WHAT IS A MIDWIFE AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
The midwifery model of care promotes normal birth, enables women to make informed choices, and provides continuity of care and support throughout the childbearing experience. We believe that women and their families are transformed by birth and we provide compassionate, supportive, and clinically informative guidance to facilitate this transformation. All women and families are unique and we adapt our care to your individual needs.
During our education and training, midwives study courses such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, biology, pharmacology, epidemiology, normal maternal and newborn care and so much more. We take courses on emergency situations and how to appropriately management them. We re-certify in those skills annually and bi-annually in order to be prepared. We learn essential tools for research, assessing and interpreting data, and keeping up to date on the latest evidence based care options. We believe that it is our responsibility to provide comprehensive, holistic information so that women can make informed choices at all stages of care. We practice based on a philosophy of informed choice. We believe that although we are experts in the field of midwifery, we are not experts at knowing your personal history, experiences, and beliefs. We work to keep you informed about all aspects of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care and to support your decisions. It is your responsibilty to be informed, ask questions, and play an active role in the decision-making required during your care.
Registered Midwives in BC offer primary maternity care to healthy pregnant women and their newborn babies from early pregnancy, through labour and birth, until about six weeks postpartum. Just like a family doctor who works in maternity, or an obstetrician, midwives are covered under your BC health insurance at no cost to patients. What does this really mean? Midwives listen, answer questions, educate, guide, and care. We order and interpret tests, discuss results and as needed, collaborate with specialists and make care plans with you regarding those results. We screen for physical, psychological, emotional and social health. We are with women during pregnancy, labour and birth, normal and complicated. We catch babies. We do home visits the first week postpartum. We help with breastfeeding and adjusting to life with a new baby. We work together and side by side with other healthcare professionals to provide the safest and best outcomes possible. We practice evidence-based, patient-centered maternity and newborn care and are an established part of the BC health care system.