Frequently Asked Questions

What is a midwife?

Midwives are highly trained primary care providers that offer maternity care throughout a woman's pregnancy, birth and to six weeks postpartum. Midwives listen, observe, educate, guide and care. They can order bloodwork, ultrasounds and other diagnostic tests and interpret the results. They provide informed choice discussions to review the latest evidence around tests and procedures during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. They can offer choice of birthplace, either home or hospital, provided the pregnancy is healthy and normal. They practice evidence-based, woman-centred maternity and newborn care and are an established part of the BC health care system.


How much does it cost?

Midwifery services are covered by BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). You must have a valid CareCard for coverage.


Can I have a doctor and a midwife care for me?

BC MSP will cover one primary care provider for your pregnancy and birth. The choice of caregiver is up to you. Midwives can consult with obstetricians, pediatricians, and other relevant specialists should the need arise and you may see your family doctor for non pregnancy related issues during your care. At six weeks postpartum, your care is transferred back to your family doctor who will resume care of you and your new baby.


How many midwives will be involved in my care?

At East Kootenay Midwives, there are two teams of midwives that provide shared care. You will have prenatal visits throughout your pregnancy with each of your midwives to get to know them. Your team is on call 24/7. You may also meet student midwives during your care.


What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?

Whereas midwives offer primary care during the perinatal period and are responsible for the mother and baby's health, doulas work as part of a team with a midwife, nurse or doctor to provide continuous emotional and physical support to the labouring woman and her partner. There is good evidence demonstrating a doula's support decreases the likelihood for pain medications and improves outcomes.


What experience and training do midwives have?

All registered midwives in BC must have a high level of competency and meet the rigorous standards of the College of Midwives of BC. See the “about us” section for our training and background.


What pain relief options are available?

Midwives offer a range of natural and pharmaceutical pain relief options, including access to epidurals. Part of midwifery care is providing access to the information necessary to make informed choice decisions about the use of pain relief options. These options are discussed during prenatal visits as well as during prenatal classes offered in the community.