At a home birth, your midwife will provide labour, birth and post-birth care for you in your home.
When will my midwife come?
Your midwife will tell you when to page or call them once you are in labour. They will assess your labour over the phone to determine when they need to come. They will stay at your home to monitor you and your baby once you are in active labour.
Labour and birth
Once your midwife arrives, you and your baby will be closely monitored to make sure there are no complications developing. A second midwife (or second attendant) will arrive when you are close to giving birth to help care for you and your baby.
Midwives bring medical equipment and medications to all home births similar to those available in Ontario birth centres and hospitals where Level I care is provided.
After the birth
After the birth, your midwives will monitor and assess you and your baby to ensure that you are recovering well. They will perform a head-to-toe physical exam on your baby and help you with feeding.
Once you are both considered healthy and well, your midwives will leave so you can rest. This usually happens within 4 hours of the birth. Before they leave, they will talk to you about what to expect within the next 24 hours.
If you and/or your baby need closer observation or monitoring after the birth, your midwife will recommend moving to the hospital for extra support. Depending on why you or your baby need closer monitoring, you may need to go to hospital by care or by ambulance. Find out what happens if things don't go as planned.
A midwife is always available to you by phone at any time, day or night, if you have questions or concerns after giving birth. The day after the birth, your midwife will visit you at home (or in the hospital, if applicable) for your first follow-up visit.
Midwives provide all the early post-birth care you and your baby need in the comfort of your own home, including:
- routine newborn screening tests
- physical and mental health assessments
- parenting support and teaching
- feeding support
Hear three midwifery clients talk about their home births