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Lydia Szymanski

 

Ever since I was a child I have known that I would be working with babies and expectant women. However, it took many years and a career as a registered dietitian before I discovered midwifery.

 

In 2000, I was hired as a nutritionist and lay counsellor in the Healthy Pregnancy Outreach Programs in Squamish and Pemberton. I was so excited to be working with women and infants in my field, but little did I know it would change my career path. As I began supporting expectant moms around nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices, I found myself becoming interested in many other aspects of their journey to motherhood– pregnancy, labour and birth, breastfeeding and newborn care. I began immersing myself in reading and courses to learn as much as I could about these other areas.

 

Around this time, a few program participants began asking me to support them in labour. It was an honour being part of such a personal time in their lives. I was exhilarated and moved with every labour and birth. These experiences impressed upon me how profound childbearing and childbirth are for women. As a result, I felt a calling to take on an even greater role during women’s experiences of pregnancy and childbirth, and my journey to become a midwife began.

 

I completed the Bachelor of Midwifery through the Faculty of Medicine at UBC in 2009. Over the course of my studies, I attended hundreds of births through placements in Vancouver, Duncan, Maple Ridge and Squamish, and also completed an international placement in Uganda. After graduating, I worked in Victoria, Abbotsford and Vancouver. In the fall of 2010, I returned to Squamish to open a midwifery practice.

It is a privilege caring for women and families through such a transformative time in their lives. Each woman, pregnancy and childbearing experience are unique and have something profound to teach me. I would be honoured to be part of your maternity care, and look forward to meeting you.

 

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