Right after your birth, whether at home, Toronto Birth Centre (TBC), or at a hospital, we will monitor the condition of both you and your baby until we are sure that all is well. This is approximately 3 hours in most cases. Clients can choose to stay in the hospital for 24 hours after birth. With midwives, you have the option of returning home from the hospital or TBC approximately 3 hours after you give birth. If you give birth at home, your midwife will leave your home around 3 hours after birth. Should any problems arise, we are available on a 24 hour on-call basis.
In the first few hours after birth, it is recommended that you and your baby remain together in a quiet environment with the people of your choice to support you. If you are planning on breastfeeding, we will help you initiate feeding usually within the first hour after birth. Our midwives are very knowledgeable about breastfeeding. We have a midwife who is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. We can often help women avoid difficulties and deal with any that do arise. Midwives will consult with community breastfeeding support and information services, such as the La Leche League, the Public Health Unit, and other Lactation Consultants.
Midwives make at least 3 postpartum visits in the first week after delivery (at home or in the hospital, depending on your location), usually on days 1, 3, and 5. Your following postpartum visits are scheduled in the clinic around 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 6 weeks after birth. At your final visit, you will be provided photocopies of relevant parts of your baby’s file that you can bring to your baby’s care provider 8 weeks after birth.
Midwives will assess that you are recovering well after birth and will perform normal newborn physical examinations of vitals, heart, lungs, weight, and growth. Midwives will do routine blood work that screens for treatable diseases and jaundice, as well as a screening test for baby congenital heart defect. This can all be done at home, and you will not need to stay in the hospital. Family Physicians and/or Pediatricians will be consulted if needed.
Before you leave our care, your midwife will discuss your birth control plans, provide further breastfeeding support, and refer you to services to address mental health needs if necessary.