Throughout the ages, women have traditionally helped one another to give birth. The practice of midwifery is based on the understanding that pregnancy, labour and birth are profound experiences which carry significant meaning for a woman, her family and her community. Midwifery is traditionally holistic and is grounded in the principles of health and well being, recognizing that conception, pregnancy , birth and breast feeding are natural life processes.
Midwife means "with woman". Midwifery care, by its very nature - partnering with women - requires that we see each woman and each birth as unique, then respect and nurture each woman's individual experience. With midwifery care the woman is the center of the childbirth experience and a great influence on the health and well being of herself and her family. Midwifery care promotes self-care, personal growth, awareness, and confidence. It is delivered in a manner that is flexible, creative, empowering and supportive.
We believe in the innate strength and ability of women to give birth, and that parents have the right and responsibility to make informed, intelligent, and sensitive decisions about the manner in which they choose to give birth.
Our role is to provide skilled council, faith in your ability, a listening ear and the wisdom of experience. We provide vigilance and gentle guidance throughout your journey of pregnancy, labour, birth, breastfeeding, and early parenting.
We support you in making informed decisions regarding your birth experience, in the setting of your choice and with whom you wish to share it. It is our hope that the care we give assists not only women, but also their partners and families to confidently welcome a new child into their lives.
We would encourage you to book your midwifery course of care as early as possible, and to begin seeing us by the 10th to 12th week of your pregnancy, if possible. We see a limited number of women each month in order that we can spend the time to provide quality care.
The initial visit with us takes approximately 1 hour and includes a complete history and physical assessment, including pap smear, lab work, nutrition/lifestyle counseling, as well as time for any questions.
Subsequent visits are generally 30 minutes in length. During each visit, the health of you and your baby will be carefully assessed by evaluating physical changes such as:
- Weight gain
- Blood pressure
- Lab values
- Uterine growth
- Baby’s heartbeat and movement
Laboratory and diagnostic tests (such as ultrasounds), or referrals to other health care providers, are booked as needed.
Time is spent discussing issues important to the mother and her family: preparation for labour and birth, emotional issues, relationship concerns, sibling/parenting matters, balancing work and family.
A 1 hour visit is scheduled at 36 weeks of pregnancy. This visit is done at home for women planning a home birth or at clinic for women planning a hospital or birth centre birth.
We provide care during labour and birth in the place of the woman's choice: home, hospital or birth centre. As of August 2nd 2000, midwives have been granted full hospital privileges by the Calgary Regional Health Authority. Midwives have access to all hospitals that provide maternity services in Calgary.
Women are encouraged to contact us early in labour. We are with them during the active part of their labour providing physical care, emotional support, assessment of the well being of mother and baby, and of the normal progress of labour.
Two midwives are always in attendance for the birth of your baby, regardless of where the birth takes place. We assist you to give birth in the manner that you feel is best for you, in the position that you desire (water birth is an option), and with whom you choose.
Following birth, the midwives are with you for several hours to celebrate with you and your family, to provide care of mother and babe, help with breastfeeding and bathing, and to provide assistance with newborn and self care.
Again we are available by pager at all times during the postpartum days and weeks.
During the first week after birth, we visit in your home several times to make sure all is going well. As well as physical assessment of mother and baby, assistance with breastfeeding, information and guidance, there is always plenty of time for questions and concerns to be addressed - over a cup of tea!
When baby is 2 weeks old, and again at 6 weeks of age, a visit is scheduled in our office for complete assessment of both mother and baby including breastfeeding and baby's growth and development, as well as emotional well being of mother, family relationships and sibling issues as needed. Well woman care is also provided during this visit, including pap smear, contraceptive/sexual counseling, and nutrition, exercise and lifestyle discussion as needed on an individual basis.
Midwifery care is completed after the 6 week visit, and women return to their usual health care professional for ongoing health care for themselves and their baby.
We are always available in the months and years ahead to answer questions, and often are in touch with families for many years, enjoying visits with "our babies" when they drop in from time to time.
We believe Nature has perfected human milk for human babies and that breastfeeding is best for mothers and babies. With the proper support and guidance, the vast majority of mothers will be successful with breastfeeding.
Time is spent during pregnancy and postpartum to provide information, support and encouragement helping mothers and babies enjoy a satisfying breastfeeding relationship.
Cost of Services
Complete midwifery care including: prenatal appointments, labour and birth, immediate and ongoing postnatal care of mother and baby, 2 and 6 week office visits, including 24 hour availability for urgent concerns, is presently covered by Alberta Health Services.