In Vancouver, there are three options for maternity care, a GP who specializes in maternity care, an obstetrician, or a midwife. Midwives are experts in low-risk births and know how to care for healthy, low-risk pregnant women starting during the early prenatal stage, through birth and the postpartum period, which lasts for roughly six weeks after birth.
A midwifery care clinic in Vancouver is fully covered by your medical care plan, (MSP). Midwifery care clinics are run by midwives, who have undergone a four-year program, and who are maternity health care, medical experts. A midwife can take care of you throughout your pregnancy, birth and up to six weeks after birth. Home visits are included, and you get the option to choose to give birth either in your home or in a hospital. After birth, a midwife will visit you in your home to check on you and your baby and will help you with any postpartum issues, such as nursing.
At a midwifery care clinic in Vancouver, you can expect experts in breastfeeding support, infant care, and education. Midwives practice solo or work in teams. An appointment at a midwifery clinic lasts around 45 minutes, leaving plenty of time for questions or concerns. Compared to the average doctor’s appointment, which is 15 minutes, 45-minute appointments leave enough room to thoroughly discuss and understand any questions and concerns. During active labour, midwives attend the birth and provide support as needed. After the birth, midwives complete the newborn care exam, and other tests that are done after birth.
Midwifery care clinics can order all of the standard pregnancy tests and imaging that you would receive at a hospital. Including blood tests, ultrasounds, and any other tests required during the pregnancy term.
Midwifery care clinics in Vancouver have a core value that birth is a normal, healthy part of life and not a condition that needs treatment. Midwives are trained and will use medical technology when it is needed and, if there are complications, will call on other medical professionals as needed. This can include calling 911, paramedics, doctors, nurses, or any other medical professional who may be needed.
Midwives identify and refer women who need specialist care during their pregnancy to an obstetrician. Sometimes, midwives and obstetricians can work together collaboratively, if it is required.
Midwives are the only maternity care providers who are trained to attend a birth at home. Home or hospital births with midwives are very low risk, and midwives have lower rates of death, caesarean sections, and difficult labour complications, as compared to doctors.
Midwives are actually the primary care providers for pregnancy and for healthy pregnant women in most countries and continents around the world, except for North America. In North America, it is more common for women, even when low-risk, to see a GP or an obstetrician for pregnancy care and birth at a hospital, rather than a midwife.
Choosing who to have the help you give birth, and where to give birth is a very important and personal decision. While some women have medical complications that require a hospital and medical treatments only done in hospitals, for low-risk pregnancies, a midwifery care clinic in Vancouver can give you a clearer understanding of your pregnancy.
Midwives believe in informed consent and will explain every step of your pregnancy journey to you so that you can make the decisions that are best for you.