Midwives see pregnancy and childbirth as normal states for the healthy woman. The midwife provides continuity of care throughout the pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. She carefully watches and guides, assisting the family to give birth, all the while, taking special care to respect their unique choices and values.
As of January 1, 1994 any midwife practicing in the province of Ontario must be registered with the College of Midwives of Ontario (CMO) . All of the midwives in this practice are registered with College of Midwives. We are also members of the professional organization for midwives, the Association of Ontario Midwives (AOM). Midwives practicing in Ontario are covered by OHIP, and are fully funded by the government to provide free, approved and safe care to those who do not have OHIP as well.
Midwives in Ontario follow three main tenets of care as set out by the College of Midwives of Ontario. The fundamental principals are as follows:
Informed choice is a collaborative information exchange between midwife and client that supports client decision-making. Midwives recognize the client as the primary decision-maker and facilitate the collaborative process of informed decision-making by fostering a relationship of trust and respect between midwife and client, providing relevant and evidence-based information in a collaborative and non-authoritarian manner, considering the feelings, beliefs, values and preferences of the woman, making recommendations relevant to the client's individual care, making a best effort to ensure the client fully understands all relevant information prior to making a decision, allowing adequate time for decision-making by the client, and lastly, supporting the client's ultimate decision.
choice of birthplace
Midwives recognize clients as primary decision-makers in their healthcare and support them in choosing the most appropriate setting for their birth. Midwives provide clients with the necessary information required to make informed decisions regarding place of birth. The literature on Ontario homebirths demonstrates that planned homebirth with a well-screened population of women, with a supportive healthcare system, and attended by professionally trained midwives carrying emergency equipment, are AS SAFE, if not safer, than planned hospital births. Ontario is also home to two official Birth Centres, one in Ottawa, the other in Toronto. The promotion of physiological birth and the reduction of unnecessary interventions are recognized as essential factors to improving maternity care outcomes.
continuity of care
Midwives make the time commitment necessary to develop a relationship of trust with the birthing individual during pregnancy in order to provide safe and individualized care. Continuity of care is achieved when a relationship develops over time between a birthing individual and a small group of two to four midwives within a midwifery practice. Midwifery care is provided by the same small group of midwives from the beginning of care (ideally, at the onset of pregnancy), during all trimesters, and throughout labour, birth, and the first six weeks of postpartum. The midwifery practice ensures 24-hour on call availibility by one of the group of midwives known to the client. One midwife is identified as the primary midwife, responsible for coordinating care and for identifying who is responsible if they are not available. Continuity of care also entails that your attending midwife be present with you at all times, regardless of whether an emergency cesarean section is needed or not. Should there be any type of need for either consultation or transference of care to an ObGyn at any time, your primary midwife will still remain as a more supportive part of your care team.
Until our facility is open, we currently work in close partnership with two midwifery clinics here in Toronto and the GTA. Click on the practice of your choice, to find out if they have any openings for clients for your estimated due date.