Midwifery Philosophy & Principles
A Midwife is a trained professional who provides comprehensive care and support during pregnancy, labour, birth and the six week postpartum period to healthy women and their newborns. Midwifery care is based in the knowledge that, for most women, pregnancy and childbirth is a normal and important life event. Midwives believe that unnecessary intervention is an interruption of a normal process, however, they support the appropriate use of medical technology.
Midwives attend births in a variety of settings including home and hospital and are fully funded by the BC Ministry of Health. There is no cost to you. You can self-refer yourself to a Registered Midwife by simply calling, emailing, or sending in your online intake form. The Midwife consults with, and refers to, specialists when necessary and is skilled in careful monitoring to detect abnormalities in pregnancy and birth. Midwifery involves antenatal (before the birth) education and preparation for parenthood and extends to certain areas of gynecology, family planning and child care.
A midwife can order all bloodwork, ultrasounds, and tests, and connect you to specialists in the same way that a doctor can. We work with obstetricians, nutritionists, geneticists, naturopaths, acupuncturists, dieticians, psychiatrists, public health nurses, and social workers, to name a few. You have the choice of a natural birth, and you can also choose options for pain medication. You can still opt for midwifery care if you are having a planned caesarean section or a vaginal birth after caesarean section.
In British Columbia the title ‘Midwife’ is protected by law. Only those who have been assessed and found to meet all of the requirements for registration in BC and are registered with the College of Midwives of British Columbia may call themselves "Midwife".
Andrea is a Registered Midwife with the College of Midwives of BC.
Why Choose a Midwife?
In studies comparing midwife-led care to physician-led care:
- Lower rates of birth by cesarean section
- Efficient use of hospital resources
- Shorter hospital stays
- Reduced preterm birth rates
- Fewer hospital admissions prenatally and postpartum
- Fewer newborn hospital admissions
- Reduced rates of medical intervention (forceps & vacuum deliveries, episiotomies, etc.)
- Collaboration and timely consultation
- Improved health outcomes
- Millions of dollars in health care savings
Philosophy of Care
The philosophy of Midwifery care is based on respect for the birth process and a women's ability to give birth. Andrea is constantly amazed and humbled by pregnancy and birth and how the experience can be universal, transformational and unique to each woman and family. Her practice combines the art of midwifery, which include traditional knowledge and skills with the science of midwifery, which is evidenced based medical knowledge to protect normal childbirth.
Midwifery care is based on the respect for pregnancy as a state of health, and childbirth as a normal physiologic process. Midwifery care respects the diversity of women's needs and the variety of personal and cultural meanings which women, families and communities bring to the pregnancy, birth and early parenting experience.
The maintenance and promotion of health throughout the childbearing cycle are central to midwifery care. Midwives focus on preventative care and the appropriate use of technology. Care is continuous, personalized and non-authoritarian. It responds to a woman's social, emotional, as well as physical needs.
Informed choice is an underlying principle of midwifery care. Women have the right to receive information and be involved in the decision making process throughout their midwifery care. In the Philosophy of Midwifery statement above, the childbearing woman is recognized as the primary decision maker. The interactive process of informed choice involves the promotion of shared responsibility between the Midwife and her client. Midwives encourage and give guidance to clients wishing to seek out resources to assist them in the decision-making process.
It is the responsibility of the midwife to facilitate the ongoing exchange of current knowledge in a non-authoritarian and co-operative manner, including sharing what is known and unknown about procedures, tests and medications. For more information on Midwives, please click here.
THE PRINCIPLES WHICH GUIDE MIDWIFERY CARE INCLUDE:
- birth as a normal event
- client as the primary decision maker
- continuity of care - the Midwives attending your birth will be known to you from your prenatal care
- sufficient time spent providing information, counselling and educational resources
- choice of birth place, home or hospital
- appropriate use of technology
- breastfeeding support and education