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FAQs

WHAT IS A MIDWIFE?

A midwife is a specialist in normal low-risk pregnancy and childbirth. Midwives are registered health care professionals who provide primary care to women during pregnancy, labour and birth, including conducting normal vaginal births and providing care to mothers and babies during the first 6 weeks after delivery.

As midwives, we are dedicated to supporting women and their families through the childbearing year. Midwifery care is founded on respect for pregnancy and birth as a normal, healthy process and a profound social, emotional and cultural event in a woman’s life. Midwives provide safe, personalized, research-based care.

We attend births in hospital or home according to the woman’s choice and professional protocols and are on-call and available to our clients 24 hours a day during the course of care.

Midwives are trained professionals who have the skills and equipment to attend births in a hospital or a home setting. In Ontario, the practice of midwifery is based on the principles of continuity of care with a small group of midwives, informed choice for decision-making, and choice of birthplace (home or hospital). Visits to the midwife are usually 45-60 minutes long, and may be at the office or in your home.

Midwives encourage you to discuss your concerns and your birth plan, ask questions and build a caring relationship based on trust and tradition. Midwives strive to be sensitive and respectful of their client’s cultural, social and spiritual practices and traditions.

WHAT IS THE KENORA MIDWIVES CATCHMENT AREA?

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Kenora Midwives provides care for low-risk pregnant women living in the City of Kenora and surrounding area, including First Nation communities.

HOME VS. HOSPITAL BIRTH?

Midwives offer you the choice of a home or hospital birth. Home births will be attended within a half-hour travel radius of Lake of the Woods District Hospital and ambulance support. Whichever setting you choose, you and your baby will receive comprehensive and safe care.

SECOND ATTENDANT

For women who choose midwifery care in Ontario, there are usually two midwives present at every birth. In Kenora, midwives may sometimes use second attendants instead of a second midwife. Temporary arrangements have been arranged with the College of Midwives for the midwives to be assisted by a capable individual known as a “second attendant” for clients during their birth.

PHYSICIAN SUPPORT

Arrangements with Kenora physicians to provide coverage for limited time off or simultaneous births has been arranged.

IS THERE A CHARGE FOR MIDWIFERY CARE?

There is no fee charged for midwifery care. Midwifery care, including prenatal, birth and postpartum care, is paid for by the Ontario Ministry of Health.

CAN I HAVE A MIDWIFE AND A DOCTOR?

No. You have either a midwife or a doctor. Midwives, obstetricians and family physicians are all considered primary caregivers. A primary caregiver takes sole responsibility for your care. To have two caregivers is viewed as a duplication of health care services.

WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG?

If, during midwifery care, a health concern arises beyond the scope of midwifery practice, your midwife would consult with the appropriate health care professional. This process of consultation is a way for the midwife to obtain feedback and guidance, and most often results in the midwife continuing to care for you. Occasionally, this may result in a transfer of your care to a doctor, or for your baby’s care to a pediatrician. If your care is transferred, your midwife remains with you in a supportive role.

WHAT DIAGNOSTIC TESTS CAN A MIDWIFE ORDER?

There is a wide range of tests that a midwife can order. For example, a midwife can arrange for appropriate ultrasound and genetic screening, as well as standard initial laboratory and diagnostic tests.

HOW OFTEN DO I SEE A MIDWIFE?

Visits to your midwife occur on a regular basis, during which time midwives provide clinical examinations, counseling and education. Appointments are 45-60 minutes. The appointment schedule for prenatal care (before the baby is born) follows the standard obstetric care model. Prenatal visits are once a month for the first 28 weeks of pregnancy, every two weeks until 36 weeks of pregnancy, and then once a week until your baby is born.

HOW LONG DO I CONTINUE TO SEE A MIDWIFE AFTER MY BABY IS BORN?

The midwife provides care for you and your baby until 6 weeks postpartum (after the baby is born). The midwife will visit you at home (or in hospital) within several hours of the baby’s birth and come for an additional 4-6 home visits within the first two weeks, to support and assist you with infant feeding and newborn care, and to monitor your health and your baby’s health. Visits then continue at the clinic until the final visit at 6 weeks following the birth. Your care is then transferred back to your family doctor.