You found out you’re expecting!
Whether it’s your first child or your fifth, every pregnancy shakes up your life in ways you never expected.
Choosing a name, painting the baby’s room, buying a new car seat and…meeting your doctor.
Particularly in Vancouver, it can be challenging to find prenatal care that can deliver a truly personal experience; with clinics at capacity for new patients, many Vancouverites don’t even have a regular family GP. And when they do get seen by a doctor, the visits are short, quick, and far apart, leaving women with more questions than they have answers.
That’s exactly why it might be worth considering including the services of a midwife in your pregnancy care and birth plan.
Midwifery has been practiced since the 17th century. Some might regard midwifery as an outdated, naturopathic practice that can’t hold a candle to modern medicine, but actually midwifery today is a very modern study that is taught at most medical institutions around the world and is a service offered by most hospitals. In fact, you can find a midwife at B.C. Women’s Hospital, who will work alongside other medical professionals.
A midwife offers almost exactly the same services that an obstetrician does. A midwife will administer the same tests during your visits that a doctor would and is certified to provide you with the same kind of pain relief, including an epidural in addition to natural remedies, the only caveat being that pharmaceutical pain relief must be administered at a hospital. If complications surrounding your pregnancy are beyond the scope of care a midwife can provide, they are trained to recognize when it’s time to transfer your care to a medical doctor. Your midwife can consult with specialists as needed.
You also don’t need a referral to see a midwife, and the services provided are covered by your B.C. MSP.
There are some notable advantages to including a midwife in your birth plan.
For starters, you will see your midwife more often than you see your doctor. Some obstetricians won’t see you until you are nearly 20 weeks along, you can usually make an appointment to visit a midwife between 8-12 weeks. You will typically see your midwife once a month for the first 28 weeks of your pregnancy. After that, visits might increase to once every two weeks until you reach 36 weeks, then once every week until you give birth.
And while a visit to a clinic is usually quite short, a midwife will generally block off up to 45 minutes for your appointment, giving you plenty of time to ask questions and hear about your options, allowing you to leave your appointment with peace of mind. In addition, a midwife will visit you in your home, eliminating distractions and adding a nice personal touch to your care.
Many women also appreciate the option to give birth at home with the assistance of a midwife. Giving birth at home is more likely to result in a stress-free delivery and a calm transition from womb to world for baby. Of course, if you’d rather give birth in a hospital (or your pregnancy is complicated by health concerns) a midwife will accompany you. Midwives are not here to judge your choices; their job is simply to be there to support you on your journey from pregnancy to motherhood and beyond, as midwives will keep seeing you for postnatal care or, if needed and they have the qualifications, lactation consultations.
If you’re planning to give birth at BC Women’s Hospital, then Downtown Midwifery Practice is an excellent choice. Mitra Latifiyan has privileges as a midwife at BC Women’s Hospital, and she has well over 10 years of experience delivering babies. Click here to fill out an intake form, and start getting to know your new midwife today.