What is a midwife?

Registered midwives are health professionals who provide primary care to you and your baby during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum period.

Prenatal care

 Prenatal care

Midwives provide complete care during pregnancy, including regular visits, diagnostic tests, routine bloodwork, and emotional support. You can call a midwife as soon as you know you are pregnant to request care; you do not need a referral from a doctor.

Care during birth

 Care during birth

Midwives are there for you during your birth, no matter when, where, or how long it takes. If necessary, midwives access emergency services and collaborate with other health professionals during birth.

Postnatal care

 Postnatal care

Midwives visit you and your newborn in your own home in the first week after birth. They continue to provide care to you and your newborn for at least six weeks after birth.

Primary care

 Primary care

Midwives in Canada are autonomous, primary health care providers. They provide comprehensive care to individuals and their newborns during pregnancy, labour, and at least six weeks postpartum.

Partnership

 Partnership

Midwives work in partnership with you and your loved ones when you are pregnant. They provide support in a non-authoritarian way that respects your needs and experiences.

Informed choice

 Informed choice

Midwives believe that every person has the right to be the primary decision maker about their own care. Midwives encourage you to fully participate in the planning of your own care, and care for your newborn. They allow enough time during your visits for meaningful discussion and for your questions to be answered.

On call 24 hours

 On call 24 hours

Because midwives work in pairs or small teams, there will almost always be a midwife that you have met who is on call when you have a question, concern, or when labour starts. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Evidence-based care

 Evidence-based care

Midwifery practice is informed by research, evidence-based guidelines, clinical experience and the unique values and needs of those in their care.

Choice of birth setting

 Choice of birth place

Midwives provide care to people in their birth setting of choice. You can plan to give birth at home, in a hospital, at a birth centre, or in a health clinic, depending on what facilities are available in your area.