A group of Richmond midwives are hosting an open house Sunday, inviting community members and health-care practitioners to learn more about the profession and mark the International Day of the Midwife while showing off their new clinic.
Tea and cakes will be served during the event in Terra Nova Midwifery’s Steveston location at 120-12051 Second Ave, which runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Jenny Emerson, a registered midwife, said she’s proud of the space that opened this year because it retains medical professionalism but feels more comfortable than a doctor’s office. She meets with women on couches as opposed to an examining table.
“We really honour and respect women as primary decision-makers for their care,” Emerson said.
Midwifery was legalized and made into a registered profession in B.C. in 1998. Now, midwives are covered under the provincial Medical Services Plan and are considered primary care providers. They can order blood tests, ultrasounds, prescribe pregnancy-related medications and refer women to specialist physicians.
Registered midwives have graduated from a four year university program they enter after completing at least a year of post-secondary studies.
Emerson thinks one of the benefits of using a midwife is that they take on fewer pregnancies compared to doctors, meaning women get longer appointment times.
“We are offering that continuity piece,” Emerson said. “[The clinic is] a space where you feel supported in asking questions and being seen and respected. The way that our clients have access to us, they can email us with questions; can page us with urgent concerns. That barrier of accessibility is removed.”