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?
Midwives are autonomous, primary maternity caregivers who specialize in physiologic birth. Registered Midwives 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). The Midwifery model of care historically has promoted birthing people’s autonomy and the right to make informed choices about where, when and with whom they give birth. As midwifery has become further integrated into the healthcare system with midwives holding hospital privileges and able to offer hospital based birth, the midwifery and medical models of birth have become blended. While all midwives generally approach the midwifery model of care in a similar way, each and every midwife is unique and will have their own style of attending births, philosophy of practice and way they navigate providing care within the healthcare system.
I believe that prenatal care should be more than just showing up for a blood pressure, belly measurement and a quick listen to the fetal heartbeat. I’m interested in creating connection, building relationship and getting to know each family’s beliefs, values and how they want to approach their birth. This takes time that isn’t always available in a conventional maternity care system setup. I’ve chosen to practice as a solo midwife, taking a small number of clients a month in order to sustainably facilitate longer, individualized prenatal appointments (45-60 minutes) that meet the needs of the families that I work with.
- Prenatal wellness visits (can be modified to whatever combination works best for your family):
- 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.
- Access to routine ultrasound, if desired.
- Access to routine prenatal labs, if desired. Labs can often be done during prenatal visits.
holistic birth preparation
As part of providing longer prenatal care appointments, as a Birthing From Within trained mentor and community herbalist, I also offer holistic birth preparation along with routine clinical care. This includes:
- Access to Happy Healthy Child prenatal DVD series and Lending Library.
- Space for partners and chosen support people to meaningfully participate and engage in prenatal care, ask questions, do their own self exploration around birth topics and receive support of their own.
- In depth discussion around common birth topics including:
- Normal physiologic birth.
- Variations of normal in gestation, options for waiting for baby and the evidence around due dates.
- Creating a plan for supporting early labour at home (no matter the chosen birthplace).
- Cultivating a pain coping mindset for active labour.
- Holistic stages of birth (a non-linear map for a non-linear process).
- Baby’s transition from in-utero to breathing room air.
- Placental birth process.
- Choice of birthplace in either home, birth suite or hospital setting.
- Identifying core beliefs and core fears.
- “What ifs?”
- “Safe” vs. “Risky”
- Exploring common cultural/media fears around labour and birth.
- Optimal support for the hormonal blueprint of labour, birth, postpartum and infant feeding.
- Cultivating resiliance when faced with challenges during pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond.
- Compassionate use of pain medication.
- Navigating routine practices, interventions and recommendations.
- Making a postpartum support plan.
- Normal physiologic birth.
- Counselling around optimal nutrition for pregnancy.
- Information about herbal support during pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum.
- Referral for alternative therapies and practitioners.
- Birth Story Listening for previous birth or traumatic life experiences.
trauma informed midwifery care
Trauma-informed midwifery care recognizes that pregnant people often have intersecting experiences throughout their lives that may make accessing reproductive healthcare more challenging. As a caregiver, it is my responsibility and ongoing commitment to continue educating myself to better facilitate consent based, body and gender affirming, inclusive, anti-racist, anti-oppressive care.
- No mandatory tests, procedures or internal examinations during pregnancy, labour, birth or postpartum.
- Option for self-directed prenatal care.
- Option to catch your own baby, or have your partner receive baby.
- Option to guide out your own placenta.
- Option to self insert the speculum if wanting to access pap testing.
Open communication around your needs, questions, concerns and decision making is highly encouraged. If an aspect of your prenatal care is not working for you, please let Lisa know.