MIDWIVES OF MUSKOKA

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Q.  When can I start seeing a midwife?
A.  Please contact us as soon as you have confirmed your pregnancy.  There is very important information to provide to you in your early pregnancy that can impact your health and your baby's health.  Also, there is a limit to the number of clients we can take into care in any time period.  We take clients on a first come, first served basis.  Drugstore pregnancy tests are reliable for confirming pregnancy.

Q. I understand there is a long waiting list for midwifery care.  How can I ensure that I receive care by a midwife?
A. 
Sometimes openings become available throughout the year, so it is always worth inquiring even if your pregnancy has advanced.  However, certain months bring an abundance of babies!  It is true that there are times in the year when our numbers swell and we fill our positions quickly.  This is not usually predictable.  The most important thing is to call early in your pregnancy so we can place you on our roster. 

Q. Do I need a referral for midwifery care?
A. No referral is necessary.  Those interested in midwifery care can contact our office directly using the contact information at the bottom of this page, or the fill-in email form on our contact page, as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed. 

Q.  Do I have to pay for midwifery services?
A.  Midwifery care is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Community Services Branch. 
There is no direct expense to any woman for using midwifery services.  This means that even women who do not have Ontario Health Insurance can use midwifery services in Ontario, although it may require a bit of extra paperwork.  For women without Ontario Health Insurance, some funding for labwork, ultrasounds, and professional medical services may be available.  Please inquire if you have questions about this.  The cost for hospital stays for non-OHIP clients must be paid by the client.

Q.  Can I have both a midwife and a doctor?
A.  The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provides funding for one primary health care provider for your maternity care, so you must choose between medical and midwifery care.  Midwives are primary health care providers who care for low-risk women following similar criteria under which family doctors provide care.  However, midwives specialize exclusively in pregnancy, labour and birth and care of the well woman and her newborn. 

Consultations or transfers of care to specialist obstetricians (for pregnant women) or pediatricians (for babies) by  midwives and family doctors take place following well-established criteria.  However, even with a complicated medical  or obstetrical history you can receive at least part of your care locally with your midwife, with a few exceptions.  This often reduces the amount of travel outside of your community
when you have a complicated pregnancy.  In addition, if you are a Muskoka resident who for medical reasons must deliver in Orillia under the care of an obstetrician, your midwife will still usually be present during your labour and delivery, as the Midwives of Muskoka have privileges to provide care at Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital.

Q. Can I have an epidural or other drugs in labour?
A.  Under a midwife's care you can access the same tests, procedures, services and medications as women who are under the care of a doctor.  Your midwife will discuss your choice of  tests and procedures and the appropriate use of  medications and interventions with you during your pregnancy, and together you will decide what is right for you.  In addition, your midwife can provide the traditional skills and less invasive options that have  historically been used to help women give birth safely and powerfully, and in ways that support the normal process of birth.

Q.  Do I have to have a homebirth?
A.   You have options!  Choose between home birth or one of two Muskoka hospitals:  Huntsville District Memorial Hospital or South Muskoka Memorial.  Women who choose hospital birth can opt to be initially assessed at home in early labour, and spend time at home with their midwife in attendance until active labour is well-established.  After delivering in the hospital, midwifery clients have the option of being discharged home as early as 3 hours after the birth of their baby, or staying in the hospital’s postpartum unit for up to 48 hours after the birth.

Q. Do I have to live in Muskoka to access MoM services?
A. For women living in locations slightly outside our catchment, consideration will be made when there is no other midwifery care available in that area.  We encourage your inquiries.  You must be able to attend prenatal and late postpartum appointments at our clinic, and early postpartum visits at a location within our borders. 

The catchment area for Midwives of Muskoka includes the District of Muskoka and the northern part of Simcoe County.  The catchment area falls within a radius of an approximately 70 minute drive from the central location of Bracebridge, where our clinic is located.  The boundaries of the catchment area are well-defined in the interests of safety, and we encourage clients to discuss them with us.  Prenatal and postpartum visits at home are provided within the entire catchment area.