NEWS

First Midwives May 5th is BC Midwives’ Day and the International Day of the Midwife. Midwives in BC are also celebrating 20 years as Registered Midwives and 20 years later, BC continues to lead Canada in midwife-assisted births.

MABC released the following statement to mark this occasion –

Twenty years after the Government of British Columbia legalized their profession, BC’s registered midwives are playing a growing and integral role in BC’s maternity care system, improving access to pregnancy and birth services in rural, remote and First Nations communities, and assisting in more than 22% of the births in the province, the highest rate in Canada.

“The midwifery story in BC is about determined women advocating arm-in-arm for more choice and better access to maternity care options, often in the face of opposition, but ultimately succeeding, for the benefit of moms, parents and newborns,” said Jody Medernach, Acting President of the Midwives Association of British Columbia. “Starting with 29 midwives in 1998, today we’re proud there are 286 registered professional midwives providing quality prenatal, birth and post natal care to women, newborns and families in every region and health authority in the province.”

to read the entire news release
Pictured above are the original 29 registered midwives in BC, our Joanne Daviau being one of them!

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Shared Care_April 2018

Our Emma Gledhill, RM took part in a Shared Care, Group Maternity Care Pilot. The Group Maternity Care Team of family physicians (Dr. Theresa Wilson and Dr. Sara Sandwith) and midwives (Emma Gledhill, RM and Liz Grose, RM) delivered a wonderful series of pre and postnatal Group Maternity Care sessions to a group of women and their partners this past winter. In January, 8 healthy babies were delivered.

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Ottawa – April 20, 2018 –
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (SOGC) today launched a public awareness campaign to inform those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or of child-bearing age of the potential adverse effects associated with cannabis use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

“We know women are trying to do the best for their babies. Should cannabis become available for sale this summer, it is important that individuals be aware of the health risks, particularly for vulnerable populations such as pregnant women,” says Dr. Jennifer Blake, CEO SOGC.

Research suggests that 70% of pregnant and non-pregnant women believe there is a slight or no risk of harm from using cannabis once or twice a week during pregnancy. But the principal psychoactive component of cannabis, THC, crosses the placenta into fetal tissue and can also accumulate in breast milk. And the way cannabis is consumed—vaped, smoked, eaten, in pill or topical form, doesn’t matter.

Evidence-based studies suggest there may be potential short- and long-term growth and development issues associated with consuming cannabis during pregnancy and when breastfeeding including:
– Pre-term labour
– Low birth weight
– Lower IQ scores
– Impulsivity and hyperactivity in childhood

The SOGC awareness campaign will be delivered in two parts, with two educational videos and supporting social media campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube linking to the SOGC’s Pregnancy Info website. The first video, “Times Have Changed” suggests that while tobacco and alcohol were not originally linked to adverse outcomes in pregnancy, we now know they are, and so urge Canadians to not make the same mistake with cannabis. Part two of the campaign and a video titled “Not Just an Herb” will launch later this summer.

“In light of the current research, our message is simple, don’t use cannabis when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and please talk to your doctor.”

Read the News Release on the SOGC website

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YarraYarra, who was once a student midwife at Plum, will be providing locum coverage for March 2018. We are pleased to welcome her back!

My path as a midwife began in 1998 when I attended a friend’s home birth with some of BC’s first Registered Midwives. Graduating from the UBC Midwifery Education Program in 2009, I worked in full-time clinical practice in Vancouver until giving birth to my own daughter in 2017. I continue to be to be awed by the strength of women and inspired by the creation of a family that occurs with the birth of a new baby.

I have been in full-time clinical practice in Vancouver since 2009, as well as providing occasional locum support in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. During this time I have worked out of many different hospital settings, ranging from small health centres to BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver. In addition to working out of various hospital settings, I have worked with many families planning a home birth, averaging 35-50% of my caseload. The clinical care that I provide is client-centered care, with an emphasis on providing and supporting informed choices.

In 2008 I had the opportunity to work at Plum as a student midwife. Having grown up in the Comox Valley, I am excited to have returned home, and I look forward to serving this community as a locum midwife. When I’m not busy being a midwife, I can be found at the Farmer’s Market, in my own garden, crafting something, or on a local beach or mountain.

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SabrinaSabrina Westra, RM has been providing locum coverage in both our clinics and on-call over the past few months, and will continue to provide coverage from time-to-time. We are appreciative that Sabrina can join our team when we need some helping hands or a just a little rest between babies…so please join us in welcoming Sabrina Westra, locum midwife.

I knew I wanted to be a midwife after my very first appointment with a Vancouver RM when expecting my now 14-year-old daughter. The empowering visits and the way pregnancy and birth was treated as both magnificent, yet totally common and normal, really resonated with me and I knew I wanted to be a part of it forever. Since then, I’ve gone on to have 3 more children with the skilled, compassionate care of midwives, and feel so fortunate to be part of this global and age-old profession.

I trained in Ontario, receiving my midwifery degree from Laurentian University in 2009. My educational experience ranged from working in inner-city Toronto with a high-risk OB and neonatologists to serving Amish and Mennonite families and attending home births in the very rural farmlands of southern Ontario. Since beginning my practice in 2009, I’ve practiced in three provinces! Ontario at a large, primarily hospital-based practice, Alberta in an 80% out of hospital, birth-centre based practice, and now here in the Valley providing locum coverage for both local practices. No matter the setting or the clientele, the fundamentals of midwifery remain the same and helping families in their transitions is so very rewarding.

In addition to midwifery, I am Mama to 4 beautiful kids, ranging in age from 2.5 to 14. We settled in Cumberland in 2016, which felt like the closing of a circle for us as our family began on the West Coast. We love to garden, grow/preserve our own food, hike and swim wherever and whenever we can and I personally enjoy weaving, knitting and cooking. Thank you for the opportunity to serve this community as locum midwife!

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