It’s really easy, when being a midwife, to forget that not everyone knows what midwifery care is. My husband is always telling me that when he meets people that aren’t in the birth world people often don’t know what midwifery care is, or if they do know, don’t really know what it’s all about. So I thought a blog post on what midwifery is all about would be a good idea. Here are eight things that you should know about midwifery care.
1.Midwifery care is FREE! Yes! It is free if you are a resident of BC and have MSP (health care coverage). There is no extra cost to you for having a midwife.
2. You can give birth at home or at the hospital. Midwives aren’t just for people who are planning home birth. While midwives are happy to be able to offer choice of birth place, and for some people that will mean being at home, the majority of the births that we go to are in fact in hospital.
3. We are trained health care professionals. A midwifery degree is a highly-competitive four-year degree programme, where the only thing studied is how to best offer safe, modern, evidence-based care to expectant and new parents. We are experts in low-risk births.
4. You can have a midwife if you’ve previously had a cesarean birth. This is the case whether you are hoping to go for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) or are planning on having another cesarean.
5. Having a midwife gives you access to whatever pain medication you feel that you might need. It is a widely held misunderstanding that the only people who should have a midwife are people who are hoping to avoid pain medication. Actually, midwifery care is all about supporting your choices and working with you to honour your birth preferences.
6. You can still have access to all the same diagnostic tests such as ultrasounds and getting blood work as you would with a GP. Midwives can write prescriptions.
7. You get home visits for the first week postpartum. After you have your baby, you still see a midwife for six weeks following the birth. The first week is at home, usually every other day. This means that you don’t need to leave your house to make sure that you and your baby are healthy and doing well.
8. Our offices don’t feel like medical offices. We like to keep things cozy and comfortable.
For those of you who have already had midwifery care, what else did you enjoy about your experience?