Are you interested in midwifery care? Registered midwives are health professionals who provide primary care to you and your baby during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum period – usually until your baby is about six weeks old. We love that midwives work in partnership with you and your loved ones to provide support in a way that respects your needs and experiences. 

Depending on risk factors and previous pregnancies, your midwife may collaborate with other health care providers to support the best birth outcome.

Essentially, they’re there to make sure Moms-to-be are getting the best care available. 

 

In 2019, 11% of births in Canada were supported by a midwife, but the rate of midwifery-led births will vary from province to province to territory. Currently, British Columbia leads the country with the highest percentage of midwifery-led births (25%), while Ontario leads in the total number of midwifery-led births (21,131 per year). On Prince Edward Island, there is still no midwifery legislation and no practicing midwives. 

 

Who is the right midwife for you?

  1. Ask for references

Speak to your general practitioner, friends and family. In our experience, word of mouth is always the best advertising.  

  1. Search online

The Canadian Association of Midwives is a great resource. You can search their website for midwifery stats by province and links to your local association. 

  1. Visit more than one 

You don’t have to settle for the first midwife you meet (unless she’s the only one practicing in your province). It’s ok to set up initial appointments with 2-3 midwives while you search for the one that feels right.

 

If you’ve decided on midwifery care, it’s best to get in touch with a midwife in Canada as soon as you know you're pregnant, especially in provinces where midwifery is paid for by the government. If the practice is full, they might put you on a waiting list – and often spots do open up.

 

Questions to ask when you meet

The introductory appointment is a chance for you and the midwife to get to know each other. Here are just a handful of questions you might want to ask during this appointment.

 

  1. Do you work with another midwife? If you’re not on call when I go into labour, who might assist me instead? 
  2. How many births have you attended?
  3. What is your philosophy on weight gain, nutrition, prenatal supplements, and exercise
  4. What happens if there’s a complication in my pregnancy?
  5. How many women are under your care at a time?
  6. Can I have a home or hospital birth? Planned home births with a healthcare provider may not be suitable for all pregnancies. It is important to discuss the risks and limitations of home births with your healthcare provider. Risk assessments should be ongoing throughout pregnancy so that an informed decision can be made about whether home births are still suitable.
  7. How will my baby and I be cared for during the postpartum period.
  8. If you're in a province where the government does not fund midwifery care, you'll also want to ask how much her services cost and any payment options available.

 

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SOURCE: https://canadianmidwives.org/midwifery-across-canada/