Ottawa Valley Midwives are a team of 9 Registered Midwives working in a variety of rural and urban settings with a diverse clientele.  The midwives range in experience from mentored midwives, newly graduated from the Midwifery Education Program, to midwives with 18 years of experience in the later stages of their careers. This broad spectrum of experience brings diversity and depth to your care team.

Amélie Bender

Midwife Amelie BenderHello, bonjour! My name is Amélie Bender and I have been practicing at OVM since 2011 after graduating from the Midwifery Education Program at ” as a teenager, but it wasn’t until I had done a degree in Psychology, worked in children’s mental health and traveled and taught English in Asia, that I decided to pursue my dream. Six long years later, I moved from Toronto to the Ottawa Valley to practice in a more rural setting. When I’m not working I can be found reading, going for walks in the woods, enjoying good vegetarian food, or camping in my old Volkswagon Westfalia. My passion for midwifery is both personal and professional; both of my kids were born at home into the hands of my husband and midwives. Each day I come to work I am grateful for this wonderful profession that allows me to be with women on their journey to motherhood. Veuillez me parler en francais ou en anglais.


Saija Chadha

HSaijaello! My name is Saija Chadha, and I am delighted to be a member of the Ottawa Valley Midwives team! I grew up in Finland where the sun hardly sets in the summer and at winter time you spend most of the daytime hours in darkness. I came to Canada in 2005 along with my husband and our infant daughter after living in the Middle East for a number of years. Before pursuing midwifery, I worked in the corporate world yet I was always passionate about global affairs, healthcare, equality and the environment. My personal birth experiences coupled with those shared with clients and families along the way have anchored my belief in informed choice, guarding normal childbirth and being open-minded to the many approaches we can have to have the most optimal pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience possible. I was trained at the McMaster University and spent most of my time in the program serving families in the Ottawa Area as well as the Greater Toronto area. When I am not busy with midwife duties, I enjoy the cooking and the great outdoors with my family as an avid runner, gardener, and as a busy hostess to casual dinner parties. When all of it winds down, books and artistic endeavours take over. I speak a number of languages including English, Finnish, Swedish and Spanish as well with some Hindi and other languages thrown in the mix. Welcome to our care!


Suzanne Draper

Midwife Suzanne DraperI was introduced to the birth process while growing up on a dairy farm near Stratford, ON, and knew from a young age that I wanted to “help people have babies.”Prior to studying midwifery, I completed a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies at the University of Waterloo, which gave me a broad knowledge of health throughout the lifecycle.  It was during this time that I discovered midwifery, and realized that it was what I had always wanted to do.I completed many of my placements in Waterloo Region, where I lived with my husband and son for 10 years.  I then worked for a year and a half in Orangeville, Ontario, before joining Ottawa Valley Midwives.I have a passion for supporting women and families during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, and I am excited to work in the Ottawa Valley.


Harriet Ann FerrantHarrietAnnFerrant Midwife

My name is Harriet Ann Ferrant and I am a graduate of the midwifery education program at McMaster University. It is an honour for me to accompany  women and families on their journey through pregnancy and towards welcoming their newest members. My interest and love of birth and babies began at an early age as the 3rd oldest of 8 children. However, my path to midwifery has been an adventure with many twists and turns. I was born and raised in Smith Falls until my family moved to the Upper Ottawa Valley. During university I explored my interests in biology and  earned a Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Queen’s University. Being interested in pregnancy, birth and pediatrics, I  began to explore different health care professions as I was finishing my graduate degree. Midwifery turned out to be the perfect fit! When I’m not at the clinic or at a birth, you will find me at the horse barn riding and enjoying the outdoors, knitting, or engaging in research opportunities.  I look forward to meeting you!


