During regularly scheduled visits to the midwifery clinic, midwives provide:
- physical assesments
Physical examinations include taking clients’ blood pressure, urine testing, measuring growth and listening to the fetal heart rate.
Appointments are on average 30-45 minutes long. Prenatal visits take place once a month for the first 28 weeks, every two weeks until 36 weeks and then once a week until your baby is born. Most women will see their midwife 11-12 times before they go into labour.
Clients are cared for by a small group of no more than four midwives. You will meet each of the midwives involved in your care and have appointments with them.
Pregnancy care appointments are conducted in the midwives' clinic. Women will typically be offered a home visit around 36 weeks. If you are planning a homebirth, this visit will help facilitate the midwife's knowlege of the home setting.
Your family or support system, as defined by you, is encouraged and welcome to attend appointments with you as frequently as you like.
A midwife will also visit your home often in the first week after your baby is born to check on you and your baby, assist with breastfeeding and answer any questions about other aspects of infant care.
A midwife will typically visit you and your new baby within 24 hours and on at least two other occasions in the first ten days after the birth. Your subsequent visits, up until six weeks, will usually take place in the clinic. Most midwives do the day 10-14 visit in the clinic. Your final visit usually typically takes place at six weeks and will be booked in the clinic and the midwife will conduct a complete physical examination of you and your baby. Every midwifery practice is different, so talk to your midwife about your postpartum care plan.
Midwifery students will likely be involved with your pregnancy care. Midwifery is a growing profession and most midwives are teaching and supervising students while providing care. Your midwife will ask if you are comfortable with students being involved with your care, and will always still be involved with each appointment.
The same student will usually be involved in your care throughout pregnancy, birth and after the baby is born, so you will develop a relationship with her or him the same way you do with your midwife.