Philosophy of Care
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 grounded in the principles of health and well being, recognizing that conception, pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding are natural life processes.
Midwifery care enhances this life experience and provides continuity of care through a reciprocal relationship between midwives, women and their families.
Continuity of care is one of the main principles that guide our philosophy of care. Midwives are primary caregivers, which mean that it is unnecessary for you to see a physician in addition to receiving midwifery care for yourself or your baby. This aspect of care promotes a holistic approach, enabling us to get to know one another and develop a trusting relationship throughout your care so that we can best support you through this time.
Another fundamental principle of midwifery care is informed choice. Throughout your care, there are opportunities for decisions to be made regarding care provided, including screening tests, procedures, treatments, and choice of birth place. We encourage you to be an active participant in the decision making process, after all, this is your body, pregnancy and baby; therefore you are responsible for the decisions made. Midwives facilitate decision-making by sharing relevant information and up-to-date research, as well as providing adequate time for full exchange of information and any questions that you may have.
Choice of birth place is unique to midwifery care and is one of your decisions made during prenatal care. We support birth in a home, birth centre or hospital setting and currently have privileges at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Grey Nuns Community Hospital. There are distinct risks and benefits to any place of birth . Current research demonstrates planned home birth as a safe option for healthy women with low-risk pregnancies. We regularly screen for any risk factors throughout our prenatal visits and during labour. Most complications that arise can be detected in enough time to transfer safely to a hospital. In the event of an unpredictable complication, we are trained in emergency skills and carry special equipment to help us provide the necessary care. In the case of a hospital setting as the chosen birthplace, we would review with you the policy and procedures of the maternity unit as they apply to your circumstance. Just as home birth has guidelines and regulations for care, so does hospital birth. Keeping in line with the principle of informed choice, ultimately it is your responsibility to feel fully informed of these options and make the best decision for you and your family about birth place.