Zahra Khoddamy

I grew up in Iran listening to my grandmother’s stories of helping women deliver babies. I was fascinated by what I heard and decided at a very young age that I wanted to become a midwife like her. After graduating from high school, I passed the Iranian National Exam for entrance to university with the goal of becoming a midwife and was accepted into a midwifery program in the far north of Iran. However, because the program was so far away, my family disagreed with my decision to attend. At their urging, I went into environmental engineering instead of midwifery.

In 2001, I moved to Canada with my husband and four-month-old son. I applied to midwifery school but was not accepted because I did not have sufficient English skills. Later, I was accepted to nursing school and became a registered nurse in 2011. However, my heart was still with midwifery and I could not let go of my deep desire to become a midwife. I was accepted to the UBC midwifery program in 2012.

In my first year of training at UBC, I volunteered as a doula at BC Women’s Fir Square program (a program for women dealing with addiction in pregnancy). As a midwifery student, I travelled to Uganda and had the privilege of working with Ugandan mothers, which I consider  as the highlight of my midwifery training. These experiences reinforced my determination to become a care provider who supports women in their choices and to birth with dignity and respect.

I wholeheartedly believe in the midwifery model of care, as it promotes empowerment for women to make informed, autonomous decisions. I believe that women undergo major transitions as they go through pregnancy and childbirth. It is a profound experience, and my desire is to be part of this experience and help make it wonderful for every woman.  Thank you for allowing me to do so. I am so honoured and grateful for the privilege of being involved.