Summer News, Student Info and fall announcement


Since our return from holiday, I continue to enjoy crocheting. My crochet critter menagerie has grown to include two mythical unicorns, as well as four snails. Folk have been curious to know why, of all creatures, snails. Well, I value small creatures as much as large ones. I like snail symbolism too. Being one of few creatures that carry their spiral houses around with them, symbolically snails represent the cycle of life. Including finding one’s home within oneself, taking time to enjoy and make the best of life’s journey. Furthermore, snails are considered symbolic of fertility, abundance and things coming into fruition – what could be more apropos reminders to a midwife holding the space for women and babies and whose work requires patience and flexibility.

Making Midwifery Services Provided by Vera Berard RM Transparent

There have been 14 babies born from the middle of May 2016 until the time of writing this post. After a baby is born, I write in rainbow chalk on a blackboard in my office, the birth date and draw a little house, if the birth occurred at home, no symbol if baby is born in hospital. All dates with no added writing indicate a spontaneous birth. When I know a baby’s name, this is added to the board. Dates that have a c/s, f or v after a baby name, indicates that my obstetric colleagues have been involved for an assisted birth (c-section, forcep or vacuum).

Each week women in care enjoy looking at the board to see if another birth has happened and to discover baby names. It makes an interesting and informative conversation piece. Seeing that babies have been born is a reminder that there is an end in sight to pregnancy discomforts. Women like knowing how and where babies are born. Approximately one third of births these past three months occurred at home and two-thirds in hospital. Eleven babies were born spontaneously and 3 needed assistance from my obstetric colleagues. There was one successful VBAC. Most women coped with labor on their own steam. Medical pain relief options were available for those that needed these. All babies had skin2skin and breastfed in the first hour of birth. The process of normal labor and birth is noted to work for most women. The board also shows that my practice is well integrated and supported by the healthcare system. These are findings discovered by researchers that investigated planned home and hospital birth with midwives in British Columbia. My board shows that the services provided are similar to those provided by the majority of BC midwives:

Informed decision-making is fundamental to BC Midwives. Conversations triggered by my rainbow board help most women and their families dispel fears and play a part in the trusting partnership that I work on developing with each client. The board helps show why flexibility is important. During a recent baby-storm (5 babies in 6 days), my clients and I coped well with cancelling and rescheduling of regular appointments, as well as the need to make additional appointments for new babies and their mums. We all appreciated the assistance of my office assistant Jazzmin Nagy, as well as my midwife, nursing and doctor colleagues.

Since hospital privileges continue to be a barrier that affects my ability to offer another midwife regular work in my practice, I remain grateful to my colleagues with established practices in the area, Andreia Situm RM, Aleka Stobo RM and others with whom I have reciprocal back-up service agreements and 24/7 coverage arrangements.   Reflecting on the past fours years that I have been placed into a solo-practice position. I can say that at any one time there are between 36 and 40 women that have partnered with me at various stages of their pregnancy and postpartum. In most 4-week periods there are 3 to 5 babies that are likely to be born. Except for a month that I intend to take a break.    I then, either take no clients into care or only book one or two. Longer breaks afford an opportunity for women that are due to meet with the midwife that may attend their birth. In between longer breaks, during the 1-4 days that I take off-call a month, the name and number of the midwife covering my practice can be found on my pager.

Planned Absences, Student and Practice Coverage FYI

My last planned longer break in 2016 is around the corner. I look forward to being able to attend my niece’s wedding in September 2016. I appreciate that Aleka Stobo RM from Coast Midwifery is providing my practice coverage. In return, we have an agreement that I will cover her practice in December 2016.

It has been awhile since MCNS has had UBC midwifery students. I have agreed to supervise students again the end of 2016 – beginning of 2017. I am pleased to ask clients in care and those interested in midwifery services to help me welcome these students and will be posting more details closer to the time.

Looking forward into 2017, I note that my intake for January through March 2017 is already full. At this time, as there is yet to be another midwife in the practice and because women book 5 – 7 months in advance of their due dates, I have closed the intake for April 2017. After April 2017, my next longer break will likely be around September/October 2017. I will post details about these closer to the time.

My intake process is currently open for women due from May 2017 onwards.

Jazzmin Nagy, my office assistant arranges interview times and takes care of booking regular appointments. When intake is full, we encourage women interested in MCNS services to contact us again and/or go onto MCNS waiting list. We have noticed that plans can change and that spots do become available. When an opening occurs, Jazzmin calls back women on our waiting list to offer a spot in the practice.

The Annual Breastfeeding Babies and Mothers Celebration is coming up the beginning of fall. Mark your calendar – Saturday 1st October, 2017 for the 15th annual BF Challenge 10am – Noon. 

World Breastfeeding week takes place in British Columbia on the 1st – 7th October (elsewhere in the world 1-7August). I think it’s awesome that our prime minister and his wife came out in support of Canada’s breastfeeding families.

There are many ways to participate. I encourage all breastfeeding clients in care and those that have graduated that are still breastfeeding to bring their babies and families and attend this fun annual celebration. Stay posted for more information.