Philosophy of Midwifery Care
The College of Midwives of Ontario states that “decisions about health are based on many factors including physical, emotional, social, spiritual and cultural considerations. Women must be free to make decisions regarding birth based on all of these factors. Birth is more than a physical or medical event”. It is the responsibility of parents to become as informed as possible, to weigh those factors and to make decisions appropriate to themselves.
Continuity of Care
According to the College of Midwives of Ontario, “continuity of midwifery care is achieved when a relationship develops over time between a woman and a small group of no more than four midwives.” Midwives provide care from early pregnancy to six weeks after birth to you and your baby. During your care you will have visits with each midwife on your team. This arrangement ensures continuity of midwifery care by knowing the midwife(s) who attend(s) your birth. Although we have a defined schedule of visits, we invite you to discuss your preferences around scheduling and length of visits.
There will be at least one midwife attending your birth. A second midwife will be present at the time of your birth to assist with you and your baby's care. Following the birth, one of your midwives will visit you at home for the first week. You will come into the clinic by 2 weeks postpartum for a routine checkup and will receive care for you and your baby for up to 6 weeks after your birth.
Midwives believe you have the right to make choices concerning all areas of your care. You should feel comfortable talking to your midwife if you are worried, unsure, or have a question. Informed choice discussions happen during each prenatal appointment so that you will have time to consider your options and discuss them with your midwives. We respect you as the main decision-maker and will help by making recommendations about your choices while supporting your decisions. Prior to your birth, you will have the opportunity to discuss common emergencies that may occur during labour and birth. Midwives are highly trained to handle emergencies that may arise. In emergency or urgent situations, we keep you as involved and informed as possible while managing your care.
Choice of Birthplace
You may choose to have your baby at home or at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. We provide full midwifery care in both settings. When discussing choice of birthplace, your midwife will provide you with research-based information. She will address any questions or concerns you have, and will support any decision you make. Where you decide to have your baby is your choice.
About 25-30% of midwifery clients in Ontario plan a home birth. Home birth is an option for those clients who are screened low risk during their pregnancy and remain so during the labour. Adequate prenatal care and careful monitoring in labour by a skilled caregiver are important factors in preventing, detecting, and managing complications. Even though many complications can be screened out prenatally, difficulties can arise during labour and birth in any setting. Most of these are not life threatening and can be dealt with at home or at hospital after transport. There are circumstances when use of technology and specialized care, available only in hospital, may be essential for the safety of mother and/or baby. We can provide you with information about some of the complications which may arise and when consultation and/or transfer of care to a physician are necessary. We encourage you to discuss these important issues with us.
Midwives are committed to providing clients with research based information regarding their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum to facilitate informed decisions. We see women and their families as active participants in their midwifery care and request that our clients be responsible for the health of both themselves and their baby. Mothers are encouraged to eat a balanced diet, participate in regular prenatal visits and get adequate sleep and exercise.
It is important that parents make an effort to acquire knowledge and skills necessary for labour, birth and early parenting. In order to be effective as care givers, it is requested that parents discuss any issues of concern with their midwife. We encourage you to make use of the resources available at our office and on our website. Our administrator, Janice Sherrard, will assist you with our lending library and other clinic resources