Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, in 1998 hospital privileging became available to midwives registered with the College of Midwives of BC. "Choice of Birthplace" where available is now a standard of midwifery care. Hospital privileging enables midwives to care for women as primary care giver during low risk labour and delivery in the hospital setting as well as caring for mother and baby during the immediate postpartum period. Midwives work together with nursing staff and other medical consultants to provide optimal care in all circumstances.

If you have a BC Health Card, midwifery care and all necessary tests and services are covered by the Ministry of Health. If you do not have BC health coverage please speak directly with the midwives in your community regarding the fees.

Yes! The World Health Organization supports midwifery care as the standard of care for low risk pregnancy thoughout the world. Prior to being re-instated as an integrated health care option in Canada many studies were done to determine the safety of midwifery care for both women and babies. In response to these studies the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and the North West Territories are supporting and in most cases publicly funding midwifery care.

While pain medication is available to you in the same manner that it is available to women under physician care, many women in midwifery care find that they do not require medication for their labour. Studies show that continuous one-to-one support by a skilled supporter, such as midwifery care, reduces the need for pain medication as well as the need for intervention in labour. Throughout the prenatal period there are opportunities to discuss options. Your midwife will not suggest medication in labour unless it is deemed medically necessary or you request it. If you are labouring outside the hospital setting it will become necessary to move into the hospital if pain medication is needed.

Midwives are trained and licensed as primary health care providers in labour and delivery. And we love what we do! For you this means that we will facilitate your delivery and the care of your baby following the birth. However, we do work as a team with other health care professionals. In the hospital we have a great team of nurses providing back up care. (At home we will bring in a second midwife prior to the delivery). At times we may consult with an Obstetrician, GP, Paediatrician, or other appropriate physician in order to provide you with all services necessary for your care. When at all possible we will discuss these consults with you prior to calling the physician.

Midwives regularly care for women who have had one previous C/S. It is necessary to review the report of your surgery in order to help us determine if a vaginal birth is a safe option for you. In many cases women in midwifery care have wonderfully successful VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian section) deliveries. Your midwife will discuss the risks and benefits to VBAC as supported by medical evidence with you. As there is an increased risk you will be offered a consult with an obstetrician in the prenatal period. It is recommended that women attempt VBAC in the hospital in order to allow for immediate C/S if it is needed.

Many medical studies have determined that for healthy women with low risk pregnancies homebirth is as safe as hospital birth under appropriate professional care. If you are interested in delivering in an out of hospital setting your midwife will initiate an ongoing discussion regarding the suitability of this option for your pregnancy as well as benefits and risks involved in homebirth. Midwives are trained to identify pending obstetric emergencies and manage them in emergent situations. They carry the medications (no narcotic medication), and equipment necessary for responding to emergencies and will request immediate medical transport in the case of an emergency.