Midwives view pregnancy and childbirth as a profound time in a person’s life, with a variety of personal and cultural meanings. We see ourselves as partners in our clients’ care and recognize clients as the primary decision-makers. Ontario’s midwifery model of care is based on three principles: continuity of care; informed choice and choice of birthplace.
Continuity of Care
Midwives provide complete care throughout pregnancy, labour, birth, and the first six weeks following birth. This basket of services — referred to as a “course of care”– provides continuity, optimizing your safety and comfort. A team of midwives will be responsible for your care throughout pregnancy. Two midwives will typically attend your birth. Clients can contact their midwives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with urgent concerns.
Midwives support clients to make informed decisions about their care. For example, when discussing the option of having genetic screening, ultrasound or other routine tests, your midwife will talk with you about what the test looks for, how it is performed, possible advantages and disadvantages, and any risks involved.
Choice of Birthplace
Choosing where to give birth is one of the decisions that your midwife will support you to make. Midwifery clients may decide to give birth safely at home or in the hospital. Midwives are the only health-care professionals who are specifically trained to attend out-of-hospital births. Midwives also attend births in hospitals. We are able to admit and discharge clients and access hospital resources needed by clients, including a consultation with a physician if there is a concern or complication.