Informed Choice

A foundational principal in the midwifery model of care is respect for pregnancy and birth as common, healthy, family centered life events.

Midwives recognize you as the primary decision-maker in your care, and are committed to providing you the time, information, and guidance you need so that you feel confident in this role. We anticipate that you’ll also actively seek out other sources of information in order to make informed decisions.

Your midwife’s care is tailored to you. We’ll make recommendations based on your unique pregnancy and needs, as well as our professional standards, sound research, and long experience.

Prenatal appointments are 30-45 minutes long in order to provide lots of time for you and your midwife to get to know each other, to answer your questions, and to discuss any areas of concern. In order to be effective as caregivers, it’s also important that you have time to keep us well informed of concerns or situations that may affect your care.

Should complications develop for you or baby over the course of your pregnancy, we will consult with our colleagues such as physicians, lactation consultants, and alternative care providers to access additional supports as needed. We’ve developed an extensive resource section on the clients area of our website where you can review the most common options available to you throughout your pregnancy, birth, and early postpartum. This also allows you to prep any questions you may have about these options to discuss with your midwife at your next prenatal visit.

There is no such thing as a “silly question”, only the unasked question. We welcome and encourage your inquiries and participation in your care. It’s also helpful to remember as you research your options that medical opinion and standards of care are constantly evolving. What’s considered essential today may be outdated tomorrow.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the amount and variety of information available to you these days. It’s okay to only search out as much information as you feel you need to be comfortable making a decisions.

There are routine assessments your midwives will do at each of your appointments (for example: fundal height measurement, blood pressure check, etc) We may assume consent based on the fact that you’ve agreed to midwifery care, however, if at any point you have questions about, would like to explore alternative options to, or would prefer to decline these assessments, you are always welcome to. Your midwife will note this in your chart for future reference. For more invasive tests or for those tests or treatments with significant risks or alternatives, you’ll be asked to give explicit written or verbal consent.

According to Alberta Health Services’ Policy on Consent to Treatment/Procedure(s), the only exception to an adult’s right to informed consent is if they “lack the capacity to provide informed consent or refuses informed consent due to altered consciousness from trauma, drugs, alcohol, or any other cause, or where informed consent cannot be immediately obtained from the adult’s alternate decision-maker”. In this rare situation, care that is “necessary to preserve the patient’s life, prevent serious physical or mental harm to the patient, or to alleviate serious pain; and where there is no knowledge that the patient would have objected to the treatment/procedure(s)” may be provided without explicit consent. Should you need any additional information about informed consent please speak with your midwife at your next visit.

  • Aurora Midwifery