About Us

Meet the team and learn about how we are driven to
provide you with the best care possible for you and your children

About Us

We want to take care of you and your family from all aspects of your health, not simply meeting your medical needs. This includes, getting to know your care providers prenatally through group and/or individual care and supporting you as the primary decision maker for your care. Additionally, we provide a thorough mental health assessment and support, walking alongside you in labour and birth. Subsequent home postpartum care is available for our vulnerable populations, ensuring breastfeeding support, visits and follow-up from highly trained (funded) lactation consultants and midwives. Our team also offers massage therapy, pelvic floor physiotherapy, and counselling to support other aspects of your health.

FAQ

Get the answers to all your questions.

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Fraser Birth Collaborative (FBC) is collaborative maternity care from a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers who strive to provide quality, holistic, team based care that helps meet the complex needs of pregnant women and their growing families throughout pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum periods.
Defining the need for our services

Current obstetric care from midwives, family physicians and obstetricians often does not adequately meet the complex needs of childbearing women in the Fraser East region. Mental health, breastfeeding, education, labour supports and follow up postpartum care are often not readily available, are costly, or are segmented from women’s routine care. Fraser Birth Collaborative will use a model of care which involves a multidisciplinary team of practitioners within ONE SITE to provide comprehensive care for pregnant women and their families. Team members will include physicians, midwives, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, lactation consultants, doulas, counsellors, and other allied healthcare professionals. We are modelled after a similar and highly successful program in Vancouver called the South Community Birth Program (SCBP).

Meet the Team

Get to know our family of care providers.

Co-leads

Dr. Mary Nyvall, BA, MD, CCFP
Click for more about Dr. Nyvall
Laura Lande, RN, RMW, Co-Lead
Click for more about Laura
Dr. Danae Tracey, BSc, MD (Locum)
Click for more about Dr. Tracey
Brittany Leinweber, Midwife
Click for more about Brittany
Dr. Kathleen Ennis , MD (Locum)
Click for more about Kathleen
Erica Stevens, BSCN, RN
Click for more about Erica
Brittany Funk, RN, BSCN
Click for more about Brittany
Michelle Hopkins, RN, BScN
Click for more about Michelle
Candace Stock, Doula coordinator & educator
Click for more about Candace
Rachel Wiens, RCC
Click for more about Rachel
Akashdeep Kaur, BPT, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist
Click for more about Akash
Sarah Jane Kaminski, RN
Click for more about Sarah Jane
Lyndene Janzen, RN
Click for more about Lyndene
Nooshin Nikpartow, RM
Click for more about Nooshin

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are we?

We are a team of family physicians, registered midwives, nurses and doulas working together to offer you complete care during your pregnancy, labour and the birth of your baby, and postpartum care up to six weeks.

How does the FBC work?

Your first appointment is a one-on-one session with a family physician or midwife to see if FBC is right for you. Following 2-3 more private visits, you will be invited to join our group care sessions with 10-12 other women due to have their babies around the same time as you. You can also choose to continue with one-on-one prenatal care.

What can I expect on my first appointment at Fraser Birth Collaborative?

The initial appointment is generally 30-40 mins, depending on your medical history, how many weeks you are, if you have had any care elsewhere, if this is your first, what tests you’ve already had done (if any). The subsequent visits are generally much quicker (15 mins or so) unless any concerns arise.

The first visit we go over yours and your partner’s medical history, review if you have had any surgeries, medications, prior pregnancies, lifestyle concerns (exercise, nutrition, smoking, drinking, supports) etc. We talk about common pregnancy questions, arrange routine blood work, ultrasounds, options for genetic screening, and discuss our model of care. We do a brief physical exam, check your weight and blood pressure and if it’s too early to hear a heartbeat, we will do a bedside ultrasound. Partners are more than welcome at all visits if they have no covid symptoms and wear a medical mask.

How often will I see my doctor/midwife?

You will see the doctor/midwife once a month for the first 4-5 months, and then twice a month and often weekly at the end of your pregnancy. These visits take place during your participation in the group sessions or are booked privately for individual care. The group sessions meet on the same day and time for 2 hours throughout your pregnancy. Since you know well ahead of time when your group will meet, you can plan your schedule around these times well in advance. Your support people (husbands, partners, family members, etc) are welcome to join you at the group sessions or at your prenatal visits.

Can I still see my regular physician?

Once you enter the FBC, all your maternity care will be provided by our doctors/midwives. You will continue to see your family physician for care unrelated to your pregnancy, such as a sprained wrist or for a pre-existing condition (i.e. allergies).

We provide postpartum care up to six weeks after you have your baby. You will return to your own family doctor after your postpartum care is completed.

How flexible are appointment times?

We offer a range of appointment times to meet your needs, including morning and afternoon.

What makes the FBC care different?

You will be cared for and supported by a team of doctors, midwives, nurses and doulas. Our program is a shared care model so you will receive care from both doctors and midwives throughout your pregnancy, labour and birth and postpartum period. Our goal is to give you a safe and positive birth experience. When appropriate, we will support you to stay at home as long as possible in early labour and return to your home to check up on you and your baby if you leave the hospital in under 24 hours following the birth. Home and clinic visits with a doctor or midwife and our nurses/lactation consultants will provide you with excellent support in the first weeks after your baby arrives.

When your labour begins, the Doula usually comes to your home in early labour or may join you when you are admitted to the hospital. During labour, you will be supported by your doula and she keeps in regular contact with the doctor or midwife on call. Your doctor/midwife may check on you at home during labour and when you are ready, will admit you to the Abbotsford Regional hospital.

