An Indigenous focused practice located on Nipissing First Nation, serving North Bay and the surrounding communities.

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K’Tigaaning is an Anishinaabemowin word which translates to “In the Garden.” At K’Tigaaning Midwives, we provide midwifery services through our clinic on Nipissing First Nation, ON and at our satellite site in Powassan as well. Our mission is to provide quality midwifery care, support and guidance to pregnant folks, their families, and communities in a safe and culturally appropriate setting, open to traditional teachings and ceremonies. We honor and incorporate local indigenous (First Nation) knowledge in relation to the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical experiences of a pregnant person during their childbearing years. We endeavor to provide training and mentorship and provide an environment conducive to interprofessional development to initiate post-colonial and community-based healing and wellness in the area of maternal health and well-being.

Midwives work with pregnant folks who are cultivating new life within them that will expand their families, help build their communities, and change their life path forever.

About Us
Mother-daughter midwifery team Carol Couchie and Rachel Dennis have a combined experience of more than 20 years. They are both members of Nipissing First Nation and they have worked on many First Nations and in large city centers across Canada.
Photo credit: Dark Woods Photography

We provide midwifery clinic services through our clinic on Nipissing First Nation, ON and at our satellite site in Powassan as well. Our mission is to provide quality midwifery care, support and guidance to pregnant people, their families, and communities in a safe and culturally appropriate setting open to traditional teachings and ceremonies. We honor and incorporate local indigenous (First Nation) knowledge in relation to the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical experiences of a pregnant person during their childbearing years. We endeavor to provide training and mentorship and provide an environment conducive to interprofessional development to initiate post-colonial and community-based healing and wellness in the area of maternal health and well-being.

Midwifery

Ontario’s Midwives are highly skilled and qualified to provide safe and ethical care under the professional standards set by their governing body – the College of Midwives of Ontario (CMO).

Midwives are required by the CMO to stay active in their practice and continue to improve their knowledge and skills.

As a client at K’Tigaaning Midwives you can expect:

Information about your choices and for those choices to be respected.

The opportunity to personalize your birth plans

Access to local resources for any additional prenatal and postpartum support you may need.

A lower rate of C-sections and unnecessary interventions

Midwives expertise includes vaginal birth after a C-section (VBAC)

Services
A client can expect to have about 12 prenatal visits with a midwife before their delivery. Midwives arrange any routine prenatal testing, blood tests, ultrasounds, genetic screenings and standard laboratory and diagnostic tests that you require and accept.
Midwives are primary health care providers who work on-call. They will work with you through pregnancy, labour and the first six weeks after your delivery.
With low risk pregnancies most folks can choose to have their birth at home, in clinic, or at the hospital. Midwives in Ontario are trained for in hospital and out-of-hospital births, including births at home and birth centres.Midwives provide support, education, instructions and resources on breast/chest-feeding. They provide personal assistance on techniques. Over 90% of midwifery clients have success with breast/chest-feeding after six weeks, when compared with the provincial average of around 60%.

We exist to deliver sexual and reproductive health care that is culturally safe and trauma aware. We are primary health care providers who predominantly support Indigenous families as well as our neighbours. We provide comprehensive preconception, pregnancy, birth and postpartum care, including expanded midwifery services based on community needs.

The KTM Team

Our Team

Carol graduated midwifery school from Ryerson University in 1998. Carol is the new Member at Large on the Association of Ontario Midwives Board, and her particular interest is to support and advance the board’s strategic goal around restoring birth to Indigenous communities. Enthusiastic about association-level work, she is a founding member of the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM). She has served as a board member for women’s shelters, the College of Midwives of Manitoba, the Canadian Association of Midwives, and is an elder member of the core leaders of NACM. Carol has co-chaired the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada’s  (SOGC) Aboriginal Women’s Health Committee and helped write the SOGC recommendations on returning birth to rural and remote Aboriginal communities, as well as recommendations for rural and remote maternity care. Carol is passionate about being a good midwife and a strong traditional teacher. She comes from a Family tradition of Midwifery, as her great grandmother was a midwife on Nipissing First Nation, her niece Evelyn George is a midwife who works in a First Nation in BC, and Carol is extremely proud to practice with her daughter, Rachel Dennis.

Ahnii, I’m Rachel. I graduated midwifery school from Ryerson University in 2012. In my senior year, I trained at Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto (SGMT), an Indigenous-focused midwifery practice servicing the Greater Toronto Area. I continued to work at SGMT for my first year and a half of practice after graduating. I credit my experience working with the midwives as well as the clients at SGMT, as being pivotal to the development of my craft, and navigating the areas of care where midwives can provide additional support.

As I am very passionate about bringing birth back to Indigenous communities, in the very infant stages of my midwifery career I endeavored to open a midwifery practice in my family’s home community of Nipissing First Nation with my mother. Although my blood is from Nipissing, my roots also lie in Toronto’s Indigenous community. This has provided a broader understanding of the positive outcomes associated with being cared for by Indigenous people in your own community. The value of this work was especially instilled in me when I worked as a research assistant in the Inuulitsivik Health Centre in Nunavik.

My mother and I have succeeded in continuing the matrilineal lines of midwifery practice, and are thrilled that we were able to open our doors on Nipissing First Nation.

