What is a midwife?
In Ontario, a midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary care during pregnancy, labour and birth. Midwives also provide care to both you and your baby during the six weeks following birth. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by pager.
You will receive care from a small number of midwives, and with few exceptions, we work to ensure that you know the midwife who attends your labour and birth.
In Ontario, if you see a midwife, you will not see a physician unless there are concerns or complications. Most births are normal and there are no complications. If there are complications, midwives consult with, or transfer care to, a physician. Midwives provide safe and expert care during pregnancy, birth and the post-partum period.
What does it cost to use a midwife?
Midwifery services are completely funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, so you do not pay for care out-of-pocket. If you are not currently covered by OHIP, you can still receive free midwifery care if you are a resident of Ontario.
Do I have to have a home birth with a midwife?
No. You have the choice between home, hospital and birth centre birth. We encourage you to consider both options, and choose what feels right for you. We currently use the Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital for all hospital births.
What pain relief options are available?
We offer a range of natural and pharmaceutical pain relief options, including access to epidurals. Pharmaceutical pain relief can only be accessed at a hospital birth. Most of our clients use water, massage, and other methods as effective ways to relieve pain.
What happens if there is a problem with my pregnancy?
We are experts in normal pregnancy and birth, and provide safe care for both you and your baby. If a health concern or complication arises, we may consult with a family physician, an obstetrician or a pediatrician. If needed, your care is transferred to a physician (for example, in the case of a caesarean section). Your midwife will continue to provide support and resume primary care when possible.
How long do I stay in the hospital after I have my baby?
When under the care of a midwife, it is possible to be discharged as early as 3 hours after your baby is born. This is possible because we provide close follow-up care and breastfeeding support including 3 home visits in the first week.
Can I have a midwife if I have had a previous caesarean section?
Yes. We have a high Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC) rate and will provide you with safe care throughout your pregnancy and delivery. Most clients planning a VBAC will have a consult with an obstetrician during their pregnancy.
Will there be students involved in my care?
We are a teaching practice and often have one or two students of varying levels in a placement with us. Before the student has any interaction with you, we will ask your permission, and clearly explain their level and what role they would play during your visit or at your birth.