What is a Registered Midwife?
Midwives are formally trained and fully integrated primary healthcare professionals who provide complete care to women during pregnancy, labour and birth, and the first six weeks postpartum. The World Health Organization recommends most women have midwives as their caregiver. Across the rest of the world, most babies are born into the hands of capable midwives. The term ‘Registered Midwife’ is a protected title in BC, and indicates that the midwife has met the standards to register with the College of Midwives of British Columbia, and maintains her status through ongoing recertification and training.
If I have a midwife can I birth in hospital?
Yes. Registered Midwives are required by the CMBC to offer you the choice of birthplace. We support you to birth in the environment that feels most comfortable for you. Your midwife can help you to decide which place is best for you.
When should I make an appointment with a midwife?
Contact us as soon as you know you are pregnant. Midwives take on a relatively small number of clients each month to ensure that they are able to provide the personalized care that each woman deserves. However, if you are further along in your pregnancy and are now considering midwifery care please contact us, as there is always a possibility that we will be able to take you as a client.
How do I register for midwifery care?
To register for midwifery care please click here to fill out the online registration form. You will be contacted within 5 days after filling out the form. If you have not heard from us by that time, please call our office.
How much does it cost to have a midwife?
Midwifery in BC is fully covered under your Medical Services Plan (MSP) so if you have a BC Care Card it will not cost you anything. For women planning a home birth you will need a few supplies to prepare for the delivery ~ most women spend $25-$50.
If you do not have a BC Care Card it is possible to arrange to pay privately for your care. Please contact us for more information about private pay options.
What are the advantages of Midwifery Care?
In studies of midwifery care, women experience lower rates of surgical and interventive births, and babies require less resuscitation at birth.
Midwifery clients are encouraged to make informed choices about their care, and have access to all routine medical testing during their pregnancy including blood work, genetic testing and ultrasounds. In addition, midwifery clients benefit from knowing and trusting their midwives, with whom they develop a close relationship during pregnancy. Central to the philosophy of midwifery care is that women feel respected and supported so that they are able to experience pregnancy, give birth, and become mothers with power and dignity.
Can I see a midwife and a doctor?
No. The Medical Services Plan in BC will only pay for either a midwife, family physician or obstetrician for your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. The choice of caregiver is up to you to decide. You can always see your family doctor for any non-pregnancy related concerns.
However, if a there were a complication during your care your midwife would arrange for another health care practitioner to be involved in your or your baby’s care to ensure you get appropriate and safe care.
Can I have pain medication if I have a midwife?
Yes. We encourage you to remain open to different options, as birth is an unpredictable journey. We have a wide range of experience with pain coping techniques including: homeopathy, aromatherapy, massage, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, hypno-birthing as well as narcotics and epidurals.
What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?
Although there are some similarities between midwives and doulas in the sense that both provide emotional support and suggestions for coping with labour, the biggest difference is that your midwife is responsible for monitoring the health and well being of you and your baby, and the progress of your labour. Doulas provide you with uninterrupted support, but they do not provide medical care, and do not deliver babies. There is good evidence demonstrating that the presence of a doula decreases a laboring woman’s need for pain medication and improves outcomes.
Can my partner and/or my other children come to my visits?
Yes! We welcome your whole family and appreciate meeting your partner and answering his or her questions. Your children can become involved by helping to listen to the baby’s heartbeat and we have books and toys they can play with. Other support people are also welcome.
How are midwives trained?
Midwives are trained in a variety of settings including apprenticeship training models, distance education as well as university-based training. In BC, the University of BC offers a four-year degree program. Registered midwives all have current certification in emergency skills for both mothers and babies. Additionally, all registered midwives comply with rigorous standards outlined by the College of Midwives of BC. Ask your midwife about her training.