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What could be more beautiful than bringing new life into the world?

What is a midwife?

Midwives are regulated health-care professionals who provide government-funded primary care to pregnant people and their newborns. Through pregnancy, labour, birth and the first six weeks after birth, you will be cared for by a small group of midwives. This continuity of care means that you are likely to know the midwife who delivers your baby.

As midwives are experts in low-risk pregnancy and birth, midwifery clients will not see a physician unless there are concerns or complications. If complications arise, midwives can consult with physicians or, if necessary, transfer a client’s care to a physician. If care is transferred, midwives continue to support their clients and resume primary care when it is possible.

What to expect during care with a midwife

Prenatal care

During regularly scheduled visits lasting approximately 45 minutes, your midwife will provide physical assessments, prenatal education, informed choice discussions and decision support for labour and birth. Physical examinations include taking clients’ blood pressure, urine testing, measuring growth and listening to the fetal heart rate. If you are planning a home birth, you will be offered a home visit at  36-weeks so the midwife can become familiar with your home setting. Your family members and/or the people who make up your support system, as defined by you, are encouraged and welcome to attend appointments. Your midwife is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can order all routine tests in pregnancy including ultrasounds, genetic screening, bloodwork and other diagnostic tests.

Labour and Birth

Choosing a midwife to provide your care means that when it comes time to give birth, you and your baby will be cared for by someone you've met before, knows you and understands what's important to you. As experts in healthy, low-risk birth, midwives view childbirth physiologically--that is, something that your body can handle. Of course, every birth is unique, and midwives are trained to be prepared for a variety of issues that may arise. Midwives monitor both parent and baby closely during labour and birth and are fully trained to deal with unforeseen events.

Where and how you choose to give birth is a decision that you'll make in consultation with your midwife. For example, you can choose to:

·   give birth at home, in hospital or, at our clinic
·   labour in the water and/or have a [water birth (
·   have an epidural, or other forms of pain relief

It is very important that you have a voice and choice in where and how you give birth.

Post-Partum Care

During the post-partum period, your midwife will provide guidance around how to care for your baby and yourself during this special time in both of your lives. Regardless of where you give birth, your midwife will provide care in your home within 24-48 hours of the birth or hospital discharge. You will have about six midwifery appointments during the six weeks following the birth, including several in the first week. Midwives monitor both your and your baby's health and provide feeding support. They will ensure you're recovering well, both physically and emotionally.

In caring for your baby, midwives will perform newborn screening for metabolic disorders as well as physical examinations, including checking weight, length, heart, lungs, and how the umbilical stump is healing.

After six weeks, you and your baby will be discharged from midwifery care and will see a family doctor or a nurse practitioner if you have one. Before you leave midwifery, your midwife will discuss your birth control plans, provide further feeding support and refer you to any services you need to address mental health needs.


Midwives are part of the Ontario health-care system and their services are completely funded by the Ministry of Health. Some Ontario residents who are not currently covered by OHIP can still receive midwifery care with no charge.