In 1998 Midwifery was fully integrated into the BC Medical System. Since then when women get pregnant they get to choose whether to receive care from a family doctor OR a registered midwife. No referral needed and with no additional cost as Midwifery is covered by your MSP/ Care Card.
As primary care providers to pregnant families in BC, your midwife can order any lab, screening and diagnostic tests – including blood work and ultrasounds. Midwives can also prescribe medications when necessary.
Midwives work collaboratively with other health care providers including your family doctor for issues not related to pregnancy and with other specialists such as obstetrician and pediatricians if you develop any complications.
BC Midwifery is an autonomous profession regulated for your safety by the College of Midwives of BC (CMBC).
Midwives recognize birth as a normal physiologic process with a profound impact on all aspects of a parent’s life. We know you are trusting us with one of the most important events of your life and therefore we provide a client-centred model of care assessing physical, social and emotional needs.
Midwives recognize their clients as the primary decision makers. We educate, support and advise providing evidence-based information to allow you to make informed choices about all aspects of your care – including tests, procedures and even choice of birth site.
Midwives recognize the importance of building relationship and continuity of care. Relationships are built through longer appointment times and only meeting a small number of midwiveswho are committed to being present for you throughout your birthing year. Midwives are directly available to their clients at all times to address urgent concerns.
The root of the Midwifery Movement in North America is activism. Woman rejected the fear, over-medicalization and abuse of power they were subjected to when given birth. Looking to countries where midwifery and home delivery was normalized and practiced safely, such as in the Netherlands, they demanded change. Women wanted the opportunity to be supported in experiencing the normal physiological process of birth under the guidance of someone they could trust wouldn’t interfere and protection of someone trained to recognize when intervention was necessary. At the heart of midwifery care is the respect and support provided to each client so that they may give birth safely, with power and dignity.
Increasing public demand for regulated integrated midwifery brought it from the underground to the forefront of Maternity Care. The research supports what parents knew – families who choose midwifery led care are less likely to have interventions and are more satisfied with their birth experiences.
At this time, BC has the highest number of births assisted by midwives across Canada. Vancouver Island leads the province in demand for midwifery care. And the Cowichan Valley leads the way with over 60% of deliveries cared for by midwives.