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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is a midwife and what do they do?

A midwife is a highly skilled and educated health professional specializing in low-risk maternity care. Midwives support pregnancy and birth as a normal part of a woman's life by addressing the physical, emotional, social and cultural aspects of her experience.

Midwives are primary care providers and qualified to order laboratory tests, ultrasounds, and prescribe medication in relation to pregnancy, labour, and the newborn. 

Midwives are also trained and competent with low-risk clients, help clients remain low-risk, in dealing with emergencies and ensuring timely access and transport to high-risk care providers.

Midwives are integrated into the health care system and work with other doctors, nurses, and health care professionals when needed to provide appropriate, client-centered care. 

In New Brunswick, registered midwives offer:

  • Clinical care for low risk pregnancy,

  • All prenatal care,

  • Attending labour and birth, and,

  • Client after birth care for up to 6 weeks.

 

The Canadian Midwifery Association website provides a detailed outline of midwifery services in Canada.

 

What is the Midwifery Council of New Brunswick?

The Midwifery Council of New Brunswick is a regulatory council, comprised of 7 members (6 health care professionals & 1 public) who are appointed by the Government. The Midwifery Council is legislated by the Midwifery Act, and is responsible for the following:

  • Regulating the profession of midwifery in the province;

  • Establishing: a code of ethics, standards of practices, and guidelines for midwives that are consistent with other Canadian provinces; and,

  • Registering midwives and ensuring their competence to practice with a yearly renewal of registration.

 

How can I access midwifery care?  

Please call the Fredericton Midwifery Center at 506-452-5896.

 

Do I need a doctor’s referral to go to a midwife? 

A doctor’s referral is not necessary.  Women can self-refer to a midwife.

 

If I have a midwife, where do I give birth – at home or at the hospital?

The Midwifery Model of Care in New Brunswick outlines choice of birthplace as a fundamental principle of midwifery care. Once midwifery services are available through the Regional Health Authority (RHA), midwives will offer the choice of home or hospital birth to low-risk clients based on informed decision making and relevant information. 

 

Is a midwife the same as a doula?

No.  Midwives are trained health professionals who provide all the necessary care related to pregnancy, birth and postpartum. A doula acts as an emotional, physical and informational support to the birthing person and family during labour.  They do not have a clinical role or provide medical care. Doulas work as part of the team and are a complement to the care received by your midwife.  For further information - DONA International.

 

How can I become registered as a midwife in New Brunswick?

To register as a midwife in New Brunswick, you must first apply to be hired by the New Brunswick Regional Health Authority. Registration requirements are laid out in the Midwifery Act and Midwifery Regulations.

  • Graduation from an approved Canadian Midwifery Education program, with a 4-year baccalaureate degree in midwifery, or, if trained internationally, completion of an approved Canadian bridging program or, registration in another Canadian province;

  • Current clinical experience, within the last 5 years, including a minimum of 60 births; and,

  • Current certifications in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), neonatal resuscitation (NRP), and Obstetrical Emergency Skills.