College of Midwives of British Columbia

Clinical Practice Guidelines

The College's Clinical Practice Guidelines, found in this section, outline recommendations that are informed by both the current evidence in maternity care and by midwifery philosophy. They are intended to guide midwives in specific practice situations and support them in offering women a range of choices. These guidelines usually include flexibility, acknowledging midwives are primary caregivers, capable of assessing individual clinical situations and exercising appropriate clinical judgment based on their assessments.

Guidelines are sometimes developed at the request of members or based on feedback from the public. They may also be developed because the College Board believes that existing local, provincial or national guidelines do not adequately address important aspects of midwifery care (e.g. choice of birth place), or support midwives in offering a reasonable range of choices to women (e.g. VBAC), or reflect the range of currently available evidence in a particular area of practice.

The College also develops guidelines based on recommendations from evaluation processes (e.g. the Home Birth Demonstration Project) or recommendations from our Inquiry or Discipline Panels where the Board believes a guideline would be useful to the profession and serve the public interest.

As the evidence in maternity care is always evolving, guidelines must be revised from time to time. Midwives are encouraged to develop their own evidence-supported guidelines and practice protocols and share these with the College.

BC midwives will also frequently refer to guidelines developed by the BC Perinatal Health Program and by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, especially when a midwifery-specific guideline has not been developed in a particular area of clinical practice.