Midwifery FAQs

What is a Midwifery?

Registered Midwives in BC offer primary maternity care to healthy pregnant women and their newborns from early pregnancy, labour and birth and until around six weeks postpartum.  As primary health care providers we order your lab tests, ultrasounds and make necessary referrals to other healthcare providers as needed. We provide care that is both evidence based and holistic by nature; supporting the social, emotional, cultural, spiritual, psychological and physical experience of pregnancy, labour and birth.

Is Midwifery Regulated?

Registered midwives in British Columbia are regulated by the College of Midwives of BC, a professional body which protects the rights and interests of midwifery care clients.  Midwives have been regulated and legally recognized as autonomous health care providers in BC since 1998.

Do I have to pay for Midwifery care?

MSP covers the cost of midwifery care for all BC residents with a valid CareCard.  Those who do not have coverage can choose to pay privately for their care, lab tests, ultrasounds and hospital fees. 

Can I have a doctor and a midwife?

Midwives are experts in healthy pregnancies and birth. We consult with Family Physicians, Obstetricians, and Pediatricians if a complication should develop at any time during your pregnancy, birth and beyond.  Midwives are primary care providers for healthy low risk women so you do not generally need to see a doctor in addition to a midwife.

Do I need a referral to see a midwife?

No referral is necessary.  

When should I call to make my first appointment with a midwife?

Midwifery practices often fill up pretty quickly and therefore you should call ASAP! As soon as you believe you are pregnant please fill out an online intake form or call the clinic for more information.

If you are further along in your pregnancy and still wish to have midwifery care please still give us a call as sometimes space becomes available.

How often do I see my midwife?

Midwives see you with the same frequency as physicians; however, our longer appointments (30-60 min) allow plenty of time to answer questions, monitor and promote the health of you and your baby, and build trusting relationships. We view women as primary decision makers in their pregnancies and support informed decision making throughout their childbirth experience. 

Midwives provide 24/7 on call coverage which means there is always a registered midwife available for urgent concerns or to attend you during labour and birth.

The typical prenatal appointment schedule is:

  • Every 4-5 weeks until 28 weeks
  • Every 2-3 weeks until 36 weeks
  • Every week until your baby is born!

The typical postpartum course of care:

We come to see you and your baby for the first week whether in the hospital or at home.  Providing all is going well, we see you and your baby in our clinic at 2, 4 and 6 weeks postpartum.  More frequently as needed of course.  At 8 weeks postpartum women are encouraged to follow-up with their family physician for ongoing care.

Do midwives offer home and hospital births?

Yes! We value a woman’s right to choose her birth place.  Women who are healthy and low risk may choose to give birth at home or the hospital. The majority of women in midwifery care, approx. 70%, choose to give birth in the hospital with the support of their midwives.  For more information about home birth in BC read the CMBC Home Birth Handbook for Clients. We are also happy to discuss this with you in clinic should you want more information.

What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?

Doulas do not provide any clinical or medical care.  Doulas work alongside midwives, physicians and nurses, providing continuous physical and emotional support to women, their partners and families.  Research and feedback from women supports the role Doulas have in supporting positive birth and postpartum experiences.