Top 10 FAQs About Midwives

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 government
  • Midwives 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 Rouge Valley Health System -Centenary and Ajax-Pickering hospitals, and at The Scarborough Hospital – General and Birchmount 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