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Frequently Asked Questions

What do midwives do?

A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary care to women during pregnancy, labour and birth, including conducting normal vaginal deliveries and providing care to mothers and babies during the first 6 weeks postpartum.

A registered midwife must follow the College of Midwives of Ontario philosophy of midwifery care, as well as a comprehensive set of guidelines, known as standards. For example, there are standards for consultation and transfer of care to physicians, place of birth, equipment and medication, record keeping, and a Code of Ethics.

According to the Ontario Midwifery Act, 1991, "the practice of midwifery is the assessment and monitoring of women during pregnancy, labour and the post-partum period and of their newborn babies, the provision of care during normal pregnancy, labour and post-partum period and the conducting of spontaneous normal vaginal deliveries."

When should I contact a midwife?

As the demand for midwives is larger than the number of midwives available, it is best to contact a midwife as soon as you find out you’re pregnant.

What kind of training do Midwives have?

Midwives qualify for registration either by graduating from the Ontario Midwifery Education Programme, which is a Bachelor of Health Science in Midwifery four-year university degree program, or by successfully completing the International Midwifery Pre-registration Program, offered through the continuing education division at Ryerson University.

What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?

A midwife is a trained primary caregiver who provides care to women throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth, and to both mother and baby during the first six weeks postpartum. Midwives manage the clinical needs of the labouring woman while prividing emotional and physical support.

A birth doula is a trained labour support person who provides emotional and physical support to a labouring woman and her partner. While she is not a medical professional, she can offer a wide range of comfort measures during labour - from massage to aromatherapy to continuous reassurance and coping techniques. For more information on doula care, please refer to www.doulacare.ca

What kind of Diagnostic Tests can a Midwife order?

There are a wide range of tests that a midwife can order. For example, a midwife can arrange for appropriate ultrasound and genetic screening, as well as standard initial laboratory and diagnostic tests.

Where can I have my baby?

Midwives offer you the choice of a home or hospital birth. Whichever setting you choose, you and your baby will receive comprehensive and safe care.

Will I need to see a doctor and a midwife?

Midwives are primary care givers for women who are pregnant from conception to six weeks postpartum. It is not necessary to see a medical practitioner unless there is a medical concern with you or your baby during the course of your care with us.

Is there a charge for Midwifery Care?

There is no fee charged for midwifery care. Midwifery care, including prenatal, birth and postpartum care, is paid for by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

How long do I continue to see a Midwife after the baby is born?

The midwife provides care for you and your baby until six weeks postpartum (after the baby is born). The midwife will visit you at home (or in hospital) within 24 hours of the baby's birth and come for an additional three or more visits within the first two weeks postpartum, to support and assist you with infant feeding and newborn care, and to monitor your health and your baby's health. Visits then continue at the clinic until the final visit at six weeks following birth.