CATHY HARNESS, RM

Cathy’s passion for midwifery was ignited in 1982, the year she gave birth to her fourth baby at home under the watchful care of dedicated midwives.

Determined to become a midwife herself, the goal came to fruition a decade later when women from her wider community began asking Cathy to be their midwife. Knowing the right time had come, she embarked on the traditional apprenticeship path to midwifery, gaining midwifery registration after the province of Alberta regulated the profession in 1998. To date, she has attended the births of over 1,000 beautiful babies.

Her philosophy is firmly anchored in traditional family and midwifery values: childbearing is a normal and healthy process; each woman has the responsibility and right to make informed decisions about her care; breastfeeding is best for mother and baby; every child is a special gift and blessing; midwives shall provide individualized care and advocacy. With these touchstones motivating her, Cathy is particularly interested in extending midwifery care to women who are facing various pregnancy challenges, and she enjoys working collaboratively with specialists on behalf of women who are in singular need of both midwifery and obstetrical care.

Cathy loves the life-long learning that midwifery affords, and in addition to clinical practice, she is active in professional leadership, clinical teaching, and mentorship of students and new midwives. Opportunities have included: board member, Alberta Association of Midwives (AAM); member of the AAM Audit & Finance Committee; member of the Royal Alexandra Hospital (Edmonton) MOREob Core Team; instructor, Emergency Skills Workshop; assessor, Midwifery Bridging Program; assessor, Midwifery Multi-Faceted Midwifery Examinations; member, Development Committee for College of Midwives of Alberta (CMA); speaker, in-service workshops for Edmonton EMS; writer, National Family- Centred Maternal Newborn Guidelines, Health Canada; instructor in Neonatal Resuscitation; faculty member for ALARM Obstetrical Emergency Course (Society of Obstetricians & Gynaecologist of Canada); member of the Provincial Midwifery Policy & Guidelines Committee, and member of the CMA Conduct and Competency Committee.

Apart from her midwifery responsibilities, she speaks frequently at ladies’ functions, is the principle pianist for her church, and keeps busy with her children and growing number of grandchildren. Her two favourite hobbies are music and sewing and when she finds time, she takes Saturdays to re-design or up-scale some interesting item she discovered at the local thrift or antique store. She is a wanna-be amateur photographer, but lacking time to take classes or practice much, she just snaps lots (and lots!) of pictures and actually comes up with a few fantastic photographs of the people she loves most in the whole wide world – her family.

As Practice Lead at JoySpring, Cathy wants your experience with us to enlarge your happiness and broaden your confidence. Perhaps you will be inspired to consider some new dream you never thought possible until now!