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Homebirth practices: survey results

Apr 29, 2024

In February 2024, BCCNM surveyed midwives about homebirth practices. We thank all the midwives who took time to participate—we were thrilled to hear from over 30% of practising midwives!

Input from midwives is a key element of BCCNM's policy and standards review and development process, so thank you for making time to share your feedback.

What we heard

The majority of midwives who responded…

  • Offer homebirth as part of their practice (91%). Common reasons for not offering homebirth were:

  • Alternate practice arrangements with interprofessional practices or high volume
  • Unreliable access to back ups/additional attendants
  • Unmanageable workload and burden of offering homebirth.

  • Have attended 10 or fewer homebirths in the past two years (60%).
  • ​Are unsure whether a student could safely be the only additional attendant at homebirth (52%), because:​

  • Students are only appropriate for low-risk births.
  • Ability and competence varies from student to student.
  • The primary midwife's confidence in that student's skill is the deciding factor.

​​Recur​​ring themes

  • ​​​Concern over declining homebirth rates and the subsequent loss of skills to support homebirth.
  • Increasing rates of clients choosing care with unregulated attendants. BCCNM shares these concerns​.
  • Need for better guidance from BCCNM on expectations for supporting care outside of best available evidence.
  • More clarity in BCCNM standards, including taking a harm-reduction approach.

What happens next?

The comments and feedback from survey participants will help inform the new practice standard on Home and Community Perinatal Care. We again thank midwives for helping us better understand homebirth practice and sharing your thoughts and concerns.


Submit a request using our Standards support form.


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We acknowledge the rights and title of the First Nations on whose collective unceded territories encompass the land base colonially known as British Columbia. We give specific thanks to the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking peoples the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-ulh Sníchim speaking Peoples the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), on whose unceded territories BCCNM’s office is located. We also give thanks for the medicines of these territories and recognize that laws, governance, and health systems tied to these lands and waters have existed here for over 9000 years.

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