We are a group of midwives with many diverse backgrounds.  We come from the arts, the sciences, and from the community and we unite to provide you with the highest standard of midwifery care.  Between us, we have attended thousands of births and have been privileged to participate in midwifery practice all over the world.

In British Columbia, midwives work as primary care providers and are fully funded by the government’s Medical Services Plan. There is no additional charge to you.

We work in teams in order to provide your family with personalized prenatal, labour, birth and postpartum care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We offer home and hospital birth with admitting privileges at B.C. Women’s Hospital. All midwives in our practice are registered with the College of Midwives of British Columbia and are also members of the Midwives Association of British Columbia. 

Our group works very closely to provide a consistent standard of care. We meet regularly for peer review and professional development. We share responsibility for staying current with research on maternity and newborn care to deliver you and your family the highest quality evidence-based care.

Our Office

The Midwifery Group is located in a convenient storefront location on Main Street in Vancouver.  We are located on a bus line and there is plenty of street parking in front of our office and on the nearby streets. We are surrounded by a great variety of antique stores, clothing boutiques, designer shops and diverse restaurants. Our clinic is colorful, eclectic and designed to make you feel welcome and comfortable.

While in our waiting room, feel free to browse our lending library of prenatal, birth and breastfeeding books and DVDs, help yourself to a glass of water, or nurse your baby.  We also have a selection of books and toys for young children who may be accompanying you on prenatal visits.

Midwifery Care

Midwives are specialists in the care of healthy women and babies.  We view pregnancy and birth as normal, healthy, family-centered life events.  Our model is a collaborative model, and we consult with our colleagues such as physicians, lactation consultants, and alternative care providers should maternal or newborn complications develop.  Our care is fully funded through the Medical Services Plan and there is no charge to you for midwifery care. 

Informed choice is a fundamental principle of midwifery care in B.C.

Midwives recognize the childbearing woman as the primary decision-maker in her care, and we commit to empowering families to take on this role by providing time, information, and guidance about choices in maternity and newborn care.  We anticipate that you will also actively seek out other sources of information in order to make informed choices. 

Team-based midwifery care

We work in teams of three to four midwives. You will meet all of the midwives on your team in the course of your prenatal visits, and the midwife who is on call on the day you are in labour will attend your birth. In addition to your prenatal and postpartum clinic visits, your team will be available to you 24 hours a day through our emergency paging service.

We use a highly secure electronic medical record to communicate with each other so that each of your midwives has up-to-the-minute information to provide you and your baby with individualized care specific to your needs.

We are big believers in the team-based approach as it means you are more likely to have a midwife you know at your birth (even if there are multiple women in labour at once, or one of the midwives is ill). Your midwife is also more likely to be rested and refreshed to attend your birth when working as part of a team.

Prenatal Care

We provide prenatal care at our clinic on Main Street.   Our prenatal visits are generally 30 to 45 minutes long, and follow the standard antenatal schedule of every five weeks up to 28 weeks pregnant, every three weeks up to 36 weeks pregnant, and weekly until you have the baby.

Prenatal care includes urinalysis, monitoring blood pressure, fetal growth, fetal heart rate and position and the general well-being of mother and baby, and plays an important role in preventing and detecting problems that can arise in pregnancy.  In addition, we pay close attention to the social and emotional aspects of your pregnancy and transition into parenthood. 

Your support people and your children are welcome to join you at prenatal visits.  Please be on time for your appointments and give as much notice as possible if you must cancel a visit.

Prenatal Education & Doulas

Attending prenatal education classes is recommended as part of your birth preparation, especially for first-time parents.   We have brochures for many of these classes in the waiting room.  We recommend that you research and book your class early.  An ideal time to take prenatal classes is between 28 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. 

Doulas are independent support people hired by parents to support and assist them at the birth.  Both the medical evidence and our anecdotal experiences support doulas as very positive members of the birthing team.  We encourage you to use the services of a doula and are happy to refer you to one.

Labour and Delivery

By the time your labour begins, your midwives are aware of your wishes and plans for this special event. We will have discussed important issues requiring your decision-making as well as what to expect at the time of birth and during the first weeks postpartum.

