In Campbell River and District, not all family doctors deliver babies. Family doctors with a special interest in caring for pregnant people and newborns are available by self-referral, or by referral from another doctor. Family doctors here perform deliveries at North Island Hospital in Campbell River.
If you have a family doctor, it is important to schedule a visit with them within the first few weeks of finding out you are pregnant and make a plan for who will be the primary care provider throughout the pregnancy.
In this initial visit, your doctor can confirm your pregnancy and help to estimate your due date. Your doctor may order a dating ultrasound to confirm your due date and order some initial lab work. At this time your doctor can also assess any risk factors you may have in this pregnancy.
If you choose a family doctor to be your Maternity Care Provider, you can expect:
- medical care for both prenatal care and other medical conditions (new or pre-existing)
- availability on-call 24 hours per day throughout pregnancy and after the birth of your baby
- breastfeeding support
- collaboration with other care providers and community supports including public health nursing, obstetricians, and paediatricians as needed
- postpartum and newborn care
- referral back to your family doctor at approximately 6 weeks after the baby is born
In BC, registered midwives offer primary maternity care to healthy pregnant clients and their newborn babies from early pregnancy, through labour and birth, until about six weeks following delivery. This includes delivering babies. They practice evidence-based, client-centred maternity and newborn care, as well as birthing options in the home and hospital setting. They have been an established part of the BC health care system for over 20 years, since 1998. The BC Ministry of Health covers 100% of the cost of midwifery services for all BC residents with a valid BC Services Card. Parents can self-refer (no physician referral is required).
Midwives in the Campbell River area work alone or in small teams to provide continuity of care. This means that you will know the midwife who attends your birth. Each visit with your midwife is approximately 30-45 minutes in length. This provides the time to learn about pregnancy, birth, and the newborn, and to enable parents to ask questions to make informed choices.
Following the birth, visits take place at home for the first 1-2 weeks and focus primarily on the newborn, breastfeeding, and the parent’s recovery.
Midwife practices tend to fill up quickly. If you are interested in having a Midwife, it’s ideal to call as soon as you know you are pregnant, but don’t hesitate to call even if it is later in your pregnancy to see if there is available space.
Midwives available in the Campbell River and District practice out of Ocean Grove Midwifery Collective.
You can reach the North Island Midwifery Clinic here if you live in Port Hardy or Port McNeill, or for a list of additional Registered Midwives visit the Midwives Association of BC website.