Our nurses run a postpartum and breastfeeding support drop-in clinics weekly. Check our website for news on the topics planned for discussion at drop-in.

What does a midwife do?

Midwives, like family physicians, are primary care providers trained and skilled in providing care during pregnancy, labour and birth, and the postpartum period. Our program is a shared-care model so you will receive care from both physicians and midwives throughout your pregnancy, labour and birth and postpartum. You will have either a midwife or physician with you when you give birth to your baby.

What is a doula?

Doulas are trained childbirth attendants who provide women with continuous physical and emotional comfort and support throughout childbirth. Whether it is a hand to hold, someone to lean on, or words of comfort during the pains of labour, women have been helping other women through childbirth for centuries. The FBC has incorporated this age old tradition into its services by offering pregnant women the assistance of a doula.

The doula does not provide clinical care, nor does she take the place of your family during your labour. She works with your family members during your labour and delivery to ensure your physical and emotional needs are met. We make every effort to match you with a doula who speaks your language.

Who can participate in the Fraser Birth Collaborative Program?

The program is open to women who live in the Fraser Valley, primarily in Abbotsford and surrounding areas. If you live outside this area, we are happy to refer you to similar services in your location.

Is there a cost?

FBC midwifery and physician services are covered by the British Columbia Medical Services Plan, so there is no cost for women with provincial health insurance. We ask that clients pay a small fee of $300 if they choose to do group prenatal care, and our doula program fee is outlined by our doula on her web site here. FBC makes every effort to provide all clients with doula support, and involvement in group care. Please note: these fees are to subsidize the costs of the additional allied health and educational personnel included in group care sessions. These fees are based on your ability to pay. If you are not able to pay these fees, please talk to our program coordinator.

Why would I choose to get my prenatal care in a group setting?

Many people find that coming together as a group creates a strong sense of community and support as they connect with others to share the experience of pregnancy and parenthood. Meeting for two hours at every online prenatal class (due to COVID-19) allows parents and families to spend more time getting to know their caregivers as well. Listening to other people’s questions and experiences will also deepen each person’s understanding of the issues being discussed. 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.

What actually happens at a group session?

Many things happen in the online group prenatal classes. There is time for learning – how to care for yourself before and after the baby, how to understand and work with labour, how to adjust to life with your new baby, and much more. We will talk about choices, testing, and recommendations for keeping you and the baby safe and healthy. There will be lots of time for questions and discussion. Most parents find that they learn as much from the other parents in the group as they do from their care providers. We will also introduce you to helpful people and resources in the community. The group is also an opportunity to relax, socialize, and enjoy the company of others who share similar experiences.

I am worried about breastfeeding support. How will FBC help me with that?

Helping people to bond with their babies after delivery and to establish a successful breastfeeding relationship is a high priority for us. We believe in the many benefits of breastfeeding.

Your care provider will help you to begin breastfeeding soon after the birth of your baby. We will follow up with visits in the hospital and your home in the first few days. You can also schedule appointments to see our care providers or our lactation consultants at FBC for help with breastfeeding. We are happy to address any concerns you may have and to provide help and information about breastfeeding.

I want to get to know the person who will be with me in labour. How will this happen in a group setting?

Group care allows for more time with your care provider in a variety of ways – time for questions, discussion and simply chatting as well.  FBC’s online prenatal classes can be an excellent opportunity to get to know your team and for them to get to know you.

Will I still be getting individual care? What if there is a medical problem in my pregnancy?

You will continue to have individual visits with FBC care providers throughout your pregnancy and in the postpartum. Previously, when group sessions were done in person, individual care (ex. belly checks) was combined with the group sessions.  Now that Connecting Pregnancy is online, individual care is provided throughout the pregnancy.

I want my care provider to be with me through my labour. I thought only midwives provided this care.

At FBC, both midwives and physicians will provide the same kind of care. We believe that continuous care in active labour is the safest and best option for pregnant people. Your care provider – physician or midwife – will be with you through most of your active labour. If you are in the hospital, maternity nurses play an important role as well. Our job is to ensure that you and the baby are safe and that labour is progressing in a healthy, normal way. We are also there to support, guide, and reassure you and your support people.

Can I choose to have either a physician or a midwife for my birth?

The midwives and physicians at FBC are a team. We draw on each other’s experience, knowledge, and strengths and have a consistent approach in the way we care for pregnant people and babies. You may find that you forget who is a midwife and who is a physician – and that’s fine!

At FBC, we work on a call system, rotating who is available for births. This means that you will have the advantage of a care provider who is available to provide one-on-one care in labour without competing responsibilities. This system also ensures that our care providers are fresh and have lots of energy to give. An exhausted physician or midwife is not able to provide the safest care or the most compassionate support. We understand that sometimes a pregnant person will feel a special connection with one person on the team, but we also find that a special bonding happens very quickly between the person who is in labour and the team member who is actually present and caring for them. 

Can I choose to have a home birth?

While we support home birth as a choice for some women, due to our model of practice and logistical constraints, we will not be able to offer this service. We encourage those desiring homebirth to seek out our other local midwifery practices!

What is the Emergency Contact Number?

For labour, birth and emergencies related to the pregnancy, a doctor or midwife is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call the ARH Maternity triage nurse at 604-851-4817 to begin your assessment (Please inform them you are a Fraser Birth Collaborative patient).

For other non-pregnancy related emergencies, please call 911 or go to the closest Emergency Department.