Having worked at a camp as a teenager for intercity Indigenous youth, including a specialized camp for children with FASD, I have also developed a dedication for supporting and working with teens and marginalized youth.

I have two beautiful children that I was fortunate enough to have at home, supported by my partner and 4 generations of family members.

I studied to become a midwife at Ryerson University in Toronto and graduated in 1998. I have practiced midwifery since then – my first 3 years in Toronto and the remainder in North Bay. I was raised and lived for many years in southern Ontario, (Oshawa, the Kawarthas and then Toronto) in both urban and rural settings. I have spent much time in Temagami, Ontario, and was drawn to living in the North. Hence my move to North Bay in 2001. Throughout my life, I have been in touch with Indigenous culture and this includes spending time with some of the Indigenous families of Bear Island in Temagami, practicing midwifery in Attawapiskat during Locums, and working with a Native housing agency in Toronto. This experience rooted my passion to educate myself, and continuously work on accepting feedback in order to be a friend and ally. As a younger person, I always enjoyed traveling and learning languages, and this included living and studying in Quebec. I also lived in South America for over a year, specifically in Colombia and Peru, and can speak French, Spanish and some Dutch. As a midwifery student, I did a placement in the Netherlands in the community where my father was born and raised. As a working midwife, I have had the opportunity to work with Spanish speaking midwives in Toronto’s Hispanic community. Also, as mentioned earlier, in the last few years I have worked as a Locum midwife with the Cree of the James Bay Coast in Attawapiskat. Working elsewhere can teach us so much about ourselves and enhance our skills. I am humbled by how much we can continue to learn as our pregnant clients and their babies teach us new things every day. I am grateful to my supportive partner and teen son……who endure my many absences from home. Together we enjoy being active outdoors – biking, running, skiing, paddling. Being a midwife can be challenging, but more so, it is such a privilege and a joy.

Hello, my name is Emily Chartrand-Hudson. I’m a registered Indigenous (Oji-Cree/mixed settler) Midwife. My journey to midwifery began when I attended the birth of my sister at home, with midwives on Manitoulin Island. I was only eight years old at the time but I was absolutely enthralled with the process and begged the midwife and my mom to let me be as involved as possible. The midwife designated me the “cold cloth” fetcher so I could cool off my mum’s forehead, asked me to give labor support, and even let me have a peek at the baby’s head crowned. I knew from that moment on that I wanted to support pregnant and laboring persons through this amazing transition when I grew up. Of course, no journey is without a few pit stops along the road. Before becoming a midwife, I briefly studied English Literature at Trent University and also lived for a time on Vancouver Island. During my midwifery education, I completed placements in Ottawa and Sudbury, as well as in the far north, on Attawapiskat First Nation. I was also the Student Representative for the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM) as a senior student and became a Core Leader of NACM for one year after graduation. I feel passionate about ensuring access to midwifery care in indigenous communities, providing culturally sensitive and trauma-informed care, as well as paving pathways for Indigenous midwifery education. I’m eternally grateful to the team at K’Tigaaning Midwives, our clients, and their families for the amazing opportunity that is catching babies and providing pre and post-natal care in our community. When I’m not busy with my work, I can usually be found hanging out with my partner and my cat, Margot, at home or in the woods. I love to get outside and take advantage of all the space North Bay has to offer – whether it be kayaking, hiking, or camping, I’m there! I’m also an avid Crossfitter and (very) occasional runner.

Hi there, my name is Jane and I am a mum of many. I was born and raised in Australia and moved to Canada in 1996. In Australia, I experienced being cared for by midwives during my labors. After moving to Canada, I had the privilege of caring for many children through the foster care system. This amazing, loving, and extremely educating time in my life gave me the opportunity to bond with many families, and begin to have an understanding of the ongoing effects of colonization on Indigenous families in Canada, and the injustices many folks continue to experience. Working within the foster care system, and my continued work with K’Tigaaning Midwives challenges me to remain open to learning. I have a deep willingness to be a trusted advocate and ally and am always ready to learn. I moved to Ontario in 2009 and met Carol and Rachel in 2013. That year provided many experiences that challenged, inspired, and enriched my life. Providing care to pregnant folks and their families, as well as support to the midwives, has made me feel that I am on the right life path. I currently live on a property in Astorville, with my beautiful son, one of my granddaughters and a few animals.

My family and I moved from Toronto to North Bay in the mid-’90s. In earlier years, as a nursing student, I loved the learning experience in Maternal Care so much that I asked to complete my working consolidation in this area. During my final year as a pregnant student myself, caring for expecting mothers I had foundational experiences that more deeply engrained my love for maternal care. My work experiences have been in Pediatrics, Maternal Care, Labour and Delivery, Medicine and Telemedicine. A five-year stint in Labour and Delivery at Northwestern General Hospital was and still is my most loved experience from my entire nursing practice. I was very blessed to be able to work with midwives and nurses from Jamaica, the Philippines, and England; these diligent and resourceful women lovingly harnessed my passion for assisting in births and patiently taught me all they could. Since 2013 I have been employed as a Second attendant with K’Tigaaning Midwives. I am very grateful for every opportunity to be working with this excellent team.

Resources

Here is a list of some fertility, prenatal and postpartum related resources we find to be quite useful and current. You will also find below links to the College of Midwives of Ontario, the National Aboriginal Council of midwives

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