Our Students

Our Students

“Clients are important teachers for midwifery students. The midwifery student should make a client’s care even better.”

Thames Valley Midwives is a teaching practice that provides clinical placements for students of the Ontario University Midwifery Education Program (MEP) and is a bridging program for midwives who are internationally trained (known as the International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program – IMPP). 

Midwifery students of the MEP study over a total of four years to gain a degree in Midwifery. Their placements are an essential part of their education, and is how they gain the experience necessary to become an excellent midwife, once they graduate.

Students with varying skill levels work closely with our midwives over an extended period of time, allowing clients to become familiar with them as they participate in hands-on learning. Depending on a student’s skill level, your midwife will make an assessment on how much direct supervision your allocated student will require.  Your midwife will always be responsible for your care. Our experienced midwives are skilled in assessing the needs of our students, and work closely with them to achieve an exceptional level of service to our clients.

Midwives who are completing the IMPP program, are already trained midwives and have a 14-16 week placement to complete with competency assessment and bridge any gaps they may have between where they practiced midwifery before and midwifery in Canada.

Because these co operative work/study experiences result in more midwives for Ontario and beyond, we encourage you to allow students to participate in your care. Ontario is lacking in the number of midwives available to provide care to families desperately seeking midwifery care. Currently, our practice turns away approximately 500-600 pregnant families per year; our wait list continues to grow each year. 

As we want all of our families to feel comfortable in midwifery care, we fully support your wishes to decline student involvement in any aspect of your care, should you not wish to participate in this program.

Students At Thames Valley Midwives

Chelsea Zellas, Student Midwife

My name is Chelsea and I am a fourth year midwifery student in the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University! I am very excited to be completing my final year of placement in my home community with Thames Valley Midwives.  

Before being accepted into the Midwifery Education Program, I was working on my Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Queen’s University. After the birth of my son, I became interested in the different career paths that involved caring for pregnant people and their families. One of the most important parts of midwifery to me is client education and informed decision making. I am especially passionate about providing safe and competent care to the diverse clients who live in London and area. I can’t wait to begin my placement at Thames Valley Midwives and connect with the wonderful people in my community through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum!  

Outside of the Midwifery Education Program, I love to cook and try new recipes, swim and hike with my kindergartener, and unwind with true crime podcasts.

Asra Varind, Student Midwife

Hi everyone! My name is Asra and I am in my fourth year of the midwifery program at McMaster University. I am excited to have the opportunity to join Thames Valley Midwives for the remainder of my senior year.

One of my favourite parts about midwifery is being able to provide care that is personalized, continuous, and culturally safe. I love getting to know my clients, helping them feel empowered, and advocating for them to make informed decisions about their care.

Outside of midwifery, I enjoy crocheting, praying, journalling, taking pictures, and cuddling my cat.

I find pregnancy and birth to be such miraculous experiences, and I look forward to being a part of your journey!

Mackenzie Dixon, Student Midwife

My name is Mackenzie and I am a second year student in the McMaster University Midwifery Education Program. My passion for birth and helping others started at a young age. I have always been inspired to help clients move through their birth journey and fulfill their labour and birth wishes. After discovering the profession of Midwifery, I sought out the opportunity to shadow a Midwife in my community. This experience opened my eyes to the impact Midwives can make in the healthcare setting and how essential it is to have someone support you throughout this journey. After I attended my first home birth, I knew I was meant to enter this profession!

I started my health care journey studying Nursing at McMaster University where I was able to be fully immersed in the health care setting. During this experience I discovered my love for helping others, but also learned that nursing wasn’t my desired career path. During the summer between my second and third year of nursing I came across the role of a Doula. Being a Doula meant that I was able to be a support person for each client from the very beginning. I had the knowledge to educate and help each client feel confident and capable throughout their pregnancy! I had the opportunity to support clients for over a year before entering the Midwifery Education Program. 

I am looking forward to beginning my placement with the Thames Valley Midwifery Clinic. Midwifery encourages each client to make informed decisions and provide continuity of care. I am very passionate about creating a safe space for each client to make informed decisions for their own pregnancy and feel empowered in their birth! 

In my spare time I love to spend time with my family and friends, bake sourdough bread and plan my next travel adventure.

Emma Huizenga, Student Midwife

Hey! I’m Emma. I am excited to complete my final year of the midwifery program at Thames Valley Midwives. I was born into the hands of midwives and grew up hearing great things about midwifery care. I am honoured to be a part of people’s pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experience – something so intimate and life changing. When I’m not studying or midwifing, you can find me working at a bakery, reading lit-fic, or enjoying the beautiful waters of Lake Huron. 


What are the benefits of having a student?
  • The student will give labour support, information and extra time
  • The student will be an extra pair of helping hands so that there is more time to spend with you
Will the student be at all of my visits?
  • The student will be at as many of your visits as possible so that you can get to know each other
Will the student be at my birth? What will she be doing?
  • The student will usually be at your birth
  • The student may be watching, helping to take care of you, or catching your baby. The midwife teacher will show her how to care for you and your baby
What if the student doesn’t know how to do something?
  • The student will ask the midwife teacher for help and say they do not know


Midwifery Placement One:

The student learns how to care for clients during pregnancy, labour, birth and after the birth. When students are with clients, the midwife teacher is always with the student. The student learns how to perform clinical skills and provide information. The midwife teacher shows the student how to support the client during birth.

Midwifery Placement Two:

The student acts more and more as the midwife, but they always have the midwife teacher nearby.

Midwifery Placement Three:

By this time, the student is expected to have a vast knowledge base with regard to all aspects of pregnancy, birth and after birth. The student can do much more of the care of the client and baby with the midwife teacher nearby.


In the last course, the student must show that they can give all the care for the client and the baby from the beginning of pregnancy, during labour and birth, and after the birth.  The student will be the midwife, but the midwife teacher is always near.