatre degree at the Randolph Academy for Performing Arts. While working as a professional actor, I became involved with the yoga community and trained to teach prenatal yoga. This experience started my journey into the world of birth care and opened up opportunities to teach yoga and provide labour support to the youth connected with Jessie’s and the Massey Centre in Toronto. I also developed a prenatal yoga teaching program and worked as a volunteer doula alongside midwives at a Birth Centre in rural Uganda. Inspired by my newfound passion for choice and respect in childbirth, I decided to take the next step and to pursue a career in midwifery.
As a midwife, I aim to provide a safe and supportive space for clients and to help shape positive birth experiences. I also recognize that my education is ongoing, and I continue to immerse myself in the important conversations surrounding equity in the health care system and the birth world that are shaping the future of the profession.
I gave birth to my two children at home with the support and guidance of Kensington Midwives. It is wonderful to work for a clinic that holds such a special place in my heart. I am very grateful for the opportunity to share and assist in your care throughout your pregnancy and birth and I look forward to meeting you!
Carmita Magnaye, RM
My name is Carmita (Carmi) Magnaye and I am thrilled to be joining Kensington Midwives as a Registered Midwife. I graduated with distinction from the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University in 2018 and was the recipient of the Murray and Eleanor Enkin Clinical Excellence Award.
I was born in Manila, Philippines and immigrated to Canada in 1988. I am fluent in both Tagalog and English and take much pride in being a Filipino-Canadian. I have a past Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Exceptionality in Human Learning from the University of Toronto and have worked with non-profit agencies and family resource programs for over 10 years prior to pursuing midwifery.
My interest in midwifery began in 2004 when I had the privilege of supporting my friend at the birth of her 3rd child. Being with her as she endured the work of labour and then bearing witness to new life was an experience like no other. The birth was beautiful and she was powerful and my calling for midwifery was conceived. My own birth experiences followed in the midst of my midwifery training - my daughter and son were born peacefully at home in 2013 and 2016 with the support and guidance of Kensington Midwives. Both of my pregnancies and births and the care I received solidified and strengthened my belief in the beauty and empowerment that pregnancy and birth has to offer and how midwifery care can facilitate a positive and informed journey.
I look forward to meeting you and feel honoured to be a part of your care!
Mary dirmeitis, rm
Hello! My name is Mary Dirmeitis. I am very excited to be working with Kensington Midwives and I am so grateful to be serving the community as a midwife.
My journey to midwifery began as a journalism intern, and after an interview with an Aboriginal Midwife, my passion for birth was awakened. After 3 years of working as a doula all over Ontario, both privately and as a volunteer serving young mothers and newcomers to Canada, I received a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery with Honours from Laurentian University.
Before my midwifery education, I received a Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies and Political Studies. It was here where I spent a year abroad in Ecuador learning about politics, culture, and of course, the Spanish language (as well as a little Kichwa)! Since then, I have especially enjoyed caring for Spanish-speaking clients in their first language.
It is my honour to accompany birthing people and their loved ones through the life changing experience of pregnancy, birth, and new parenthood. I believe strongly in supporting clients through informed choice, and facilitating a safe and meaningful birth and postpartum experience. Thank you for including me in your care and I look forward to meeting you!
lisa thibodeau, rm
Hello, my name is Lisa Thibodeau. I am thrilled to join Kensington Midwives!
I am of French-Métis and Scottish ancestry. I was born and raised in Barrie, Ontario and have made Toronto my home since 2005. I am a mother to two beautiful children, aged 7 and 10, who were born at home into the hands of midwives. My own experience of midwifery care, which was so genuinely empowering, inspired me to become a midwife.
I completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences with Honours in Midwifery at Ryerson University and was the recipient of the Toronto Birth Centre Award for Innovation for founding the gender-based violence working group for perinatal care providers. I also hold a Bachelor degree of Fine Arts with honours from the University of British Columbia and graduated from the Assaulted Women’s and Children’s Counsellor/Advocate program at George Brown College.
Prior to pursuing midwifery, I worked at the Babra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic in Toronto providing individual and group counselling support for people who experience trauma and gender-based violence. I also practiced as a private doula, and volunteered to support incarcerated people in pregnancy at the Vanier Centre for Women in Milton.
When I’m not providing midwifery care, you can find me spending time with my family, enjoying time out of the city in nature, painting or reading fiction (I welcome recommendations!).
I believe birth is an intimate and sacred event. I feel privileged to be on this passage with you. I look forward to meeting you and am excited to be a member of your midwifery care team at Kensington Midwives.