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History

The Department of Midwifery was created in 1998 following the integration of midwifery into the health care system and the privileging of the first registered midwives in British Columbia.

The Department of Midwifery is physically located at BC Women’s Hospital but is responsible for the provision of midwifery services at both BC Women’s Hospital and Providence Health Care, St. Paul’s Hospital. All members of the department provide care at either or both hospitals, as well as home birth services for low-risk women.

The Department of Midwifery’s mandate includes the following:

  • The new and ongoing privileging of midwives;
  • Development and ongoing running of a quality assurance program;
  • Development and updating of midwifery guidelines to practice;
  • Midwifery representation on many hospital committees;
  • Midwifery practice outreach and support provincially.

The department midwives are actively involved in many different projects and take a leadership role in offering new and innovative perspectives through members’ involvement on the many committees that make up the hospital infrastructures.

Many members of our department have clinical appointments at the University of British Columbia in the Faculty of Medicine, Division of Midwifery. We all actively participate in the education of midwifery, medical and nursing students. We support a multidisciplinary approach to education and our clients often consent to having students present at their prenatal visits or at the birth of their babies.

Department midwives collaborate with family physicians, obstetricians and nurses on the following projects:

  • A hands-on normal labour and birth workshop for midwifery, medical and nursing students taught every 6 weeks;
  • An interprofessional obstetrical rotation on the Single Room Maternity Care Unit at BC Women’s Hospital (SRMC) which allows students from medicine, midwifery and nursing to experience collaboration in maternity care practice;
  • A half-day workshop in emergency childbirth for unplanned out-of-hospital births for lower mainland firefighters;
  • Development of an interdisciplinary model of collaborative care (South Community Birth Program);
  • Consensus conferences on cesarean section and birth interventions (Collaboration for Maternal and Newborn Health).

See the Collaboration for Maternal and Newborn Health's website for more information on the above collaborative teaching initiatives.

Midwives are recognized members of the health care team and we are actively contributing to the creation of excellence in the provision of maternity care services. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any more information.