At ASAC, we field many questions from expectant parents. The scene in Edmonton (what services are available, whether they are free or not, etc) keeps changing but we will try here to answer your questions as best as we can. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if your question is not answered here, or if it looks like we need to update our information! (Last updated September 2011)
Question: If I want a midwife to provide my prenatal care and attend my birth, do I have to pay?
Answer: No. In 2009, the Alberta government began public funding of midwifery in this province. Midwifery services are fully funded here.
Question: How does one go about applying for a midwife in Edmonton? Is there a referral process or is it purely a "hire who we like" process?
Answer: There is no referral process. You call the midwives (listed on this website, in Birth Issues magazine, or on the Alberta Association of Midwives website) and see who is available.
Question: I am pregnant. How soon after learning you are pregnant should I be contacting a midwife? I hear they are in pretty high demand
Answer: Congratulations! Now, quick, go pick up that phone. You need to call immediately. All of the midwives in the Edmonton area have long wait lists. Don't be surprised if no midwife is available to take you on, even if you are calling with the pee stick in your hand. If you are absolutely dedicated to the idea of having a midwife, you can call the midwives back once a month, to see if an opening has come up. Openings do come up, as sometimes a woman's care is transferred to a doctor (the women "risks out") or a woman has a miscarriage.
Question: Are there doctors in the Edmonton area who you would recommend as being friendly to the goal of natural childbirth?
Answer: Yes, there are. Email us at email@example.com and we can give you some names.
Question: Is there a birthing centre in Edmonton?
Answer: Yes, there is a brand-new birthing centre starting up in Edmonton, called the Lucina Centre. http://lucinacentre.ca/
Question: What are some questions we should ask our prospective midwives, in helping us choose a caregiver?
Answer: Sadly, demand for midwives is so high in our area right now, that the situation is pretty much on a "first come, first served" basis. We look forward to the day when there will be enough midwives in the area, that women could interview 2 or 3 and choose who would be the best fit for them. At the moment, that is not the situation. Most pregnant women will end up with whichever midwife happens to still have availability when they get them on the phone.
Question: No midwives are available. What can I do to help me achieve the birth I am hoping for?
Answer: We highly recommend using the services of a doula. A doula provides emotional support through labour. You can meet many doulas by hanging out at ASAC, during a meeting or at a playgroup time, or at a monthly info session. Doulas also advertise in Birth Issues magazine. Their website is edmontondoula.org. ASAC has many programs and services that aim to help you become educated about birth -- we have a resource library, we print Birth Issues magazine, we hold a fall and spring lecture series, and we hold yearly conferences. Check out other parts of this website for more information on all of these. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: How does one go about becoming a midwife? How does one go about becoming a doula?
ASAC is a consumer advocacy group; we represent the voice of the consumers of these services; we represent pregnant women and their families.