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What is midwifery care?

Registered Midwives provide primary care to healthy pregnant women and their newborns throughout pregnancy, labour and delivery until six weeks postpartum.

Is there a cost?

Midwifery care is covered with a BC Care Card, so there is no cost to the patient.

Can I have a midwife and a family physician take care of me in pregnancy?

No, midwives and family physicians both provide primary care in pregnancy.  You must choose one to provide your care.

How do I sign up for care with Coast Midwifery North Shore?

Send in your information via our intake form, or call us at 604-296-9669.  As we take a limited number of women into care we suggest you contact us as soon as you know you are pregnant.

I’m well into my pregnancy, and have been seeing my GP for care, is it too late to have a midwife?

It is possible to transfer care to a midwife at any time in pregnancy. Contact us; we may be able to accommodate you!

How often are the prenatal and postpartum visits?

With Coast Midwifery North Shore visits usually begin at about 10 weeks into the pregnancy and are as follows, with flexibility to ensure personalized care:

  • Prenatal visits are scheduled every 4-5 weeks in pregnancy from 10 to 30 weeks, every 2-3 weeks from 30 to 36 weeks, then every week from 36 until the baby is delivered.
  • Postpartum visits are frequent in the first week after delivery, then scheduled for 2 weeks after the birth, 4 weeks and the final visit is at 6 weeks postpartum.


Why is it important to have an appointment in the first trimester of pregnancy?

It is important to have a prenatal visit prior to 14 weeks along in order to have all Prenatal Genetic Screening Options, and access to early ultrasound to have the most accurate assessment of gestational age and the due date. All pregnant women in BC with Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage (BC Services Card) can choose to have prenatal genetic screening. How far along you are in your pregnancy, your age, health, family history, and whether or not you are carrying more than one baby will influence which screening tests are available to you. Prenatal genetic screening can tell a pregnant woman her chance of having a baby with Down syndrome, trisomy 18, or an open neural tube defect.

What about pregnancy related testing and medications?

Midwives offer the complete panel of prenatal laboratory tests, genetic screening and diagnosis options, ultrasound and many other tests and procedures for women and newborns. Midwives can prescribe many medications that may be indicated in pregnancy, during birth including emergency situations or pain medication, and for mom or baby postpartum.

What about backup for care?

Coast Midwifery works with other midwives so that you have access to 24-hour/seven day a week consistent care, even when your midwife is having a weekend off, is ill or is on holiday.

What if there is a complication?

Midwives are trained to recognize the early signs of medical conditions or complications as they become apparent.  As such, midwives discuss, consult with or transfer care as needed to other health care providers -including obstetricians or pediatricians. If such complications arise that care is transferred, midwives continue to be involved in a supportive role, often care is transferred back to the midwife once the complication has resolved.


Furthermore, Midwives are trained in emergency skills and regularly re-certify in neonatal resuscitation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the management of maternal and neonatal emergencies.