South Community Birth Program
It can be hard to decide which type of prenatal care is best for you and your family. Is a doctor or a midwife better to handle your particular pregnancy and all the concerns and questions that come with a baby growing inside you? South Community Birth Program, located on Kingsway in Vancouver, offers a unique style of care that involves a team of family doctors, midwives, nurses and doulas, so you really get the best of every world!
For those who have done their research, this may seem a little strange as often practitioners and midwives have different philosophies and policies behind prenatal care. At South Community Birth Program, the family doctors and midwives all share the same philosophy of care and strive to keep birth normal. It is the first program in Canada in which midwives and family doctors work collaboratively and fully share the care of women and their families.
Despite the differences in types of care providers, they work hard to provide you with a seamless transition from one on-call care provider to the next. As a client, you will receive your care from both doctors and midwives throughout your pregnancy, during your labour and birth, and after your baby arrives. Doctors and midwives rotate being on-call, so you one or the other would be there to attend to you while in labour and during birth.
Another unique practice of the South Community Birth Program is their Connecting pregnancy group care. During an expectant mother’s first few appointments, she will get acquainted with her team of care providers, as well as complete all the standard testing and exams. About mid-way through her pregnancy, though, each client is invited to join a a Connecting Pregnancy group. This is a group of about 10 women and their partners who are also expecting and due around the same time as you! It’s essentially a built-in group of new-parent friends!
Connecting pregnancy groups incorporate prenatal education and guest speakers so you have the chance to learn from a wide variety of experts in the field of pregnancy. The clients do pay a small fee to be part of these groups and cover the costs, but they are totally optional! If you decide the Connecting Pregnancy group is not for you, you’ll continue to be seen one-on-one with your team of midwives and doctors throughout your pregnancy.
Unlike most midwifery clinics where your appointments are spread among your care team, the South Community Birth Program keeps the majority of your prenatal care with the midwife or doctor that leads your team. Because this person may not be on call on the day you go into labour, your history and plans for birth are communicated to all of the doctors and midwives. However, to ensure you are comfortable with whoever happens to be there when you give birth, they hold “Meet the Team” events every month.
For example, if your due date is in March, you are invited to attend this event in January or February. All of the team members attend, including the nurse/lactation consultant, the doula coordinator and a few of our 30+ doulas. Each client joins a small group and goes around the room getting to know the team, sort of like you would if you were speed-dating. This gives you the opportunity to get acquainted with and ask questions of everyone on the team.
The South Community Birth Program definitely offers a unique and comprehensive approach to pre-natal care. While they are a great option for expectant parents in the Vancouver area, they may not be for you.
If you’re looking for a Midwife Practice with a more traditional approach to your care, check out my blog post on Vancouver Midwives.