I’ve been wanting to write a post outlining all of the options women in Vancouver have in terms of who they invite to their births. There are a lot of options to consider between birthing without hired support, traditional birth attendants, registered midwives, family doctors and obstetricians, and possibly also having a doula join the team. Instead of continuing to put off this big project, I thought I might as well start somewhere by explaining, in a nutshell, what I see as the difference between a registered midwife and a traditional birth attendant:
When you hire a traditional birth attendant, you are hiring an experienced woman to provide you with support during your normal,physiological birth process.
When you hire a registered midwife in Vancouver, you are hiring a medical professional to manage your low-risk birth (according to the definition of a midwife from the Canadian Association of Midwives).
Explore your options and consider who is the best fit for you and your birth philosphy as part of your birthing team. Questions? Comments? Contact me, or leave a comment in the discussion section below.
Added December 20/12: The definition of RM in the post is drawn from the Canadian Association of Midwives definition of midwifery. Some people want to have their births managed by medically-trained professionals, and I am glad there are some amazing RMs who do their best to respect birthing women’s informed choices and honour physiological birth to the best of their ability within their scope of practice and regulatory guidielines. Some women, on the other hand, do not want to have a medically-trained attendant at their births as they do not see birth as a medical event that inherently or prophylacticly requires medically-trained support people. Many women do not want to choose attendants who are bound by the procedures set out by the college of midwives of BC. I often hear from women how surprised they were at how medical their midwifery care was after choosing an RM team for their birth. This post is meant to highlight a distinction between the two (TBAs are NOT medical professionals, they are there to support a woman’s own process, while RMs ARE medical professionals, and by the CAMs own definition are in place to manage low risk births), not to create a divide, but to help people understand the difference and be better able to make the best choice for them and their philosophy.