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Practising midwifery in B.C.

​Since 1998, only registered midwives have been legally allowed to use the title “midwife” and to practice as midwives in B.C. The BC College of Nurses and Midwives regulates the profession by setting and maintaining standards, granting registration and investigating complaints.

Midwifery practice in B.C. includes:

Autonomous prim​​ary ​​care

B.C. Midwives provide autonomous, community-based primary care. A midwife in B.C. is the most responsible caregiver during the antepartum period, labour, birth and postpartum period (up to 6 – 12 weeks) as long as the client remains low risk. A full-time midwife is generally involved in providing care for about 40-60 clients per year as the primary midwife. Midwives collaborate with other health professionals and transfer care to a physician when the client’s risk status changes and as necessary.

Conti​​​nuity of car​​e

B.C. midwives provide continuity of care to all clients. This includes 24-hour on call availability by the midwife (or small group of midwives) known to the client, from intake to discharge. Continuity of care allows a relationship to develop over time between a client and their midwife/midwives. In order to share the responsibility of providing care on a 24-hour basis, midwives often work in small teams and share care of a pooled group of clients.

Informed choice and e​​​vidence-based practice

B.C. midwives assist clients and their families to make choices about their care by providing relevant, evidence-based information in a supportive, non-authoritarian manner. Midwives must keep current in their knowledge of relevant research.

Choice of birth setting

B.C. midwives must provide healthy, low-risk clients with the choice of giving birth at home or in the hospital. Midwives must have admitting and discharge privileges at their local hospital(s) with support from nursing staff and other health professionals as needed. At a home birth midwives work with another midwife or a BCCNM-approved second birth attendant. At a hospital birth, the client is supported by both their midwife and a nursing care during labour and birth.

Independent pr​​acti​​ce

B.C. midwives are self-employed, independent health care providers. They are not employees. The B.C. government funds midwifery and midwives are paid a flat rate per course of care.​

Other informatio​n

900 – 200 Granville St
Vancouver, BC  V6C 1S4

​Toll-free 1.866.880.7101 (within Canada only) ​

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.

We also acknowledge the unique and distinct rights, including rights to health and wellness, of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples from elsewhere in Canada who now live in British Columbia. As leaders in the settler health system, we acknowledge our responsibilities to these rights under international, national, and provincial law.​