Midwifery Care North Shore (MCNS) is a well-established Lower Lonsdale community practice located at Quayside Village.
MCNS was the first practice to be established on the North Shore when midwifery became regulated in British Columbia in 1998. Since then, we have provided midwifery services to over 900 women and their families.
The majority of women receiving MCNS care have spontaneous, uncomplicated labour and childbirth and the practice currently has a 25% home-birth rate. Clients interested in home-birth can find out more by going to our resource page. Those intending homebirth can arrange to pick up supplies provided by the province from MCNS office. MCNS arranges for a North Shore or Vancouver midwifery colleague to be the second attendant at a homebirth. Partners are welcome at all appointments and are especially encouraged to attend at least 3 prenatal appointments when women are interested in homebirth.
The remaining 75% of our clientele give birth at Lions Gate Hospital where MCNS holds long-standing relationships with the midwives, physicians and nurses. A nurse is assigned as a second attendant in hospital. All of our clientele are encouraged to take a hospital tour, as regardless of birth setting, Lions Gate Hospital is our back up Hospital. While most of our clients use non-medical means of pain relief during labor, medical pain relief is an option for women who request medication.
MCNS has primarily been a solo practice since January 2013 when limitations were placed on the number of registered midwives allowed to practice in the area. The advantage of a solo practice is that women enrolled in care can anticipate a greater than 80% chance of having Vera attend their births. Women that need to meet with the midwife colleague who might attend in Vera’s absence are given this opportunity when feasible. Vera and her colleagues are committed to actively involving women in care and to providing a personalized service during pregnancy, labor and postpartum. We aim to assist each woman feel that she has done everything possible to lovingly bring her baby safely into the world. Regardless of whether a woman has a short or long labor, births at home or in hospital, has a vaginal birth with or without pain medication, or an assisted vacuum, forceps or c/section delivery aided by medical specialists, we work with a woman so that she and her family may have the best experience possible.
Vera Berard regrets that MCNS is unable to continue postpartum group appointments at this time. As group care has provided an opportunity for childbearing women and their families to form supportive networks, Vera hopes to be able to offer this service again in the future and appreciates Kathy McGrenera, Sherry McGinnis, Heather Laine and others that have helped her facilitate group care over the years.
MCNS is a University of BC multi-disciplinary teaching practice committed to maternity education and the promotion of women-centered health care. Various students (midwifery, medical and nursing) have been supervised at different times. While a woman’s right to decline student involvement in her care is respected, our clients are encouraged to participate in the vital process of preparing new practitioners to serve more of British Columbia’s women. There are now several midwives who have worked as students in MCNS that are currently registered and providing midwifery services throughout the province.
Midwifery Services are paid for by BC Medical Services Plan for BC residents.
Midwives are primary caregivers. Consequently women do not see a doctor at the same time they see a midwife for maternity care. We are able to order and interpret all maternity tests and prescribe treatments for common pregnancy related conditions. You can access test results by applying for my e-health and can discuss results with a midwife during your appointments or over the phone. Should a need arise for a doctor your midwife will make an appropriate referral. Please inform us of your health concerns. In the rare instance that a midwife is unable to provide care it is our responsibility to arrange for another midwife or doctor to provide care.
Appointments are routinely scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday. Our regularly scheduled appointment times are between 9.00am and 5.00pm. To accommodate folk who have difficulty getting off work, we hold one late afternoon/early evening appointment day from 3.30pm – 8.30pm per month. Most prenatal and postnatal appointments take place in Quayside Village’s comfy space. The exception being for women living in area and planning a homebirth, one prenatal appointment will be scheduled at home. All women living in area have home visits scheduled their first week postpartum. Thereafter, they like women that live out of area meet with Vera or a colleague in MCNS’s office until everyone is discharged from midwifery care around 6 to 8 weeks postpartum. Thursdays are reserved for overflow appointments and those appointments that need to be rescheduled.
Midwifery appointments can be arranged via email. While email is our preferred method of contact, appointments can also be made via telephone (604 984 6960). Please note that depending on how busy we are with births and appointments, we may not be able to immediately answer your email or call. However, messages are checked regularly and responded to within one – two business days. At this time our staff are doing the office work remotely from their homes. For women who are enrolled into care, we do have a 24 hour paging service for urgent concerns.