An innovative new pre-natal program, funded by the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, was recently launched at the Birth Tides Clinic in downtown Courtenay.
The program offers seven group sessions to women during their pregnancy and a group reunion after the baby is born. All participants are due in the same month, giving families an opportunity to socialize, connect in an informal and relaxing setting, and develop long-term friendships that often extend into the school years.
Other appointments during the pregnancy are private one-on-one sessions with a midwife and offer a range of options for delivery. There is no charge to participants for the program.
The group sessions explore some of today’s leading-edge approaches to childbirth preparation, such as Birthing From Within and hypnobirthing. The popular groups offer a fun and fascinating session on birth art and another labour session geared to prepare the birth partners and dads.
There are special presentations by experts in their fields, such as lactation consultants, massage therapists, and naturopaths. These connections provide interesting insights and up-to date information that help women have optimal pregnancies and breastfeeding experiences.
The group reunion is a festive celebration with a house full of new babies, photographs, footprinting, and an informal flurry of birth stories. Most of all, the groups are a great time for women to relax, have a cup of tea and a snack, and focus on themselves and their pregnancies.
Every participant receives, free of charge, a beautiful binder with current pregnancy information, birth art, and inspirational materials that complement the group. After the birth women are welcome to bring their babies to our ongoing, drop in postpartum group to share the next leg of the journey into parenthood.
The pilot program for this model of care was offered at the Birth Tides Clinic last year and is based on Centering Pregnancy, which is now being heralded as one of the most satisfying models of care for pregnant women.
The midwives have expanded this model and added many extras to make it a unique program that received an overwhelming positive response from pilot project participants.
According to registered midwife, Deborah Kozlick, “The program offers a high level of professional and peer support in a format that is both delightfully fun and very high-quality preparation for birth and parenting. The midwives are enjoying the program as much as the families!”
Groups are open to first-time mothers and women who already have children. There is some childcare available if needed.
Group sessions are offered in the lovely Birth Tides Clinic in the Old Orchard area of Courtenay. Anyone interested in becoming part of this program may contact the Birth Tides Clinic at 343 Third St. in Courtenay by phoning 250-338-4810 or register online at www.comoxvalleymidwifery.com.
If you would like more information or would like to meet with one of our midwives to discuss if this program is right for you, phone the clinic and make an appointment.
On behalf of the families utilizing this program, the midwives would like to thank the United Way for sponsoring the program and the Children’s Health Foundation for their generous funding, as well as all the supporters and partners of the program, including the Perinatal Advisory, Success by Six, and the Comox Valley Social Planning Committee and our many community contributors, including Public Health and our presenters.
— Birth Tides Clinic