Apple Tree is a team which joins family physicians, midwives and allied health professionals to provide pregnancy, birth and newborn care. Coming to Apple Tree means receiving care from both family physicians and midwives throughout your pregnancy, based on the midwifery model of practice. Other team members include two registered nurses/lactation consultants, a registered psychiatric nurse, social worker, prenatal educator and more. We draw on each other’s experience, knowledge and strengths and share common values and a consistent approach when providing care. Such collaborative maternity care models have been evaluated in other settings and have found high quality care and great satisfaction among clients and care providers alike.
At Apple Tree, we work on a call system, rotating every 24 hours who is available for births. This means that you will have the advantage of one-on-one care in labour by a provider who is well-rested with energy to give. Generally, there is an opportunity to meet all of the Apple Tree team prior to your birth.
Prenatal care starts with one-on-one visits with a midwife or a physician. This allows for time to discuss important early tests, complete a medical history, and perform a physical exam. Individual care continues throughout the pregnancy, in addition to the option of group care in the 2nd trimester. Individual care is especially important if any concerns in the pregnancy arise.
At Apple Tree, our care providers support pregnant people’s right to choose. This includes the choice of birthplace, at home or hospital, for low-risk, healthy people. Timely, direct access to your care provider in labour or during an emergency is available. One-on-one support in active labour allows your care providers to guide and reassure you and your support people throughout your journey of labour and birth.
Individual care continues after the birth with a home visit in the early newborn period to assist with breastfeeding and to provide support during this transitional time. Further visits will be done in the clinic at individual appointments or during a breastfeeding group.
Group Prenatal Care
You may choose to receive prenatal and postpartum care in a one-on-one or group setting. In the first 24 weeks of pregnancy all pregnant people will attend individual visits, which allows for time to discuss important early tests, complete a medical history and perform a physical exam. In person group sessions begin approximately halfway through the pregnancy until term (37 weeks). There is then a group reunion in the postpartum period. The group sessions, which run for about 2 hours in the evenings once every 2 weeks, are facilitated by a maternity care provider and a childbirth educator. If any personal issues arise, further individual visits are always available. The groups are fun and exciting, creating a dynamic learning environment and enabling time for discussion and questions. In these prenatal classes, you will also be introduced to some of the excellent community resources available in our area.
Most parents find that they learn as much from other participants in the group as they do from their care providers. People find that coming together creates a strong sense of community and support as they share the experience of pregnancy and parenthood. Participating in group care is an excellent way to meet other families, to feel connected and to build relationships that will be part of your community for years to come.
Support After the Birth
Providing additional support after your baby is born is an important part of Apple Tree Maternity. Your care provider will do a home visit soon after your birth. In addition to regular individual visits, individual breastfeeding support is available with Judith Fearing or Courtney Nicholl, our Lactation Consultants. Finding new ways of supporting those living in outlying communities who are unable to travel to Nelson for care is a special consideration for Apple Tree.
Helping you to bond with your babies after the birth and to establish a successful breastfeeding relationship is a priority for us.