pregnant mom during maternity session

 Often, when we think of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care, our minds immediately think of doctors and nurses. While we are very blessed to have such an amazing and caring team of doctors and nurses at our local Boundry Trails Health Centre, many families don’t realize that there are many other professionals who can compliment these services and work alongside families during the perinatal period. The perinatal period is the special time around birth, including during pregnancy and after a baby is born. 

The Pembina Valley is swimming with unique and caring individuals who are passionate about perinatal health and providing the best care possible to women and families. If you're looking for extra care during your pregnancy, additional resources about your options for birth and personalized labour support, or extra postpartum help, this post has you covered!

midwife checking fetal heart rate at home visit

1. Midwifery
The term "midwife" means "with woman". A midwife is a highly trained and licensed professional who provides outstanding care to families during pregnancy, labour and postpartum period. Our local midwifes can deliver your baby at hospital or in the comfort of your own home. Your prenatal visits are held at their lovely and welcoming new office space in Winkler.

To learn more about midwifery care, regulations and training, visit here. 
To contact our local midwife office and to apply for a midwife, visit here.

*Please note, unfortunately we have a shortage of midwives in the region and therefore cannot keep up with demand. Our region currently has 6 midwives to support families during the perinatal period. Because of this, not everyone hoping for a midwife will be approved for one. If you are hoping to add a midwife to your birth care team, please contact the local office as early as possible in your pregnancy. 

midwife and doula assisting at home birth

2. Doulas
Doulas are there to support and educate your whole family. They provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support before, during and after childbirth. Trained doulas help parents to have the birthing experience that they desire. Doulas help to educate families about routine practices and interventions, but do NOT preform any clinical tasks. We have many trained and experienced doulas, including myself, in our region to help your family on your journey to meeting your little one.

Regional Resources: 

  • With Women Doula Collective has a wonderful group of experienced doulas to help you on your journey
  • Stacey Lassnig is another trained birth doula, who specializes in pre- and postnatal massage as well. She also creates the loveliest of teas, including nursing teas. You can contact her here.
  • Clorissa Penner is one of our new doulas, you can reacher her by phone at 204-362-0850 or by messaging her here.
mother breastfeeding newborn baby

3. Breastfeeding Support
While breastfeeding is a wonderful and natural option for families, it does not always come easily and sometimes there are hurdles. Families often need additional support during the transition to breastfeeding, to make it easier for parents and babies. 

Regional Resources: 

  • Le Leche League has a Winkler/Morden chapter that typically meets on the second Tuesday of every month. All are welcome and you can click here for more information, and to see the next meetings topic of discussion. 
  • Our local public health nurses can also assist you after you welcome your baby. Currently, we also have one lactation consultant employed. For more information, please contact our local Public Health office directly, 204-331-8841
placenta from homebirth

4. Placenta Encapsulation
Humans are among the few mammals that do not instinctively ingest their placenta (placentophacy). Ingesting ones placenta has numerous benefits, you can learn more by visiting here.  The wonderful Allison at Plax Pill Services offers placenta encapsulation locally. To learn more about this service, visit here.

home water birth with midwife

5. Birth Photography
Birth Photographers have been gaining in popularity over the past several years. And while they are not part of your support care team (unless they are a trained doula!), they are a wonderful addition to your birth team. Additionally, I happen to think we play a pretty important role.

As any mother who has been through childbirth can tell you, the memories can get a bit hazy as you journey through labourland and the early hours of your babymoon.  This is often due to the surges of different hormones released during this time, as well as the excitement and variety of emotions.

Birth Photography can be such a wonderful gift. It is an opportunity to have the time in your life documented as you become a parent for the first time, or add another child into your life. Having your baby’s birth documented allows you to reflect upon your experience and even share your child’s Birth Day with them as they grow. Having images to document your birth can aid in the emotional healing or processing experience that may come after labour and birth. Just as these images can help with healing and processing, it can also help families create positive emotions about their birthing experience.

After photographing a birth, I've had many Moms say "Wow! Thanks for making it look so beautiful!" The truth is…I don't do anything to make birth look beautiful – every birth is beautiful in it’s own special and distinct ways. My role is to simply capture each moment to help tell the unique story of your baby’s birth.

A Birth Photographer is a special part of your birth team who will be joining you in the intimate moments before, during, and after birth. Just as with all other birth professionals, it is important to meet with your photographer beforehand to make sure they're a good fit for your family. There are currently a few birth photographers locally, including: 

Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum comes with a variety of options and choices, and every family’s preferences will be different. I believe that finding a team of birth professionals that can help you feel supported in those choices, and adds to your experience in a positive way, is extremely important. I hope that this article helps you to find the pieces that are important to you, and I wish you and your family all the best in pregnancy, birth and beyond. 

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