Let us tell you a bit about midwifery in general.
MIDWIVES ARE EXPERTS IN NORMAL BIRTH
- Midwives seek to preserve and protect the natural birth process, while ensuring mother & baby's health and safety.
- Midwives personalize health care based on the needs and wishes of the parents & baby.
- Midwives provide comprehensive primary care through pregnancy, labour and birth and 6 weeks postpartum.
- Midwives offer the same diagnostic screening tests and procedures as doctors in BC.
- Midwives offer choice of birth setting in hospital or at home.
- BC midwives meet comprehensive regulations of the College of Midwives of BC.
- Midwives are integrated into the BC health care system, consulting and working collaboratively with doctors and other health care professionals.
- Midwifery care is covered by Medical Services Plan in BC.
For more information: Midwives Association of BC
Prenatal care is the foundation for caring for women in labour and during the postpartum period. Our visits enable us to develop a relationship with the expectant mother and important people around her. We welcome partners, family members, friends and children to prenatal visits, so that we can get to know the people who will be supporting the mother in labour, and develop relationships with them as well.
During the pregnancy, we take time to provide individualized, careful prenatal care, monitoring the health of the baby and the mother, and offering and discussing prenatal tests and procedures. Working on the principle of informed choice, we do our best to give our clients as much information as possible, based on current evidence-based research. Detailed discussion of birth options also lessens the fear of birth, and allows for parents to feel well prepared and supported.
Labour & Birth
We attend home births as well as hospital births. We have hospital privileges at Peace Arch Hospital (primary working hospital) and Surrey Memorial Hospital. Our clients are encouraged to call us when they think they are in labour. Through a verbal progression check-in, we determine whether or not to go to the mother’s home, or ask the mother to meet at the hospital so she can be assessed.
Once active labour begins, the midwife is continuously with the mother (and partner) until after the birth. During labour we monitor the progress of the labour, the health of the baby and mother, and provide continuous physical and emotional support for the mother, her partner, and support people. Mothers are free to labour in whatever positions feel best and are encouraged to be as active as possible. Our primary suggestions are to encourage the mother’s comfort, offer food when they are hungry, and drinks when they are thirsty. The mother may chose to use water for pain relief and relaxation – showering or soaking in a bath or birth tub are common relaxation methods.
Medications and medical interventions are kept to a minimum when needed. Partners and friends are very involved in the birth. After birth, the healthy baby remains with the parents at all times. We weigh and examine the baby, and remain with the mother and baby for approximately 2-4 hours after the birth. For a home birth, two midwives are present, or the midwife is accompanied by a well-qualified assistant.
Postpartum care is a very important part of the services that we provide in our practice – it is one of the bonuses of midwifery care. We typically do three postpartum visits in the first ten days after birth, and a three week and six week visit at our office. These visits are made to check on the health of the mother and baby, and make sure that both are doing well in the early postpartum period. These first days can be the most challenging times for new parents, and the extra support can be very reassuring.
We are experienced at providing breastfeeding support, and we are happy to help mothers and babies as they establish their breastfeeding relationship. Barring any problems with the baby, we do well-baby care for the first six weeks, and we are on call for the family for the six week postpartum period.