For many rural families, access to high quality maternity and newborn care close to home is greatly needed. Midwives offer both hospital and home birth, depending on the resources available in the community and the individual circumstances of each client.
Rural midwives provide community-based care working collaboratively with doctors, nurses, ambulance attendants and others. They frequently provide professional consultation on labour management skills, low intervention rates and low resource settings. Over 80 midwives practice across rural BC and the number is growing. A map showing the various maternity care providers in communities across the province is available on the Perinatal Services BC website.
It is important that all families living in BC have access to essential health services. Midwifery is growing in BC, but is still not available in all communities. Many families travel long distances to access midwifery care. The MABC, together with provincial and local governments, is working to address this issue. If you cannot find a midwife in your community, please let us know here.
The MABC is working hard to increase the sustainability of rural midwifery in BC through two programs: the Rural Support Program (RSP) and the Rural Midwives Locum Program (RMLP).
The Rural Support Program (RSP) increases access to rural midwifery services in BC by supporting midwives to create new rural practices. The MABC is now accepting grant applications from eligible midwives who wish to start midwifery practices in communities that do not currently have midwifery care and that can support greater access to reproductive care options. The MABC is working with the Ministry of Health, Perinatal Services BC, Health Authorities and communities and anticipates working with Health Match BC to standardize available supports.
The Rural Midwifery Locum Program (RMLP) assists midwives in taking short-term periods away from their practices by having a pool of available locum midwives able to provide short-term leave coverage for midwives actively practicing in rural and remote communities throughout BC.