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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to pay for midwifery care?

If you are a resident of Ontario, no.  Midwifery care is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. You do not need a health card to access midwifery care. You also don't need a referral. You can fill in our intake form online or call and request midwifery care yourself, once you have a positive pregnancy test. 

If I have midwives, do I have to give birth at home?

No. You may plan to give birth in hospital or at home.  Our midwives hold privileges at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital. We also have the equipment and skills to conduct births out of hospital, if that is your choice.  Learn more about choice of birthplace here.  

 

What if I want or need pain medication?  Can I get an epidural if I have a midwife?

Midwifery clients can access all pain medication options at CGMH.  These include nitrous oxide or "laughing gas", narcotics such as Nubain, and epidurals. Midwives consult directly with anaesthestists for epidurals.  For clients choosing home birth, we can bring nitrous oxide.

What’s a doula?  How is a doula different than a midwife?

A doula is a trained labour support person who provides emotional and physical support to those giving birth and their families. Doulas are not medical professionals. Doula services are not covered by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, however some extended health benefits programmes may provide coverage.  Doulas receive training in a variety of ways including in-classroom (in person or virtual), practicum hours, reading and written work.  In general, midwives and doulas share the same philosophy regarding supporting physiological birth and informed choice, however their roles are different, in that your midwife provides clinical care, and your doula does not.   Learn more about doulas at https://www.dona.org/.  

Midwives are primary care providers who have completed a 4 year university degree or equivalent training in another country.  Midwives have the knowledge skills and clinical judgement to provide complete care during pregnancy, labour and birth, and for the first 6 weeks post-partum.  Learn more about how midwives are trained and regulated at https://www.ontariomidwives.ca/regulation-education

What if complications develop?
If complications arise during your pregnancy, birth, or in the first six weeks, midwives will manage the complication within their scope of practice, or consult with another care provider for their expertise.  Midwives consult most often with Obstetricians, but other physicians may be more appropriate, depending on the concern.

What if I need a caesarean section?

Sometimes a c-section is the safest way for babies to be born.  When that happens, either planned or unplanned, your midwives will continue to provide care to you and your baby in collaboration with the physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists.  You do not lose midwifery care if you require a c-section.  Your care team expands to include an obstetrician as your primary care provider, with midwives in a supportive role for you, but often in the primary role for your baby.  Your midwife can come into the OR and recovery room with you to facilitate skin-to-skin right from birth with your baby, if you and baby are well.  CGMH is dedicated to making c-sections as family friendly as possible, and midwives play a central role in this.  

Can I have a water birth?

If you give birth at home, you may choose to give birth in water.  We offer a home visit at 37 weeks to discuss this and other topics related to home birth.   At the hospital, every room has a bath for hydrotherapy and pain relief, however we do not offer water births at CGMH.  Learn more about water birth from this excellent new resource created by The Association of Ontario Midwives: https://www.ontariomidwives.ca/water-birth

What if I'm not sure whether I want to have a home or hospital birth?  When do I have to decide?

We will discuss the risks and benefits of home and hospital birth at your prenatal appointments to assist you in making an informed decision.   There is a monthly hospital tour, and we host a Choice of Birthplace Information Night at our clinic 4 times a year, where midwives set up their equipment and bring in a family who has had a home birth to talk about their experience. Sometimes by the end of pregnancy people still haven’t decided where they want to give birth, and that’s ok.  In those cases we encourage clients to plan for both, and decide when they go into labour.

 

A few interesting stats about midwives:

Number of years midwifery has been a regulated health profession: 25

Current number of midwives in Ontario: 949

Number of midwifery practices in the province: 101

Number of communities where midwives provide care: 89

Number of hospitals where midwives have privileges: 123

Number of community-based, midwifery-led birth centres in Ontario: 3

Have more questions? 

Go to www.ontariomidwives.ca

Call us at (705) 446-2511 to book an information session with one of our midwives, or fill out our intake form, to see if midwifery care is right for you.