Frequently asked questions
WHAT IS A MIDWIFE?
DO I NEED A REFERRAL FROM MY DOCTOR TO SEE A MIDWIFE?
No referral is required. Simply contact the clinic or fill out an intake form online.
ARE MIDWIFERY SERVICES REGULATED?
Yes. Midwives are registered with and regulated by the College of Midwives of British Columbia (CMBC) according to the BC Health Professions Act, the Midwives Regulation and the CMBC Bylaws. Midwives have been regulated and legally recognized as autonomous health care practitioners in BC since 1998.
ARE THE COSTS OF MIDWIFERY SERVICES COVERED IN BC?
Yes, the BC Ministry of Health covers the cost of midwifery services for all BC residents with a valid Carecard or BC Services Card through the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP).
CAN I HAVE A DOCTOR AND A MIDWIFE?
I AM NOT COVERED BY MSP. CAN I STILL HAVE A MIDWIFE?
WHEN SHOULD I CALL TO MAKE MY FIRST APPOINTMENT?
Contact us as soon as you know you are pregnant. We want to ensure that you have prompt access to the care that you need.
HOW OFTEN DO I SEE A MIDWIFE?
HOW MANY MIDWIVES WILL BE INVOLVED IN MY CARE?
WHAT IS THE WORKING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MIDWIVES AND OBSTETRICIANS?
We enjoy collaborative working relationships with our consultants. As midwives we consult with family doctors, obstetricians, pediatricians and other specialists as the need arises. A transfer of care occasionally is necessary in urgent situations. With transfers, unless a complication arises early in pregnancy (and requires a complete transfer of care) we typically remain involved in your care in a supportive role, with care often transferred back to us completely once the issue has resolved.
WILL I HAVE ACCESS TO THE SAME TESTS AND PRESCRIPTIONS THAT I WOULD HAVE HAD WITH A DOCTOR?
Yes. We offer a complete panel of prenatal laboratory tests, genetic screening and diagnosis options, ultrasound imaging and many other tests and procedures for clients and newborns. Our scope of practice includes the prescribing and use of many medications that may be indicated in pregnancy, during labour (including in emergency situations or pain medication) and postpartum. If medication or testing is required which is outside of our scope of practice, we will consult with a physician as indicated for specialized care.
COULD COMPLICATIONS RULE OUT MIDWIFERY SERVICES?
CAN I CHOOSE WHETHER I GIVE BIRTH AT HOME OR IN HOSPITAL?
WHAT PAIN RELIEF OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ME?
As midwives we offer a range of natural (massage, acupuncture, position change recommendations, verbal encouragement, breathing techniques, and more) and pharmaceutical pain relief options, including access to epidurals. It is important to us that you have access to the information necessary to make informed decisions about the use of pain relief options. These options are discussed during your prenatal visits as well as during prenatal classes.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE TO HAVE A C-SECTION?
Midwives have a 42% lower caesarean section rate than the provincial average. However, in certain circumstances a caesarean birth may be recommended as a safer option than a vaginal birth. An obstetrician will then become involved and will perform the caesarean. In most situations midwives are involved in the decision making process, and will be present during a caesarean birth to provide support, care to the baby, assist with skin to skin/breastfeeding in the OR as desired, and will resume postpartum care afterwards.
WHAT IF I HAVE A PROBLEM UNRELATED TO PREGNANCY?
During pregnancy, clients continue to see their family doctor or specialist physician for health issues unrelated to pregnancy.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MIDWIFE AND A DOULA?
AM I HIGH RISK IF I AM OVER 40 YEARS OLD?
ARE THERE ANY CULTURALLY RELEVANT RESOURCES OR SERVICES AVAILABLE TO ME IF I AM INDIGENOUS?
Yes. Your midwives will be happy to discuss these with you. We are committed as a practice to working towards the decolonization of birth. We have all accessed Indigenous Cultural Safety training, recognizing that cultural humility and the process of learning about cultural safety will be ongoing. We are each members of the Indigenous Women’s Sharing Society (PUT LINK IN HERE) and look forward to continuing to share and learn about different resources that are available to our indigenous families.