Province adds seats to UBC midwifery program (

Media Contacts

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887 (media line)

Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills

250 508-5030 (media line)


What people are saying about the new midwifery seats at UBC

Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health –

“Midwives are critical to meeting the needs of growing families in rural, remote and First Nations communities. Midwives have always been caring for pregnant people, babies and their families in First Nations communities, but colonization and systemic racism in the health-care system have threatened this practice. Adding these new seats to the UBC midwifery program, where 10% of students self-identify as Indigenous, will help bring birth back to First Nations communities and ensure equitable access to maternity care across rural and remote regions of the province.”

Dr. Dermot Kelleher, dean of the faculty of medicine and vice-president of health, UBC –

“For 20 years, graduates of UBC’s midwifery program have been providing respectful and responsive birth care for diverse families across B.C., including rural and remote communities. Expanding midwifery education at UBC will contribute to increased access to compassionate and culturally safe care so that more British Columbians can plan and have the birth experiences that they need and want closer to home.”

Cynthia Johansen, registrar and CEO, BC College of Nurses and Midwives –

“Midwives play an integral role in our health-care system, providing primary care to clients and babies during pregnancy, labour, birth and the post-partum period. We welcome this news that more qualified midwives will be entering the health-care workforce to continue supporting British Columbians seeking midwifery care during such an important time in their lives.”

Bernice Budz, executive director, Midwives Association of British Columbia

“Midwives in British Columbia deliver more than one-quarter of the babies born each year and demand for midwifery services continues to grow across the province. Midwives play a critical role in delivering accessible, culturally safe and effective primary maternity care. Adding these much-needed seats to the UBC midwifery program will help attract and retain a skilled workforce to continue to provide access to the care that newborns and B.C. families need.”

Angela Barelli, midwifery client

“I cannot emphasize enough how instrumental my midwives were to my prenatal, birth and post-partum experience. Throughout my entire journey, I felt held and supported, not only by their expertise and efficiency, but by their genuinely kind, caring emotional support. I feel strongly that the opportunity to have a midwife should be extended to as many families as possible. These new seats in UBC’s midwifery program will help do just that and show that the government is serious about the development of its future citizens and the province.”

Apinya Padermchok, midwifery client

“My midwives offered me warm support and treated me like a member of their family. They truly cared about my health and my baby. They helped me plan, made sure my needs were considered and supported me through labour and delivery and after my baby was born. Having more midwives will give more pregnant people the opportunity to experience this personalized care and support.”

Midwifery education and care in B.C.

Registered midwives provide primary maternity care to healthy pregnant clients and their newborn babies through pregnancy, labour and birth until about six-weeks post partum.

  • UBC offers the only midwifery program in B.C.
  • The bachelor of midwifery program launched in 2002, followed by the Internationally Educated Midwives Bridging Program (IEMBP) in 2015.
  • The IEMBP is an eight-to-10-month program that allows internationally educated midwives to become registered to practise in B.C. It is the only program of its kind in Canada.
  • The bachelor of midwifery program supports Indigenous students by incorporating cultural learning experiences and mentorship provided by Indigenous midwives and Elders throughout the four-year program.
  • There are approximately 536 registered midwives in B.C.
  • In 2020-21, midwives assisted in more than 12,000 births, or approximately 27% of births in the province, the highest proportion in Canada.
  • Midwifery services are covered by B.C.’s Medical Services Plan.