How do I get a midwife?

The first step is to complete a Request for Care form here. From there you will be placed on the province wide wait list for midwifery care. Our midwives review the incoming requests several times per week. If a space is available for your estimated due date, we will contact you to offer you care. Please note: completing a request for care does not guarantee you a space with a midwifery practice. If you have not heard from a midwifery practice by 10-12 weeks gestation, please ensure you have arranged appropriate prenatal care through another primary care provider.

Other practices may follow a different process for selecting clients. Please make sure to check with each practice that you are interested in to see what their specific intake process is.

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I've heard it's really hard to get a midwife. Is that true?

Currently in Alberta, there is more demand for midwifery care than is able to be met and the reality is that not every eligible person who would like a midwife for their pregnancy will be able to access one. There are many factors involved, including limited funding for midwifery care, and the Alberta Association of Midwives is working closely with our government right now to develop a long term, sustainable funding model. It is our hope that soon every eligible person in Alberta who wants midwifery care will be able to access it.

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I'm a repeat client. Do I still need to complete a Request for Care?

Yes! The centralized database system is also how we process our billing. All incoming clients must be in the system to receive midwifery care. When you complete your Request for Care you have the option of selecting Briar Hill Midwives as your primary preferred practice and in the comments section, you can indicate which team or midwife you were with in your previous pregnancy. Please call the clinic (403-474-8260) to ensure we are aware of your request for care. We love working with our repeat clients and would be honoured to work with you again.

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Is the wait list first come, first served? Can you tell me where I am on the wait list?

The waitlist is not first come, first served. If clients were selected that way, all the babies would be born at the beginning of the month and the midwives would have nothing to do for the second half of the month. Because the wait list is not first come, first served, we are unable to tell you the likelihood of your being accepted into midwifery care.

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If the wait list is not first come, first served, how do the midwives choose which clients they will offer care to?

The primary consideration for accepting a client into care is their estimated due date. One of the foundational tenets of midwifery care is continuity of care. Midwives carefully select clients to ensure they are able to offer that continuity by spacing clients out and by not over loading their schedule. They also balance their case load between first time parents and second or subsequent time parents. The availability of funding from the government is also currently a limitation as to how many clients we are able to offer care to.

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How can I increase my chances of getting a midwife?

Complete your Request for Care as soon as you know you are pregnant. A positive home pregnancy test is sufficient confirmation of your pregnancy. There is no need to see your family doctor to confirm the pregnancy before applying for care.

When you complete your request for care, be honest and up front about your preferences and desires for your current pregnancy and upcoming birth. If you prefer to birth in hospital, say so. In the comments section, feel free to really express why you would like midwifery care and the positive impact you believe the model of care will have for you and your family. Let your personality shine through.

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I've heard that because I am over 35 years of age/attempting a VBAC/conceived this pregnancy with fertility assistance/etc that I am too high risk for midwifery care. Should I still apply?

Yes! There are a lot of misconceptions out there about who can and can not be cared for by a midwife. The best person to discuss your eligibility for care with is a midwife. They are experts in their scope of practice.

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Did you get my Request for Care?

After submitting your Request for Care, you should receive an email from the Alberta Association of Midwives confirming receipt of your request. Please make sure to check any junk or spam folders as well as your inbox for this email.

If you did NOT receive this confirmation, we have not received your Request for Care. Please re-submit your request. If you have any difficulties, please contact the Alberta Association of Midwives.

If you did receive a confirmation, we have received your Request for Care and there is no need to call or email to double check.

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I made a mistake on my Request for Care or my information has changed. Should I submit another Request for Care?

No! You should only submit one Request for Care per pregnancy to avoid creating conflicting information on the database. Your confirmation email should include information on how to log in to edit your Request for Care. If you have any difficulties, please contact the Alberta Association of Midwives.

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How long after I've submitted a Request for Care should I expect to hear from you?

Due to the high number of requests for care that we receive every month, we are only able to contact those people we are accepting into care. We usually like to see our clients for their first appointment between 10-12 weeks gestation. We do our best to connect with all of our incoming clients prior to that time.

If you have not heard from us or another midwifery practice by 10-12 weeks gestation, please make alternate plans for prenatal care with another primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, you can contact Health Link Alberta by dialing 811.

We do at times have spaces become available at a later date due to current clients needing to transfer out of care or sometimes due to an increase in the available funding. If this is the case, we fill those spaces with clients from the wait list. If you are accepted into care later on in your pregnancy, we will transfer your prenatal records from your current care provider to our clinic.

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I didn't get a midwife! Now what?

Please make sure to arrange appropriate prenatal care with another primary care provider. You may also be interested in taking a comprehensive childbirth preparation course and researching the benefits of birth doula support. There are many options in Calgary. Helpful resources include the Calgary Doula Association and Birthing Magazine. We have also compiled a list of childbirth preparation options here.

If you are so inclined, you can also connect with the MaternityCare Consumers of Alberta Network, a provincial body that represents consumers on important maternity health care policy and other initiatives. You may also want to write a letter to your MLA, the Health Minister, and/or the Premier about your concerns in accessing your preferred primary care provider.

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