Frequently asked questions

What is the Definition of a Midwife in Ontario?


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.

A woman receives care from a small number of midwives. You will know the midwife who attends your labour and birth.

In Ontario, if you see a midwife you will not see a physician unless there are concerns or complications. If there are complications, midwives can consult or transfer care to a physician. Midwives provide safe and expert care to healthy women and newborns.

- See more at: http://www.ontariomidwives.ca/midwife/




How can I access Midwifery Care?


It is best to contact us 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. First appointments are schedule when women are between 8-10 weeks gestation, and generally those who are interested in Midwifery care complete our online intake form between 4-6 weeks pregnant.

Our practice books clients in based on estimated due dates and geographical location. We are limited to the number of clients we can care for each month. Sometimes we have openings for clients later in pregnancy, however this can be a rare occasion.




Do I need a Referral?


You do not need a referral to see a midwife - fill out our online intake form today!




Do I have to pay for a 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 if they have OHIP. Women who are not currently covered by OHIP can still receive midwifery care. Cost can be associated to those that do not hold an OHIP card. To find out more, please give our office a call




Where can I deliver my baby?


Clients have options when it comes to where to deliver. We have privileges at Markham Stouffville Hospital, and deliver on the AMU, should a hospital birth be the choice of birthplace, or the safest option for clients.

We also support the choice of having a homebirth, and run a birth options night at the clinic about once a month if clients are undecided. Ask your midwife if you are a candidate for a home birth.




Can I have a Midwife and an OBGYN?


You can choose to have a midwife or a doctor, not both. 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.




Is a Midwife the same as a Doula?


A midwife is not a doula! A birth doula is a trained labour support person who provides emotional and physical support to those giving birth and their families. While not medical professionals, doulas can offer a wide range of comfort measures. You would find and pay your doula yourself, as doula services are not covered by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. If you are considering having a doula at your birth, talk about it with your midwife.




What pain relief options are available?


Midwives offer a range of natural and pharmaceutical pain relief options, including access to epidurals in hospital. Pharmaceutical pain relief can only be accessed at a hospital birth. Many women use water, massage and other methods as an effective way to relieve pain at home, birth centre and hospital.

Midwives at Markham Stouffville Hospital have what we call "full scope of practice" which includes ordering epidurals and taking care of women with epidurals. Your care will not change if you request an epidural and the midwives will continue to take care of you throughout your labour and birth.




Will my care be transferred if I need Oxytocin for Induction or Augmentation?


Your care will not be transferred should you need Oxytocin Induction or Augmentation for labour. Midwives provide this progressive and innovative continuity of care to all our clients who may need oxytocin in their labours, without the need for consultation in most situations.




If I have a Hospital Birth, how long do I need to Stay after I deliver?


If both you and the baby are fine, you will probably be ready to go home from hospital about 4-6 hours after the birth. The Midwives will visit your home within the first 24hrs to check on you and the baby, to answer any questions you may have, and to help you if needed with such things as feeding the baby.

After the first home visit, the Midwives will provide two follow up home visits within the first week. The midwives are available both at the clinic and by pager for urgent questions if the need arises.

If after a hospital birth there is any concerns about either your health or that of your baby, you may have a longer stay in the hospital as needed.




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.





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