Congratulations on your pregnancy! Vera and her colleagues at Midwifery Care North Shore (MCNS) understand that growing your family can give rise to ecstatic joy, disbelief, a multitude of questions and much else. Pregnancy, birth and early postpartum is a transitional time and we as midwives feel privileged to use our professional knowledge, skills and connections to accompany women and their families on this journey.
Every woman and every birth is different. The care at MCNS is designed to meet the individual needs of each pregnant woman so that she may have a healthy and safe pregnancy, birth and postpartum. This personalized service includes home and hospital birth, water birth, as well as breastfeeding and early parenting support. We believe in informed decision making and actively involving women in their care.
Our services are paid for by BC Medical Services Plan and supported by Lions Gate Hospital’s maternity unit for North Vancouver and West Vancouver residents; although we are also able to offer care to women living in Vancouver, Burnaby, Bowen Island and the Sea to Sky Corridor who are prepared to travel.
Midwife Vera Berard RN, RM, MA (Midwifery) and colleagues welcome you to explore our website and to connect with us via any of the contact options available. Clicking on the highlighted colored words will bring up additional information.
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Vera is currently booking clients who are due beginning of January 2016 and onwards. Occasionally a spot becomes available in an earlier month - regardless of due date - women interested in midwifery services are encouraged to ask.
It is over a year and a half since this website was created and I last posted. Life has been awesome! I am learning that while life’s curve-balls cannot be controlled, I can choose a coping attitude. Consequently, I am grateful to have work that I love and LGH hospital privilege that enable me to safely provide services in hospital, as well as in women's homes in my community. Since 2013 when opportunity for other midwives to obtain hospital privilege was restricted, limiting my ability to attract a practice partner, I have appreciated journeying with over 86 women in a solo-midwife capacity. It is the partnership that I have established with women that has kept me enjoying midwifing. I am pleased to note that since I opened MCNS doors 17 years ago, over 847 women and their families have received midwifery services from Vera and her colleagues. While the limitation of midwifery hospital privileges continues to challenge my ability to establish a small group practice whose members all my clients can meet on a regular basis. I value the collegial homebirth and monthly off-call relief agreements that I have established with Andreia Situm from Babease, Aleka Stobo from Coast Midwifery, Grace Brinkman from On-the-drive midwives and others, as well as the team spirit around women and baby centred care that we have developed.
In the time that has lapsed, I have also had opportunity to participate in a few inspiring culture changing activities around supporting physiological labor, birth and breastfeeding. One has been LGH psycho-social rounds where a group of colleagues gained a better understanding about the importance of skin-to-skin contact directly after birth, as a standard practice for women and babies. Another has been working with a group of wonderful young mothers that are intent on establishing a wellness and birthing centre and have set up a non-profit organization – WOMB to bring this idea to fruition. WOMB participated in the AVIVA community fund and while fell short of making the finals and winning funding, support from over 2,500 folk earned $1,000 for WOMB’s designated charity – North Shore Women’s Center.
On a more personal level, I continue to embrace my connection to my community, as my smaller midwifery practice has offered me the opportunity to live ‘local’ with my work. I have always enjoyed walking my dog, Koda, born November 2001 and died June 2015. May he rest in peace!
Although I miss him much, I feel fortunate to have neighbors’ dogs that I can walk. I still enjoy cycling with my husband and have greatly appreciated the opportunity to walk or cycle to clients' homes or Lions Gate Hospital. I persist in bumping into neighborhood mothers who introduce me to their children ranging from toddlers to teenagers as “the midwife who was with mum when I was pregnant and who received you as you were being born…" These encounters always remind me that it is the journey ‘with women and their families’ that I love.
Gardening with my Quayside neighbours and participating in other community events are activities that I also like. Besides relishing the yummy whole food produced, I truly appreciate the chance to better live my values and am glad for my family, friends, neighbors, clients and colleagues who cherish local living. I think that the African proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is just as relevant in creating sustainable communities and that sustainable, compassionate communities are the way of the future.
Vera and colleagues appreciate client photos and comments about their experiences with MCNS. These can be uploaded onto our Facebook gallery. For those who wish to celebrate their child’s birth, MCNS welcomes tribute donations being made on our behalf to local charities such as:
- Sage Transition House North Shore Crisis Society
- North Shore Neighborhood House Young Parents Program
- Harvest Project North Vancouver
- Lions Gate Hospital Foundation designated to Maternal and Pediatric Projects
- College of Midwives of BC Jean Cooper Bursary for aspiring midwives who need financial aid