Informed Choice and Evidence Based Care
Our care focus is educational, respectful and compassionate through this powerful, transformational time. Foundational to midwifery care is your autonomy - being informed and given the freedom to explore your options and make the decisions that are right for you and your family. Midwifery care is about mutual respect and through informed consent, you are empowered to take responsibility for your own health and wellness.
Our care is family centered and prepares you for parenthood by assisting you to make choices that are right for your unique family. You will be given detailed information about all the different screens, tests, and routine procedures available throughout your pregnancy, including what the current standard of care in Edmonton is. Our recommendations are based on current evidence and research, and we support your right to make those decisions. It is a privilege to be able to support you through this uniquely impactful journey.
Primary Health Care Providers
HOPE Midwives practices a primary care model of care: you will be connected with your primary midwife for all your prenatal visits, labor, birth, and until 6 weeks postpartum. Your midwife will direct you to see your family doctor for non-pregnancy related medical concerns. A back up midwife from the community will be present at your birth as a second attendant and/or if your midwife is away. Except when away, your midwife is on call for you 24hrs/day. If at any time there is something that requires a higher level of care and is out of our scope of practice as a midwife (according to our registrant's handbook), we refer you directly to a doctor or an obstetrician for a consultation or transfer of care. During a transfer of care, depending on the circumstances, we remain as supportive care, and once it is possible to do so, we assume responsibility for your remaining care.
Midwives are experts in normal, healthy, low risk pregnancies and promote minimizing interventions for the health of women and babies. Midwives are trained in CPR, neonatal resuscitation, and emergency skills. They are able to prescribe medications, order blood work, ultrasounds and genetic testing. Midwives carry emergency equipment with them, such as suction, oxygen, newborn resuscitation equipment, antibiotics, postpartum hemorrhage medications, intravenous equipment, baby scale, sutures, freezing etc.
Choice of Birth Location
Where you choose to give birth is best determined by where you feel the most comfortable. Research shows conclusively that you and your baby are equally safe in hospital and out-of-hospital locations. Your midwife will bring with her the same emergency equipment that is used in the hospital, provides a disposable birth kit, and does all birth clean up. Your options include:
Home birth: You must live within 30 minutes of EMS (Emergency Medical Services)
- Royal Alexandra Hospital/Lois Hole/Robbins Pavilion (water birth allowed)
- Fort Saskatchewan Hospital (water birth allowed)
- Sturgeon Hospital (no water birth)
Hotel Birth: we have a list of recommended hotels that we have been doing births at for years
Lucina Birth Center: www.lucinacentre.ca/
If you are from out of town, it is necessary that you stay in the Edmonton are for a minimum of 24 hours - or ideally, 3 days - after your baby is born, so we can do any newborn screens and ensure breastfeeding is off to a good start. We are unable to provide home postpartum visits if you live more than 30 minutes out of town.
Prenatal Appointments and Group Care
Your first appointment is usually booked between 7-12 weeks, and if you are wanting genetic screening done, it would be important to see us between 7-10 weeks. We can usually hear the babies heart rate for the first time around 10-12 weeks.
Your prenatal visits will include individual AND group visits, and follows the same schedule as with an obstetrician - monthly visits until 30 weeks, biweekly visits until 36 weeks, and weekly visits until you deliver . HOPE Midwives schedules one of your normal prenatal appointments each month starting around 16-20 weeks as “Group Care” visits. These appointments include a time of clinical assessment (private "belly checks), education and support, and give you an opportunity to meet both midwives, as well as other moms who are due at the same time as you. The feedback we’ve received from past clients has been how much they’ve appreciated the opportunity to build a support system with like-minded women during this life-changing time. These group visits count as your regularly scheduled clinic visits, so it is very important that you make arrangements to attend. Due to the potential sensitivity of topics covered, and in order to make the most of the time we have during those visits we ask that it remain “moms only”, with no partners or children in attendance (so childcare may need to be arranged). However, you are always welcome to bring your partner, children, friends or relatives to any of your individual midwifery appointments, recognizing we may be discussing sensitive or private issues.
Each appointment (group and individual) includes a private time to do your blood pressure, fundal height (measuring your baby’s growth), abdominal palpation (to note what position your baby is in), and listen to the baby’s heart rate.