Gaby Sabados was like so many students – she loved health and science but didn’t quite know how to turn her passion into a career.

That all changed during her second year of health studies at Waterloo when she learned about midwifery.

Gaby Sabados

“I just knew immediately that’s what I wanted to do,” says Sabados, now a registered midwife. “It’s happy, it’s healthy. It’s a major event in people’s lives and I still get to stay up to date on evidence-based medicine,” she says.

After completing her midwifery training and working around the world, Sabados has come home to the University of Waterloo Midwifery Clinic where she will help students and their families during the most important event they’ll  experience on campus – the birth of their child.

Sabados is looking forward to supporting her university clients, especially international students who may be far away from the support of their families.  “Some of my clients on campus won’t have their moms and sisters around. I hope to be able to spend time with them so they feel comfortable asking questions about anything.”

The midwives, who will also be available to university staff and faculty, give primary care to women during pregnancy, labour and birth. They continue to care for mothers and babies during the first six weeks after the baby is born.

Waterloo’s new family clinic

Waterloo is leading the way in Canada by offering midwifery care on campus, says Barbara Schumacher, director of health services.  Sabados and three other midwives, who will be on campus once a week, will eventually see clients in the university’s new family clinic currently under construction inside the Health Services building.

Schumacher says midwifery care is ideal for students and their spouses because the extended care midwives provide before and after the birth will give young families support for everything from breastfeeding to nutrition and how to deal with a crying baby.  Also, the new family clinic will have doctors who can continue care for all members of the family once the midwives are finished six weeks after the baby’s birth.

Sabados and the other midwives on campus practice at St. Jacobs Midwives, one of the longest-established midwifery practices in Ontario.

“There is no other job I want to do. I love being a midwife,” says Sabados. “It’s coming full circle for me, having learned about midwifery on campus and now practicing here.”