What is a midwife?
Midwives provide free, expert primary care to pregnant women and their new babies. All through pregnancy, labour, birth and the first six weeks of your baby’s life, you will be cared for by a small group of midwives. This continuity of care means that you are likely to know the midwife who delivers your baby.
Midwives understand that every woman is different and respected as the person who makes informed choices about their care. Together with your midwife you choose where to have your baby. Some families plan home births because they feel most safe and comfortable in their own home. Some women want to have their baby in a hospital. Midwives are part of the Ontario hospital system and attend births in most hospitals around the province. Midwives work closely with doctors and other health care professionals when needed.
Becoming a midwife requires going to university for four years to study normal pregnancy, labour, birth and newborn care, as well as emergency skills. Midwives trained outside of Canada qualify here through a bridging program. They are experts in providing safe, researched-based care for pregnant women and new babies. As a self-regulated profession, midwifery is governed by the College of Ontario Midwives. The professional organization, the Association of Ontario Midwives represents midwives and the profession of midwifery.
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"And from talking to friends, we got a sense of midwives as carers who empower you to make your own decisions."
Client testimonial: Emma Donoghue, writer