If you would like to access Midwifery care with Lisa and live in Central Alberta, please inquire about booking in with her through Prairie Midwives.
What Is A Midwife?
Registered Midwives are autonomous, primary maternity care specialists who are experts in physiologic birth, and whose services are currently funded through Alberta Health Services. Midwives provide compassionate, non-authoritarian, individualized, evidence based clinical care that reflects and respects the birthing person’s identity, personal values, autonomy and knowledge about their body, their pregnancy and their own unique circumstances.
Obstetricians are secondary/tertiary maternity care specialists who care for birthing people who have pregnancies with complex medical needs. If you develop higher medical needs during your pregnancy, Midwives (and other primary maternity caregivers ie: Family Physicians) are able to consult and work in collaboration with Obstetricians who can support complex medical needs and provide access to surgical birth options (caesarean section).
No matter who you choose to enter into a caregiving relationship with during your pregnancy, it’s important that you feel supported, respected and physically, emotionally and psychologically safe with your care provider.
The Midwifery Model Of Care
Midwives view pregnancy and birth as normal family life events and understand that labour and birth work best when the birthing person feels private, safe and undisturbed (Buckley, 2016).
- Longer, individualized prenatal appointments (45-60 minutes).
- Trauma-informed midwifery care that recognizes that pregnant people often have intersecting experiences throughout their lives that may make accessing reproductive healthcare more challenging.
- Space for partners and chosen support people to ask questions and to receive support of their own.
- Prenatal wellness visits (which can include anything from listening to fetal heart rate, belly measurements, palpating fetal position, blood pressure check, informed choice discussions, mental wellness check ins to visiting and getting to know one another).
- Every 4-5 weeks in clinic until ~28 weeks.
- Every 2-3 weeks in clinic until ~36 weeks.
- Weekly visits in clinic until birth.
- Home visits on days one, three and five postpartum.
- Clinic visits at two, four and six weeks postpartum.
(Or in whatever combination works best for your family)
- Nutritional counselling, holistic information and/or referral to alternative therapies or practitioners.
- Birth preparation that addresses parents’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs through pregnancy, birth and early parenting.
- Informed choice for all pregnancy options, tests and interventions. This generally involves:
- Information sharing around topics such as routine ultrasound, lab-work, genetic testing, nutrition, birth choices and common interventions.
- In depth discussion on all birth topics, including:
- Normal physiology (how bodies work and how to optimally support the hormonal blueprint of labour, birth and postpartum).
- Current standards of care and clinical recommendations within both midwifery and medical models of care.
- The full range of options available for all aspects of pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
- Time for the birthing person to ask questions and to process information before making an informed decision.
- Respect, acceptance and support for your choices.
- Birth Story Listening for previous birth or traumatic life experiences.
- Open communication around your needs, questions, concerns and decision making. If an aspect of your prenatal care is not working for you, please let Lisa know.
Supporting Your Legal Right To Choice
While Midwives share information, may make recommendations and are responsible for providing skilled, competent clinical care during the childbearing year, parents and families are responsible for considering all information available to them, assessing their own personal risk tolerance, making their own informed choices (to accept or decline recommendations) and for owning the outcomes of those choices.
Pregnant people have the legal human right to make medical decisions about their pregnancies and births and should expect their choices to be respected, even if their choices make others uncomfortable. Pregnant people should always feel safe to say “No” or decline a recommendation without fear of coercion, being treated badly, or being abandoned by their caregiver.
All caregivers have a legal and ethical responsibility to respect client decision making.