Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question but don’t see it below? Contact us, we are happy to help. 

What is a midwife?

Midwives are experts in healthy pregnancy and birth.

In Alberta, registered midwives offer primary maternity to clients and newborns throughout all stages of pregnancy until your baby is 6 weeks old. We practice evidence-based, client-centered care and are regulated by the College of Midwives of Alberta and work as part of Alberta Health Services. 

How much does midwifery care cost?

Midwifery care is fully funded for residents of Alberta. This includes all prenatal visits, labour and postpartum up to six weeks after the birth of your baby.

Is home birth safe?

Yes. Midwives are experts in birth, and home birth has been shown to be as safe as giving birth in hospital for low-risk pregnant people, and often with less intervention. Several midwifery-led studies in Canada and internationally have shown this to be true, and even the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada have published a statement. Here is the link:

What experience and training do midwives have?

All Registered Midwives in Alberta have the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree in Midwifery. They have demonstrated a high level of competency as required by the College of Midwives of Alberta through rigorous written, clinical, and oral examinations.  Midwives do frequent emergency skills updates as well as CPR and NRP. 

Can I see a midwife and a doctor?

A midwife will oversee all of your prenatal care. A midwife can order all pregnancy-related prescriptions, and can access the same labs and order the same tests as a doctor would. We will consult with doctors should the need arise, but otherwise there is no need to see a doctor while in our care.

Where can Passages midwives attend births?

Our midwives can attend home births, and also have admitting privileges at many hospitals. We also attend births at the Lucina Birth Centre.

What about VBACs?

If you had a previous c-section delivery, that does not mean you cannot receive midwifery care or have a home birth. Our success rate for VBACs (vaginal birth after Caesarean) is far better than the national average. Every VBAC client is unique, and we trust you to make the safest and best decisions about your care. If you are looking for a midwife for your VBAC birth, contact us.

Do you require clients to hire a doula?

An experienced doula can be a wonderful resource to a mom in labour, but we do not require our clients to hire one. Our motto is “your birth, your way.” YOU choose who you want to be there for the big day. We know many wonderful doulas if you need a recommendation!

How often do I see my midwife?

We usually begin seeing our clients soon after pregnancy is confirmed, and up until 6 weeks postpartum. Visits are about once a month, until 32 weeks when they increase to every 2 weeks. From 36 weeks until delivery, visits are almost weekly. Most visits will take place at one of our offices, but we will also arrange 1 home visit for clients opting for a home birth. We also offer phone appointments whenever in-person visits are not feasible (due to Covid symptoms, etc.) During the week after the birth, we will also arrange 2-3 home visits.

Can I use medication or an epidural for pain relief if I have a midwife?

Of course! It is your birth, and we trust you to make your own decisions. We are experts in natural birth, and our toolbox is full of ways to support this, if it is your goal. All of our midwives are trained and able to offer pharmaceutical pain management options in-hospital without transferring care. Talk to your midwife about all of your options, and create a plan together.

I am a repeat client. Do I still need to apply?

Yes! But you can also reach out by email or phone so we know to look for you on the list. 

Can you tell me where I am on the wait list?

The waitlist is not first-come, first-served. It is recommended that you apply early to increase your chances of getting a spot, but there are still not enough midwives in Alberta, and spaces fill up quickly. You will only be contacted by our team if we have an opening available. 

If you need to edit or update your waitlist information, instructions on how to do so can be found in the confirmation email you received when you first applied. If you cannot find it, please reach out to the Alberta Association of Midwives and they can assist you.