FAQs


  1. What do Midwives do?
  2. Can I have a midwife and a doctor?
  3. Can midwives run the same kinds of tests as doctors?
  4. What happens at a prenatal appointment?
  5. Do I have to pay for a midwife?
  6. Do I have to have my baby at home?
  7. Do I need a referral to see a midwife?
  8. When should I contact a midwife?
  9. Can I have an epidural anesthesia?
  10. What if there’s a problem with my pregnancy?
  11. Can I have birth in the water with a midwife?
  12. I had a cesarean section birth with my last baby. Can I still have a midwife?
  13. How long do I continue to see a Midwife after the baby is born?
  14. What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?



What do Midwives do?

Midwives provide primary care to women throughout their low risk pregnancy, labour, and birth, and they provide care to both mother and baby during the first six weeks following the birth.

 

Can I have a midwife and a doctor?

No. Women can have either a midwife or a doctor for pregnancy, birth, and newborn care. Midwives, obstetricians, and family physicians are all considered primary caregivers. A primary caregiver takes responsibility for your care.

 

Can midwives run the same kinds of tests as doctors?

Yes. Midwives can arrange all routine prenatal testing including ultrasound and genetic screening, as well as standard laboratory and diagnostic tests. Midwives discuss the results with clients and provide information and follow-up care.

 

What happens at a prenatal appointment?

During regularly scheduled visits to the midwifery clinic, you can expect to receive the same health care as you might expect from a doctor or nurse practitioner.  Midwives provide physical examinations and assessments, support, and information. Appointments are on average 30 minutes long. Prenatal visits are usually once a month for the first 28 weeks, every two weeks until 36 weeks, and then once a week until your baby is born.

 

Do I have to pay for a midwife?

No. Midwifery care is free to all residents of Ontario. If you do not have OHIP, you will have to pay for your hospital stay. Giving birth and staying at Toronto Birth Centre is for all Ontario residents. Please talk to your midwife for more information.

 

Do I have to have my baby at home?

No. Midwives offer choice of birthplace. You can have your baby at home, in the hospital, or in Toronto Birth Centre. Where you choose to have your baby is up to you.

 

Do I need a referral to see a midwife?

No. You do not need a doctor’s referral. You can call us directly once you know you are pregnant. The positive home pregnancy test is enough to confirm your pregnancy. Your midwives will take care of the rest.

 

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, it is also beneficial for you to access prenatal care at the very beginning of your pregnancy. We sometimes have openings for clients later in their pregnancy. Please call anytime.

 

Can I have an epidural anesthesia?

Yes. If you choose to have an epidural for pain relief, your midwife will consult with the on-call anesthesiologist who will place the epidural. Your care will remain with your midwife.

 

What if there’s a problem with my pregnancy?

Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy and birth and provide safe care for both mother and baby. If a health concern arises during midwifery care that is beyond the scope of midwifery practice, your midwife would consult with the appropriate health care professional. If needed, your care is transferred. Your midwife remains with you in a supporting role and the doctor will transfer your care back to the midwife as soon as possible.

 

Can I have birth in the water with a midwife?

Yes. You can have a water birth as a midwifery’s client. The Scarborough Rough Hospital Birchmount campus and Toronto Birth center offer water birth at this time.

 

I had a cesarean section birth with my last baby. Can I still have a midwife?

Yes. Midwives will support you to make a decision about having a Trial of Labour after Caesarean (TOLAC) or an elective repeat cesarean section. Midwives can care for you either way, even if you have had more than one cesarean in the past.

 

How long do I continue to see a Midwife after the baby is born?

The midwife provides care for you and your baby until six weeks postpartum (after the baby is born).

 

What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?

Midwives provide clinical care to you and your baby. Along with you, we manage your pregnancy, labour, delivery, and postpartum care. A doula is a professional labour support person. Doulas do not provide clinical care, but may be helpful to you during labour. Some doulas also provide postpartum support.

 

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