Miriam O’Brien

I was born in Ireland and immigrated to Canada in the mid 1970’s. In the mid 80’s, I was a student at University of New Brunswick, where I obtained a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. In the following ten years, I lived with my husband on various Canadian Forces Bases in Canada, Germany and England, worked as a laboratory chemist and a teacher, and gave birth to our older son, Alex, with the help of a midwife. Upon returning to Canada, I became active in Ottawa’s birthing community, teaching childbirth education and providing labour support. I entered the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University in 1997. I began providing clinical care in the Ottawa area in 2000, the same year that our younger son, Jonah, was born at home. I am fascinated and invigorated by the miracle of pregnancy and birth. Participating in this transformative time with women and their families allows me to combine my interest in women’s health, with my genuine enjoyment of people.


Rachel SuttonMidwife Rachel Sutton

I have been a Registered Midwife since 2010. I graduated from the McMaster Midwifery Education Program and did student placements in Ottawa, Kingston, and here at Ottawa Valley Midwives. Prior to becoming a midwife I worked as a technician in health-related research. I was driven to change careers and become a midwife for the opportunity to work closely with women and families, to promote health, and to facilitate positive experiences by supporting informed choices. I live in Almonte with my family and greatly enjoy living and working in the Ottawa Valley. I currently serve as Head Midwife at Almonte General Hospital.

Kristen Stevens

My path to midwifery began as a child. I always had a love of babies and would try to hold one any chance I could get. They also liked me and I could make one fall asleep in no time! I knew I wanted a career that dealt with these amazing little beings. After I had my first child at a young age, my eyes were opened to a side of childbirth I never knew existed; the scary, lonely and unsupportive side often experienced by women. Around the time of my first birth, midwifery was being legislated and funded in Ontario. I knew I had found my perfect fit, my passion, my career. Although it would take me a few long years to reach my goal, looking back, it was worth every minute. I attended the Midwifery Education Programme at McMaster University and was part of the 2005 graduating class. My sister and I share a passion for midwifery and she also came to midwifery as her career choice. She works in Vancouver where she lives with her family. One of my greatest joys about midwifery is seeing families grow and parents emerge. It truly is a journey. I live in the west-end of Ottawa with my family and a few pets. In my spare time I can be found knitting (of course), gardening, flower arranging, and going on walks with our dog. I look forward to guiding you on your journey to parenthood.


Brianna ThompsonMidwife Brianna Thompson

I am a graduate of the McMaster Midwifery Education Program from the Class of 2014. I have completed student placements in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Barrie and even Nova Scotia. Originally from Pembroke, I am excited to be back in the Ottawa Valley. I currently live in Almonte with my spouse, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. Prior to becoming a midwife, I worked as a Kinesiologist and Personal Trainer after completing a BSc in Kinesiology at St Francis Xavier University. I have brought my passion for human movement and health to my life as a midwife. When I’m not working, I enjoy training for and playing in the National Ringette League. I am so honoured to share in your family’s experience during this special time, and I look forward to meeting you.


Leslie Viets

Midwife Leslie VietsI have been privileged to have attended over 1000 births in my midwifery career. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing families! It is wonderful to realize that after 18 years, I continue to have the same passion and enjoyment from my work that I had when I graduated from the first class of midwifery at McMaster in 1996. My family has been very supportive over the years in allowing me to pursue my dream while raising four children! One of my three daughters is also a midwife and all of my three grandchildren have been caught into the loving hands of midwives. We are truly a ‘midwifery family’! My colleagues and I, continue to look forward to providing care to the many women who are increasingly choosing midwifery as an option for pregnancy and childbirth. Thank you for this opportunity


Tanya Yakovlev

Midwife Tanya Yankolev
Hello! My name is Tanya Yakovlev and I am proud to be one of the midwives in the Ottawa Valley group. My midwifery path began in Russia in 1992, continued in Israel, and I am happy to be a midwife again here in Canada. I graduated from the International Midwifery Program in Ryerson University in 2013. I have four kids and my own experience has helped me grasp the importance of woman-to-woman mutual undersanding and support within pregnancy and labour. I believe in the power of such a connection. I am of Russian background and I speak English and Hebrew, as well. I like to be with people of different cultures and from different nationalities, going through their most memorable event – childbirth. It would be an absolute privilege for me to be your partner and facilitate your journey through the childbearing year.