1. Does OHIP cover the cost?
- Midwifery care is paid for by the government
- There is no cost to residents of Ontario even if they do not have OHIP
2. What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?
- Midwives provide clinical care to our clients and their babies through pregnancy and birth, and up to 6 weeks after birth
- Midwives help people cope with labour and are the care-providers managing the birth
- Doulas are trained in labour support but do not give clinical care
- Doulas are not paid for by the governmentMidwives and doulas can work very well together at the same birth
3. Do I also need a doctor?
- If a woman, her pregnancy, and her baby are healthy, she does not need to see a doctor for pregnancy-related matters
- Midwives give all the care needed in pregnancy, labour and birth, and for 6 weeks after birth, for the parent and the baby
- Midwives may consult with doctors or other health professionals when additional assessments or care is needed
- If complications require that an obstetrician or a pediatrician become the main care-provider, midwives offer supportive care
4. Can I get tests done?
- Midwives offer all the usual pregnancy tests, including blood tests, ultrasounds, and genetic screening, etc
- The client is the main decision-maker when it comes to which tests they do during their pregnancies
5. Do I have to have my baby at home?
- No. Midwives offer people the choice of where to have their babies
- Midwives support healthy clients’ choice of having their babies at home
- Midwives have privileges in Ontario hospitals to help women have their babies in hospital when that is the safest place for them, or if they choose hospital birth
- The midwives at Sages-Femmes Rouge Valley Midwives have privileges at the Lakeridge Health – Ajax-Pickering Hospital, and at Scarborough Health Network – General and Centenary Campuses.
6. Can I have medication in labour?
- Yes. Midwives support informed choice including the choice to have medication (including epidurals) when they have their babies in hospital
- Because midwives provide one-to-one support throughout their entire labour, many clients do not feel they need medications
7. What happens if something goes wrong?
- Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy and birth
- Midwives are skilled and knowledgeable at noticing when things are not normal and helping them get back to normal
- When that does not work, midwives bring the appropriate help into the care team, such as obstetricians, pediatricians, naturopaths, lactation consultants, etc
- We have good relationships with the doctors and health care-providers in our community, which makes it easy to work together for the benefit of our clients
8. What if I need a caesarean birth?
- Midwives can provide care for those who need or choose a repeat caesarean birth
- The midwife gives either part or all of the care during the pregnancy and after discharge from the hospital
- An obstetrician may be part of the woman’s care in pregnancy, organizes and performs the caesarean birth, and provides care while in hospital, usually for 2 days after the birth
9. Do midwives come to my home?
- Midwives work at clinics where most of the care in pregnancy is done
- Midwives may offer one home visit near the end of pregnancy
- Midwives often help women labour at home prior to moving into hospital, if a hospital birth is planned
- At Sages-Femmes Rouge Valley Midwives, about 20% of births take place at home, with 2 midwives in attendance
- Midwives do visits at home several times in the first 1-2 weeks after the birth to assess the health of parent and baby, and to assist with establishing breastfeeding
10. Do I have to breastfeed if I have midwife?
No, it is a client’s choice. But, in midwifery care, those who choose to breastfeed have a high success rate because:
- Midwives share a lot of information regarding the benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby
- Midwives are knowledgeable about, and highly supportive of breastfeeding
- Midwives are on-call 24 hours a day for emergencies and breastfeeding problems
- Midwives refer to lactation specialists if extra help is needed