Ontario offers many choices of medical care during pregnancy, birth and beyond. Families can choose from Obstetricians, General Practitioners and Midwives. It is important to choose which medical caregiver(s) you want attending your birth as it is going to be one of the most important days of your life. Here are some options available through midwifery:
In Ontario, a midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary care to low-risk women throughout pregnancy, labour and birth. Midwives also provide care to both mother and baby during the six weeks following birth. They are available to clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week by pager.
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 can consult or transfer care to an obstetrician. Midwivesprovide safe and expert care to healthy women and newborns.
What does it cost to use midwife?
Midwifery services are completely funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, so women do not pay for care out-of-pocket. Women who are not currently covered by OHIP can still receive free midwifery care.
When should I contact a midwife?
It is best to contact a midwife as soon as you find out you're pregnant. Not only is demand for midwives high, but it is also beneficial to access prenatal care at the beginning of your pregnancy. Some clinics do have openings for clients later in pregnancy. Call anytime. You do not need a referral to see a midwife.
How do I find a midwife?
Locate a clinic in your community or call the Association of Ontario Midwives at 416-425-9974 or toll free at 1-866-418-3773.
How many midwives are there in Ontario?
There are more than 600 registered midwives in the province. In 1994, Ontario became the first province in Canada to regulate midwifery. Since that time, midwives have attended more than 100,000 births in Ontario.
What is the philosophy of midwifery?
Ontario midwifery is based on three principles:
- Continuity of Care Midwives provide care throughout pregnancy, labour, birth, and the first six weeks following birth. Midwives develop relationships with women and are available to clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week by pager.
- Informed Choice Women are active decision-makers in the care they receive; midwives give information to help women make informed decisions.
- Choice of Birthplace Women may choose to give birth safely at home or in hospital. Midwives have hospital privileges in Ontario hospitals. This means that they can admit and discharge clients at hospitals and access hospital resources needed by clients, including a consultation from a doctor if there is a concern or complication. Midwives are the only health care professionals specifically trained in home birth.
These are some options available to women through midwives. Visit our Links page for more useful websites and information