Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Registered 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 for urgent concerns.

You will receive care from a small number of midwives, and we work hard to ensure that you know the midwife who attends your labour and birth.

Will I see a doctor during my pregnancy or birth?

There is no need to see a physician for prenatal or postpartum care unless there are concerns or complications. Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy and birth! If a health concern or complication arises, we may consult with a family physician, an obstetrician or a pediatrician. If necessary, your care is transferred to a physician, but your midwife will continue to provide support and resume primary care when possible.

Health concerns unrelated to pregnancy can be directed to your regular healthcare provider.

What does it cost to have 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?

Of course not! One of the main tenets of midwifery in Ontario is choice of birthplace. So long as both you and your baby remain healthy and your pregnancy is uncomplicated, you have the choice between home, The Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus, and the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre.

We encourage you to attend a Choice of Birthplace Information Night and talk to your midwife to learn about your options. We want you to give birth where it feels right for you!

What pain relief options are available for labour with a midwife?

We offer a range of natural and pharmaceutical pain relief options, including TENS machines, water immersion, nitrous oxide, narcotics, and epidurals. Narcotics and epidurals can be accessed in-hospital only. Many of our clients choose a combination of pain relief options.

How long do I stay in the hospital after I have my baby?

So long as there are no complications, it is possible to be discharged as early as 3 hours after your baby is born, although you can choose to stay overnight if you would like.

Midwives provide comprehensive follow-up care in the postpartum period for both mom and baby including breastfeeding support, and will see you at home three times in the first week after birth.

Can I have a midwife if I have had a previous caesarean section?

Yes. Midwives in Ontario have a high Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC) rate and will provide you with safe care throughout your pregnancy and delivery. Our hospital requests that clients who have had a previous caesarean section have a consultation with an obstetrician in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Will there be students involved in my care?

Nearly all midwifery practices in Ontario have students. Ottawa South Midwives often has students of varying levels in placement with us – from their very first midwifery placement to nearing graduation. Before any student is involved in your care, we will ask your permission and clearly explain what role they would play during your visit or at your birth.

Resources & Downloads

Before consulting Dr. Google, please check this list of resources that we refer to and recommend daily.

If you can’t find the answer to your question, jot it down in a notebook or on your phone and bring it to your next appointment! If your question can’t wait, leave a message with our staff at (613) 822-6646 and your midwife will get back to you.


Pregnancy & COVID-19

Labour & Birth

Postpartum & Breastfeeding

Caring for Your New Baby

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