What you can Expect From Midwifery Care
PHILOSOPHY OF CARE
Midwifery care is based on the understanding that pregnancy and birth is a healthy progression through the life cycle. We uphold pregnancy and birth as normal physiological processes, and profound events in a person’s life.
The key philosophies of midwifery are continuity of care, informed choice, choice of birth setting and collaboration with other health professionals.
Continuity of care is a philosophy and a process; it enables us to develop a relationship with you and provide personalized, safe care.
As midwives, we recognize a pregnant individual as the primary decision maker; we promote shared responsibility between your family and other professionals involved in your care.
We encourage informed choice by providing complete, relevant and objective information throughout the childbearing cycle in a supportive manner. This enables you to develop understanding, responsibility and autonomy in your and your baby’s health care.
Our commitment to providing you options regarding your choice of birthplace and homebirth is essential in our care.
We believe strongly that all people have a right to accessible, comprehensive, respectful care that honours their individuality. We have a special interest in reaching out to families who may find themselves marginalized by society based on their socio-economic, cultural, religious or ethnic backgrounds, or gender identity/sexual orientation. We appreciate the role that we as midwives can play in honouring and celebrating diversity, and creating connections and community among families.
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.
Fundamental to our midwifery care is the respect and support provided to each individual, so that they may give birth safely with power and dignity.
MODEL OF PRACTICE
In British Columbia, midwifery is a publicly funded health service. Anyone with a valid Carecard or BC Services Card can receive midwifery care at no personal cost.
The midwifery model of practice was developed in BC and offers autonomous, community-based primary care, incorporating the principles of continuity of care, informed choice, choice of birth setting, collaborative care, and evidence-based practice.
CONTINUITY OF CARE
Continuity of care is both a philosophy and a process. It allows us to develop a relationship with you over time, with the purpose of providing responsive, individualized, and safe care. There will be a small team of midwives caring for you, each of whom will be known to you prior to your birth.
We clearly document all of our visits, ensuring that current information for each client is available to every midwife. We communicate together as a team frequently about our clients and their care. We do regular chart review to make sure we are all up to date on any relevant issues or special considerations. Aside from our own individual and collective commitment to knowing our clients well, our care is guided by the College of Midwives of BC, our regulatory body that provides standards for the BC midwifery model of practice.
We view you, as the parent(s), to be the most appropriate people to make decisions regarding your care options. We respect your right to make informed choices by providing objective information in a supportive manner. We always allow adequate time for discussion during your pregnancy, and can facilitate the ongoing exchange of current, evidence-based knowledge that is relevant to your unique needs.
CHOICE OF BIRTH SETTING
The right of a person to make an informed choice about the setting for birth is a principle deeply respected by us as midwives. We look forward to providing you with information to help you make an informed decision about where to have your baby, at home (or another out of hospital location for families who live outside the Comox Valley), or in the Comox Valley Hospital. Sometimes, this is an ongoing conversation as your pregnancy progresses and you learn more about your options. We’ll discuss with you the benefits and disadvantages of both birthplaces for you as an individual, and you’ll decide what’s right for you.
It’s worth knowing that both BC-specific and international homebirth research reveals that planned homebirth is as safe as hospital birth, for clients with healthy pregnancies and access to a care provider trained in homebirth.
Whether at home or in hospital, every birth will be attended by a minimum of two qualified care providers (two midwives at a homebirth, and a midwife and maternity nurse at the hospital).
To promote the best possible care for your and your baby’s health, we’ll offer collaboration or consultation with other health professionals if indicated. As primary care providers, we provide education, counselling and advocacy to support your individual needs. We enjoy collegial and mutually respectful relationships within the community of care providers, resources and services supporting families in the Comox Valley.