When you are in active labour, the on-call midwife will attend you. For a planned hospital birth we often attend you in your home until your labour is well-established and then move to hospital for the birth. Following the birth, your midwife will complete the care of you and your baby, and assist with early feeding. When all is well, many of our clients choose to leave the hospital, sometimes just a a few hours after the birth. The majority of postpartum care is provided in the comfort of your own home.

Many clients choose to birth their babies at home. In this case, a second midwife will arrive close to the birth of the baby to help out. Every client or family will receive safe and comprehensive care in whichever setting they choose to birth.

Postpartum Care

Midwives provide care for you and your baby for the first six weeks postpartum and we remain on-call for you and your baby in case of emergency. We usually make three postpartum visits in the first week, generally these take place in the comfort of your own home, followed by check-ups in the clinic. Around 6 weeks postpartum, we will see you and your baby for your last visit and then discharge you both back to your family physician for ongoing care. If you do not already have a family physician, we can help refer you to one.

Parents’ Role and Responsibility

We request that our clients be responsible for the health of both themselves and their babies by eating nutritiously, getting adequate sleep and exercise and participating in regular prenatal care.   We also request that parents acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for labour and birth, either through prenatal classes or self-education.

A midwife’s care is individualized according to the clients she serves.  It is important for you to make us aware of your expectations.  In order to be effective as caregivers, we require that clients keep us well informed of concerns or situations which may affect your care.

Education of Future Midwives

The Midwifery Group is a teaching practice with the University of British Columbia ’s Bachelor of Midwifery Program.  We are very proud of our role as the teachers of the next generation of midwives and we enjoy contributing to a future where there will be a midwife for every woman who wants one.  We also welcome UBC’s 3rd year medical students to our clinic days at various points throughout the year as part of their obstetrical rotation.

The students bring a wealth of knowledge and experience which they are keen to share with the clients and midwives.  Clients also report that they enjoy having students involved in their care, and particularly appreciate the students’ enthusiasm for birth and eagerness to assist the clients however they can. 

Midwifery students from the four-year UBC program generally join our teams from September to April.  These students begin their supervised practical experience in their second year of training, and the scope of their involvement increases as they move through the program gaining skills and experience.  Midwifery students are honoured to attend your birth and will have hands-on roles helping you in labour and learning the art of catching babies.

If you have any questions or concerns about how students will be involved in your care please discuss this with your midwives.

Client Records

Your records are confidential and the information in them belongs to you.   At your last postpartum visit you will receive a copy of your records as well as an additional copy for you to bring to your family physician.  We will retain the originals for our files.

Home Birth Supplies

Clients choosing home birth will be provided with some basic medical supplies for home birth. Clients may be required to purchase some additional supplies if they want to supplement the basic kit. Your midwives will provide you with a list of supplies in the third trimester. 

Lending Library and Videos

All the books and videos in our waiting room are for lending and have library cards in them. Books can be borrowed from one prenatal visit to the next and prenatal, birth and breastfeeding videos can be borrowed for 2 weeks. You will be able to borrow books and videos upon payment of a $20 deposit, which will be refunded to you in full at the completion of your care, once all materials have been returned.  Please return your books and handouts promptly so other women can benefit from them as well.

Appointment Times

If you must cancel your appointment, please give us as much notice as possible.   Please expect that our office managers may need to reschedule your appointments from time to time due to the unpredictable nature of midwives’ schedules. Please ensure that you have provided all your contact numbers.

Our History

In 1998, The Midwifery Group was the first midwifery clinic to open it’s doors in Vancouver, in a cozy storefront location on Main Street. Founded by midwives Lee Saxell and Linda Knox, many midwives have called The Midwifery Group home over the years, welcoming over 5000 babies into the world.

Lee and Linda retired from their work as directors of the clinic in 2007 and passed the torch to their long time practice partner, Andrea Brett. Andrea Brett began her practice at The Midwifery Group in the year 2000, and then became a client herself for the birth of her 2nd child, Avery, in 2004. Candace Plohman became a director of The Midwifery Group in 2012 and a client of the clinic herself when she had her three boys, Jake, Eddie & Lewis in 2014, 2016 & 2017.

In addition to the current directors, Andrea and Candace, the clinic is also home to midwives; Tracy Kemp, Laura Willlihnganz, Laurie Cheng, Jill Freeman, Rachel Rees, Stephanie McDonnell as well as our wonderful office managers Jennifer Lindberg and Erin Cederberg.