Midwifery is one of the oldest professions in the world. Women have been helping other women through pregnancy, labour and birth for thousands of years, on every continent.
In Ontario, midwifery is legislated, regulated and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. There is no charge to clients, and women across Canada have discovered that midwifery is a wonderful maternity care option. It’s based on the principles of informed choice, continuity of care and choice of birthplace. You’ll find that a high percentage of women that have used the services of a midwife continue to rely on midwifery care for subsequent births.
What’s a midwife?
A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides complete, primary care to women throughout pregnancy, labour and birth. This means that midwives are the primary care providers, acting in place of, rather than in addition to, doctors. Midwives specialize exclusively in care of women and infants during pregnancy, labour and the post-partum period (the 6 weeks following birth). They assist with every aspect of pregnancy, labour and delivery.
All of the Alliston Midwives have completed a 4-year university course in Midwifery, and continue to update their skills regularly, as mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ontario College of Midwives.
Midwifery in Ontario
Ontario became the first province in Canada to legislate, regulate and fund midwifery in 1994—the same year that we opened Caring Hands Midwifery Services in Alliston. The cost of midwifery services is fully covered by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care; there is no fee for clients. Because midwifery is legislated, it is a legal profession, and since it’s regulated, you can be assured of a midwife’s training and competency.
Choosing a healthcare partner for your journey through pregnancy, delivery and the postpartum period (the 6 weeks after birth) is an important decision. All women want the most expert and comprehensive care possible. The Alliston Midwives provide an excellent option.
More individual attention
One thing that many women like about midwifery is the extent to which their midwife gets to know them and the details of their pregnancy. Visits with family doctors typically last 10 to 15 minutes, while an in-clinic midwifery consultation takes from 30 to 45 minutes, allowing time for the flow of questions and information on both sides.
Midwives are specialists in normal pregnancy and childbirth. We offer complete care for women and their babies; you do not normally see a family doctor or an obstetrician in addition to your midwives. We also stay with you all the way through pregnancy, labour, and through the postpartum period—something known as continuity of care. The midwives you work with are also the ones that will assist with your delivery and visit you and your new baby at home afterwards.
Midwifery is about…
~ Choice. It’s fully funded by the Ministry of Health (there is no charge)
~ Safety. Midwifery is government-accredited and regulated
~ Respecting pregnancy as a state of health
~ Respecting childbirth as a normal physiologic process
~ Giving you the information you need to make the right choices for you and your baby
~ Respecting choice, including place of birth and pain relief options, including epidurals
~Knowing your care provider throughout pregnancy, labour, and beyond
~Collaboration. Midwives work closely with nurses, doctors and other professionals when needed