The principles which guide midwifery care include
Birth as a normal, yet profound, event.
Informed choice - woman as the primary decision maker.
Time spent with women to provide information, counseling and educational resources.
Continuity of care - the midwife attending the birth has provided prenatal care and is known to the woman.
Choice of birth place - home or hospital.
Appropriate use of technology only when needed
Midwives are the primary care providers for women during pregnancy around the world. Midwifery is based on a strong belief in the alliance between pregnant women and their midwives, who together follow the conviction of informed choice and a respect for birth as a normal life event. Every woman has the right to make informed decisions about where, how and with whom she will give birth.
Midwives are trained health care professionals who provide comprehensive and supportive care during pregnancy, labour, birth and for six weeks postpartum to healthy women and their newborns. Registered Midwives in British Columbia work within the standards and guidelines of the College of Midwives of British Columbia (CMBC). Midwives honour the birth process as a unique, yet normal physiological event, requiring physical, emotional and social adaptation on the part of the woman and her family. Occasionally issues arise that fall outside the midwifery scope of practice, the midwife is skilled in careful monitoring to detect abnormalities in pregnancy and birth and consults/refers to specialists as necessary. If transfer to specialist care is necessary, the midwife can remain in a supportive role.
Postpartum care (care after the birth) with midwives continues for six weeks.
During this time there are scheduled appointments with your midwife at your home and/or in hospital, and at the clinic – you can also page anytime with urgent concerns or questions.
During postpartum visits, your midwives will:
Assess the health and progress of you and your baby
Assist with any breastfeeding difficulties and make a referral to a lactation consultant if needed
Weigh the baby
Offer routine newborn tests
Provide advice on normal newborn care and development
Discuss the physical changes you can expect after the birth
Usually a midwife will visit you about 12-24 hours after the birth, then two more times during the first week. Your midwife will come to see you, either at your home or at the hospital, for these visits.
If you or your baby are high-risk and have been transferred to a hospital outside of our area, your midwife will see you and your baby for appointments when you return home and will remain available by pager at all times.
Postpartum visits then take place at the clinic at 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 6 weeks after the birth. These will be conducted at clinic. At 6 weeks postpartum you and your baby are discharged from midwifery care to your family doctor.
We encourage you to make an appointment to take your baby to see his or her family doctor for a well-baby checkup at 8 weeks of age.
At your final visit, we will give you a copy of your records from the pregnancy, labour and birth, and postpartum periods.
Click through to find out more information about Doula's and the service they can provide to you through your pregancy journey.
Click through to find out more about the prenatal classes offer at the Birch Tree Clinic
Click through to find out more information about breast feeding and where to seek advice.