Frequently Asked Questions about Midwives
What does it cost to have a Midwife?
Midwifery care is fully funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term care. If you have an OHIP card, you simply present it to us just as you do at the doctor’s office and all of our services are covered.
If you do not have an OHIP card, you may still be eligible for government-funded pregnancy care. Ontario’s Midwives are committed to making sure that all pregnant people get the care they need. To make that happen we developed a program with the Ontario government to fund our services for women without health coverage. If you live in Ontario (you are not simply visiting) and DO NOT have OHIP, contact our office to ask if this program applies to you.
Is a Midwife the same as a Doula?
No. Your Midwife is responsible for all of the medical care during your pregnancy, including blood tests, ultrasounds and prescriptions.
A Doula is a person you can hire privately for you birth to give you physical and emotional support in labour. Doulas are a wonderful resource however they are NOT trained medical providers and cannot provide any of your healthcare.
Can I have a Midwife and an Obstetrician?
Generally not. You need to choose one type of care provider for your pregnancy and if you choose a Midwife, you cannot also see an obstetrician for regular checkups. But this does NOT mean that you never have access to a doctor in pregnancy. If you develop a complication that outside of our scope of practice, your Midwife will arrange a specialist appointment. This may be an Obstetrician, Paediatrician, Genetic Counsellor or many other kinds of specialists. Your Midwife will continue to be your main healthcare provider. In rare cases, your Midwife may need to transfer your care completely to an obstetrician. If this happens, your Midwife will explain the reason and process to you.
Do I have to have a homebirth?
No. Homebirth is a great option for many families and Midwives are the only healthcare providers in Ontario with the skills and equipment to safely provide a planned homebirth. But if you prefer to deliver in the hospital, your Midwife will admit you during labour and still be responsible for your delivery. Our practice has privileges at North York General Hospital.
Can I still have an epidural?
Of course! Your Midwife will talk to you about the benefits and risks of epidurals, as well as other options to manage your pain. If you choose an epidural, your Midwife will arrange for the anaesthesiologist to come to your delivery room and place it.
What happens if I have an emergency during labour?
Midwives have training to identify and manage emergencies in pregnancy, labour and after delivery. Your Midwife can also consult with our colleagues at North York General Hospital to access any treatments (e.g. a Caesarean Section) that may be needed. Rest assured, this happens very smoothly and you will not experience any delay in receiving necessary treatment.
Will “my” Midwife be at my birth?
When you begin your care with us you will be assigned 2 or 3 midwives (and sometimes students) who you will meet about equally over the course of your pregnancy. Each Midwife at our practice is on call for 11 days in a row, and then she takes a 3 day weekend. Your 2 main midwives have opposite weekends so that at least one of your Midwives is on call for you around your due date. However, in spite of our planning, sometimes many babies decide to be born on the same day. If your midwife is already at another delivery, or if she is sleeping after being up all night, then another midwife from the practice will look after you until your assigned midwives are available again.