What do midwives do?

Midwives provide complete care throughout pregnancy, labour, birth, and to 6 weeks postpartum for mothers and babies who are healthy at the start of pregnancy.

What kind of training do midwives have?

In Ontario registered midwives complete a 4-year bachelor of health sciences in midwifery degree offered by the Midwifery Education Program, with sites at McMaster, Ryerson and Laurentian universities. Internationally trained midwives can complete a bridging program through Ryerson called the IMPP. Recertification in emergency skills and resuscitation are required to practice on a regular and ongoing basis.

Can I have a midwife and a doctor?

No. Both are considered primary care providers who can manage care in pregnancy and birth, so you must choose one option.

I needed fertility assistance to get pregnant. Can I still have a midwife?

Yes! The fertility clinic will usually continue to monitor you in the early stages of pregnancy and once you reach near the end of the first trimester, we can carry on as your care provider.

Can a midwife order tests or ultrasounds?

Yes. Midwives can order genetic testing, routine blood work and screening tests, as well as ultrasounds related to pregnancy.

What happens if I have complications?

If you develop complications in your pregnancy or birth, midwives will refer you to the most appropriate doctor as needed. In some instance it may be a referral to your family doctor or it may be to an obstetrician. If it’s a serious problem your care may be transferred for the remainder of your pregnancy. In many of these cases we remain involved in a supportive role and still provide postpartum care for you and your baby.

What if I want an epidural or a hospital birth?

You can have both with midwives. Choice of birthplace is your preference, as is whether or not to have medicated pain relief in labour.

How long do I see the midwives after the baby is born?

Midwives provide all routine care for moms and newborns for the first 6 weeks. After that the baby’s doctor will see them, usually at 8 weeks of age. We will provide a summary of baby’s information and test results to take with you to the doctor’s appointment.