Registered midwife

Delivering a more personal experience

Sooke midwife finds her business is experiencing growth

Although awareness of midwifery is still developing in Canada, a local practice has seen more and more expectant parents walk into its doors.

Uta Herold, a registered midwife with over 30 years of experience, opened Sooke Midwifery in October 2011. And despite being relatively new, the practice has seen an increase in clients over the years, which Herold attributes to “word of mouth.”

In 2012, she presided over the birth of 40 babies from Sooke. In the same year, Sooke residents made up 80 per cent of her clients, which she expects to increase to 90 per cent in 2013.

“They realize that [midwives] are part of the medical system, like an integrated part of the medical system in B.C., and therefore, they say, ‘Well then, I haven’t really had this individualized care with my doctor the first time, but this time I would really like to do that,’” Herold said.

Sooke resident and mother-of-two, Crystal Herie, is one of those women.

The delivery of her first child involved a significant amount of medical intervention, which resulted in a c-section delivery.

“There was a lot of medical intervention, I got induced and I wasn’t told… how much it heightens the chance of having a c-section,” Herie said.

“Your chance of having a c-section goes up 50 per cent when you get induced because you’re body’s not ready. And once you get to the hospital and they start doing things to you, you’re kind of on a time limit. They’re not going to let you go four or five days after being induced before you have your baby.”

The experience led Herie to do more research, and for the birth of her second child, she contacted Herold.

She ended up delivering her second child in hospital naturally.

“I ended up having him naturally at the hospital without medicine or anything, and I knew it could be done. The difference between the two births was just so polar opposite,” Herie said.

She is now in training to become a doula to provide support and help parents navigate through the labour process.

Although midwifery is slowly growing in prominence, Herold said there are still misconceptions that it is not regulated or medicalized, which is opposite from the truth.

Midwives are health care practitioners who specialize in low-risk pregnancy, child birth and postpartum.

The health care profession was regulated and implemented into the medical system in 1998, and

is covered by the B.C. Medical Services Plan (MSP).

“The maternity care that we provide is basically the maternity care a doctor provides,” Herold said. “With all the tests, ultrasounds, blood tests and whatever maternity care is outlined by the guidelines here in B.C.”

Midwives also monitor the mother and baby for complications like gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. In the event of a problem, they refer to obstetricians and specialists.

Herold said the main difference between doctors and midwives is time.

“We don’t have to take care of any other patients, we can afford to provide that individualized care,” she said. “They want to be treated individually, they want a care provider having time for them, and this is something that we can guarantee.”

Midwives hold longer appointments with their clients, and also act as the primary care provider for parents throughout the pregnancy, labour and birth. They also offer comprehensive prenatal and postnatal care, and make home visits for up to 12 days after the birth. And despite popular belief, most births by midwives occur in hospital rather than at home.

“A normal labour and birth, in my opinion, can really happen everywhere,” Herold said. “The most important thing is really having a professional care provider who detects any risks.”

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Uptown lights up the holiday season

Annual event drew crowd of all ages for parade and Christmas tree lighting

New figures show City of Victoria spent $30,000 to remove Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Man arrested in Colwood sentenced for trafficking fentanyl

The man was arrested in February and has been sentenced to three years imprisonment

West Shore youth looking to give back this Christmas

Chase Doucette will hand out bags of warm apparel to the homeless

Local leaders of all ages honoured at National Philanthropy Day event

Awards in six categories given to Victoria residents who are leaders in giving back

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom (updated)

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Most Read