JUDY DEFREITAS, RM
While completing my undergraduate degree at McMaster University I first learned about midwifery. I became fascinated by the philosophy behind midwifery and in particular the notion of being "with woman"(which is the translation of midwife). The more I researched midwifery, the more I became drawn to the profession. I really identified with the notion of working with women. I was drawn to the idea of helping guide women through their pregnancy, labour, and transitioning to parenthood. I have found tremendous fulfillment watching women grow and change as they nourish a new human being. Every birth reinforces the beauty and strength of the female body.
Although I was certain of my aspiration of becoming a midwife the journey was a long one that took me to New Zealand to study. I graduated from Otago Polytechnic in 2004. Following graduation, I moved to Sydney Australia and worked at Westmead Hospital as an employed midwife. Upon returning to Canada I completed the PLEA registration process in British Columbia and became a registered midwife here in 2006.
My partner and I moved to Prince George in 2007 and have been here ever since. After two years of working in Prince George, I established my own practice, New Beginnings Midwifery. I have been providing solo midwifery care for women in the north for over 10 years now.
Emily Rigney, RM
I’m passionate about encouraging positive change in the world. Building upon foundations as a biologist, artist and public educator, I chose to follow the path of becoming a midwife after being inspired by a good friend and rural midwife in Smithers, BC. I am excited to be part of maternity care that empowers women and their families by providing informed decision-based, natural childbirth options.
I graduated with my M.Sc. in Midwifery at Bastyr University in WA State (formerly Seattle Midwifery School) where I attended mostly out-of-hospital birth. I became familiar with the BC Model of Care while completing the Internationally Educated Midwives Bridging Program through UBC, including practicum in the Cowichan Valley of Vancouver Island. Attending 160 births as a student midwife confirmed my fascination with the power and physiology of birth. Prior to my midwifery journey, I worked as a wildlife biologist and researcher throughout BC. During my B.Sc. in Biology I became involved in public outreach and volunteered as a birth educator and doula for the Tillicum Lelum Friendship Centre in Nanaimo, BC. This work was highly inspirational and helped me to recognize the importance of serving communities that can benefit most from midwifery care.
For fun I like to be active outdoors, and on my time off I can be found hiking, rock climbing, camping and foraging in the forest. I also enjoy regular yoga practice, creating artworks and delicious healthy foods, and reading. I am honored to be part of this community, and serve you as best I can!
Vanessa Kay, RM
Hello! My name is Vanessa Kay. I grew up in the fishing industry of the Coast Salish territories of Vancouver Island.
Before becoming a midwife, I pursued a Fine Arts degree at Emily Carr then moved to Women and Gender studies and Indigenous health care at the University of Manitoba. The work of midwifery melded many of my interests namely, a deep passion for accessible, autonomous and compassionate health care.I started birth work as a volunteer Doula and was accepted into the Ontario Midwifery Education Program in 2013 where I completed my degree in BcH of Sciences in Midwifery. As a student my placement in Southwestern Ontario serving a large Amish and Mennonite population grounded my practice in normal home birth. Working in Toronto I worked with privileges in 4 large urban hospitals and gained valuable experience working with new immigrant populations. I have since done midwifery work in White Rock, Squamish, and Vancouver. I am licensed to an expanded scope of practice to provide contraception counseling and working towards certification in administration of IUDs.
My experiences as a midwife affirm for me that the well-being of a pregnant person is the well-being of their whole community. I am humbled and inspired by he transformative experiences clients and their families move through over the course of pregnancy, birth and postpartum and am deeply honoured to be invited to be a part of it.
When I am off call, I can be found hiking in the woods with my dog and partner, gardening, or reading. I am excited and grateful to be a part of this growing community and look forward to meeting you and your family on your journey.
Sandra Schlogel, OFFICE MANAGER
I’m proud to say I was born and raised in Prince George. I first started working with Judy in August of 2013. Since that time, I have worked with a total of 13 midwives and student midwives. My interaction with the midwives has made my respect and fascination with the profession grow.
I feel very fulfilled by my work and love the connections I have been privileged to make with all of the amazing woman who come through our doors. I consider it a privilege to work with the midwives and to advocate for the mama’s to be. I am grateful for the flexibility my work at New Beginnings Midwifery allows me create a healthy work/life balance.