Midwives care for pregnant people throughout their pregnancies, through labour and birth and for the first 6 weeks postpartum.
Midwives provide care through the guiding principles of midwifery in Ontario which are informed choice, continuity of care and choice of birth place.
One-on-one prenatal visits with your midwife occur every four to six weeks weeks until 28 weeks, every two to three weeks until 36 weeks, and then weekly until the birth. During these appointments you will have the opportunity to meet your team of midwives. Each client has a team of midwives who they meet during pregnancy so they can develop a strong therapeutic relationship with each member of their team and have continuity of care throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth and postpartum.
You may occasionally meet a midwife who is not part of your team as our midwives cover each other if someone has to miss clinic to attend a client’s birth. Every midwife at our clinic is happy to meet with you!
Prenatal care with midwives includes informed choice for clients in all aspects of care. This includes offering all routine ultrasounds and bloodwork, urine tests, fetal heart rate checks, blood pressure monitoring, fetal position, and general health. With evidence-based practice, we provide counseling and information on topics including nutrition, exercise, what to expect at various point in pregnancy, and the social and emotional aspects of pregnancy, labour and birth, and postpartum.
Labour and Birth
Midwives support clients through labour and birth. Midwives offer choice of birthplace. The Midwifery Collective of Ottawa offers birth at The Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus, The Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre and birth at home. Your midwife will discuss birth place with you throughout your pregnancy.
During labour, the midwives are responsible for monitoring client and fetal well-being. Two midwives are present at all births and the second midwife typically attends within the hour before the birth. Midwives will remain after the birth for 3-4 hours and then you have the option to go home if all is well or remain in the hospital for 24h.
The postpartum period is the time from the birth of the baby until 6 weeks after the birth. Midwives provide care for you clients and their babies during this time.
Midwives provide care at home in the first week postpartum. Home visits are routinely offered on day 1, 3 and 5 postpartum. If all is well then clients and babies will be seen in clinic at 2, 4 and 6 weeks postpartum. Client care is always individualized to each client and more visits may be offered based on client and clinical needs.
At the conclusion of your care at 6 weeks postpartum, we provide you with a copy of your records as well as preparing a summary document about your pregnancy, birth and baby’s wellbeing and growth to bring to your family doctor or nurse practitioner.
Transfer of Care
Midwives are the experts in normal pregnancy and birth. That means we take care of healthy people experiencing healthy pregnancies. When a pregnancy moves outside of normal, we consult with a physician. Often, we work in concert with the physician; sometimes we transfer care to the physician.
If your midwife transfers your care to a physician this means that the physician becomes your primary caregiver instead of your midwife. For this period of time, your physician and/or nurses provide your care and monitoring. If your care is transferred to a physician, you do not lose your midwife, rather your midwife’s role moves to advocacy, providing information and support. Care may be transferred back to the midwife when appropriate and when agreed upon by all parties.