Midwifery Care

WE BELIEVE IN YOU!

What a gift it is to be with you while you are busy making miracles.

Let us tell you more about how midwifery care works.  Because it really works.

Midwifery Model of Care

Registered Midwives provide care that is similar in many ways to physician care. We order and interpret the same lab work and tests such as ultrasounds that are routinely used in pregnancy; and we see our clients on a similar schedule. However, the midwifery model is unique in health care. Here are some key points:

Informed Choices

Midwives promote decision-making as a shared responsibility, between the pregnant client, their family and their caregivers. We encourage you to actively participate in your care. Your visits will include education and counselling about prenatal testing, labour/birth procedures and newborn care, enabling you to make informed choices. In order to accomplish this, you are provided with half-hour long visits so that we have time to answer your questions and provide information about choices you are making.

Continuity of Care

Midwives provide continuous, individualized care during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum; responding to your social, emotional, cultural and physical needs. You will be cared for by a team of two midwives throughout pregnancy, labour and after the birth. This enables you to build a trusting, personal relationship with your care providers. One midwife is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year for emergency support, and to attend your birth.

Choice of Birthplace

Healthy low-risk clients are supported in their choice of birthplace - home or hospital. Your midwife will explain the risks and benefits of each so that you are able to make this important decision. Midwives respect your right to choice of place of birth in accordance with the Standards of Practice of the College of Midwives of BC. You are encouraged to consider both options and make the choice that is best for you and your family.

Learn more about the Midwifery Model of Care through the College of Mdiwives of BC website.

Prenatal Care

Consultations

You are invited to book an initial consultation to learn more about midwifery care and our practice. Partners are especially encouraged to attend this first meeting.  Please bring your questions and be prepared to learn about the unique difference that midwifery care can make!

Prenatal Visits

During pregnancy, we see clients approximately once a month, increasing to every 2-3 weeks from 28-36 weeks, then weekly until you deliver. This schedule of appointments can be flexible and may be adjusted according to your needs. 

At your initial visit, we will order blood work and an ultrasound if needed. We will also request records of care received during your current pregnancy and/or records from any previous pregnancies and births. At future visits, we will take your health history and provide a physical assessment, including a pap test if due. Ongoing prenatal visits include monitoring blood pressure, fetal growth, fetal position and heart rate, urinalysis and your general health. Listening to the baby's heart beat is a popular part of every visit after 10-12 weeks. Midwives can order all routine testing, lab work and ultrasounds, and can prescribe  medications should you require them.

Midwifery care emphasizes education and counselling, enabling you to make informed choices. Appointments are usually 30 minutes in length. Our time is spent talking about normal development and health for you and your baby, nutrition, comfort measures for common pregnancy discomforts, preparation for birth, parenting, family/sibling adjustment, breastfeeding, and providing you with information about other resources for parents in your area. Partners, other family members and support persons are always welcome.

If complications arise during your pregnancy, your midwife will consult with the appropriate physicians to ensure you are receiving quality obstetrical care. In most cases when obstetricians become involved, your midwifery care team remains involved to provide ongoing support, care and guidance.

Labour and Birth Care

Midwifery care includes complete labour and birth services, from early labour assessments through to delivering your newborn and caring for you in the first hours postpartum.

During early labour your midwife will be in contact with you by phone to answer questions, provide support and help you settle into your labour. Once active labour is established you will be cared for by your midwife until you deliver. We welcome your family, friends, and children as an important part of your birth experience.

You will have the option of delivering at home or at hospital. We deliver babies at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. For home births, a second midwife will attend the birth as well. Hospital births are supported by a wonderful team of perinatal nurses.

 Midwives provide skilled clinical, physical and emotional support during labour and birth. We believe in the normalcy of birth, your body is designed to do this work! We will encourage the natural process of labour with the use of mobility, water tubs, physical and emotional comfort measures, eating and drinking as you desire. We are experienced with water birth, and partners who desire can often "catch" their own baby (with the midwife's guidance). 

Midwives are trained in emergency management and work closely with the other members of the care team, including doctors, nurses, and specialists, should an emergency arise.

Postpartum Care

After the birth, your midwife will stay with you to monitor the condition of both you and your baby. 

Once settled, the nursing team at the hospital will continue to care for you and your baby until you are ready to be discharged home. Clients delivering at home will be seen again within 24 hours after the birth. You will receive help with infant feeding and be provided information and guidance for your recovery during the early days after the birth. Your baby's health will be monitored closely during this important transition.

We will visit you in your home frequently during the first week after the birth to answer questions, assist with infant feeding, monitor the baby's weight, and check on your recovery. We will see you again in our office at 2, 4, and 6 weeks postpartum to provide ongoing care regarding your recovery, monitor your baby's growth, and continue to assist with feeding and infant care.

The final visit takes place at around 6 weeks and includes a complete physical assessment of both you and your newborn. You will receive a copy of your records, and a summary of the pregnancy, birth and postpartum period will be sent to your family doctor when you are discharged from midwifery care. You will then return to the care of your family doctor for ongoing health care for yourself and your new baby.

Key Points

  • Midwifery care is funded by the provincial government. All you need to provide is your Care Card. Clients without care cards may request private pay services, please contact us for fee details.
  • Midwives provide complete prenatal and birth care, as well as caring for you and your newborn for 6 weeks after birth. After this time you will return to your family doctor for ongoing medical care.
  • You do not need a referral from a doctor. You may contact us directly should you choose midwifery care. 
  • You will have a choice of giving birth at home or in a hospital. You will labour best in the place where you are most comfortable. Hospital births occur at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.
  • Midwives focus on improving the quality of your pregnancy and birth experience. The personal, time-intensive prenatal care provided by midwives, with its emphasis on education and prevention, will help you approach your birth feeling prepared, and comfortable with your caregiver. 
  • Your midwife will provide care in labour, deliver your baby, and care for you and your baby postpartum. Our intensive postpartum support makes a significant difference in your early parenting experience and your success with breastfeeding.
  • Evidence shows that home birth is a safe option for low-risk pregnancies. Your midwives will assist you in making your own best choice for place of birth, by discussing the risks and benefits of each birth setting. For references and more information, please see the Place of Birth Handbook produced by the College of Midwives of BC.




  • You have a choice of either a midwife, family physician, or obstetrician as your primary maternity care provider. If your pregnancy becomes complicated,  we will arrange a consultation with the appropriate physician, whether obstetrician, pediatrician, or other specialist.
  • Pain medication is available. Every birth is unique and will have unique needs. Should the need for medications or epidural arise in your labour, your midwife can prescribe them or arrange them for you.All clients are encouraged to also utilize comfort measures such as massage, changing positions, warm water, movement,  visualization, counter-pressure, etc.
  • We love working with doulas!  A doula is a non-medical supportive care provider who is trained in comfort measures for birth. They are invaluable, and we highly recommend clients choose one.
  • You know your own needs best. We ask our clients to take responsibility for their own prenatal health, by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting adequate rest. Keep us informed of anything that might affect your pregnancy or birth, including your medical history, and any medications or substances that you take. This will make us better able to care for you.
  • Active participation in shared decision-making is critical to empowering you to make your own best choices. By combining medical care with education and support, we strive to provide holistic care to the entire family.
  • Pregnancy and birth are healthy and profound events in a person's life.  We recommend that you learn about the process of labour and birth through prenatal classes, and reading educational books. Write your questions down and bring them with you to each prenatal visit.