What is midwifery?

The word midwife means ‘with woman’.

It means midwives partnering together with women and their families to facilitate and ease childbirth. The very nature of midwifery care is grounded in holistic, and physiologic health. All aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, newborn care, and breastfeeding are inherently normal and natural. By providing individualized care, we can promote, support, and encourage a positive and normative birth experience.

The midwifery model of care promotes normal birth, enables women to make informed choices, and provides continuity of care and support throughout the childbearing experience. We believe that women and their families are transformed by birth and we provide compassionate, supportive, and informative guidance to facilitate this transformation. All women and families are unique and we tailor our care to your very personal needs.

Midwives are registered health care practitioners. We are professionals who provide primary care to women and their babies during pregnancy, labour, birth, and the postpartum period. Midwives provide the full course of care for low-risk women. This includes physical examinations, screening, diagnostic tests, the assessment of abnormal conditions, and the conduct of normal vaginal deliveries at home or in the hospital, as well as postpartum care for mom and baby.

Midwives keep up to date on research and believe that it is our responsibility to provide comprehensive, holistic information so that women can make informed choices at all stages of care. We practice based on philosophy of informed choice. We believe that although we are experts in the field of midwifery, we are not experts at knowing your personal history, experiences, and beliefs. It is our work to keep you informed about all aspects of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care and to support your decisions. It is your work to be informed, ask questions, and play an active role in the decision-making required during your care.

During labour and birth, a midwife stays with a woman and her family, from the onset of active labour to 3 to 4 hours after the birth. Midwives are trained in the management of maternal and newborn emergency situations. We carry the equipment necessary to handle emergencies out of hospital. On the occasion that transport is necessary, midwives are skilled in identifying the appropriate time and method of transport. In case a transfer of care to another practitioner is required, the midwife continues to provide supportive care until such time that full care can resume. We work in collaboration with other health care professionals and will consult or refer as appropriate.