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.
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:
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 BC College of Nurses and Midwives website
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.
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.
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.