Frequently Asked Questions
What do midwives do?
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." A registered midwife must follow the College of Midwives of Ontario philosophy of midwifery care, as well as a comprehensive set of guidelines.
When should I contact a midwife?
It is best to contact a midwife as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Community Midwives is able to care for women at any time in pregnancy. In order to receive the most comprehensive prenatal care, we suggest you contact our office as soon as you are interested in midwifery services.
How often do I see a midwife?
Midwives work collaboratively in group practices. A woman receives care from a small number of midwives. Visits to a midwifery practice occur on a regular basis during which time your team will provide clinical examinations, counselling, and education. Appointments are approximately 30 - 45 minutes in duration, depending on the needs of the client. Prenatal visits are once a month for the first 28 weeks, every two weeks until 36 weeks and then once a week until your baby is born. Midwives are on call for births and urgent situations 24 hours a day.
What kind of training do midwives have?
Midwives qualify for registration either by graduating from the Ontario Midwifery Education Programme (MEP), which is a Bachelor of Health Science in Midwifery four-year university degree program, or by successfully completing the International Midwifery Pre-registration Program (IMPP), offered through the continuing education department at Ryerson University.
What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?
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.
What kinds of diagnostic tests can midwives 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 giving birth at home or in a hospital setting. Whichever setting you choose, you and your baby will receive comprehensive and safe care.
Do I need to see both a doctor/nurse practitioner 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 another 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?
Midwifery care in Ontario is free and accessible. Midwifery services, 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 my midwifery team after the baby is born?
Midwives provide care for mother and 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. They will also come for three (or more) additional 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.