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About Midwifery

“The practice of midwifery is the assessment and monitoring of women during pregnancy, labour, and the post-partum period and of their newborn babies, the provision of care during normal pregnancy, labour, and post-partum period, and the conducting of spontaneous normal vaginal deliveries.” (Scope of practice for midwifery as defined in the Midwifery Act 1991).

The woman is the client of the midwife and the primary decision-maker during childbearing. Midwives use the term client to refer to the woman and those family members or support people as identified by the woman.

The scope of midwifery practice includes full care for the duration of pregnancy until six weeks after delivery for you and your baby. Should problems develop during the course of care which necessitate that care be transferred to a physician, midwives will continue to function in a supportive role until care can be transferred back. Apart from indications for consultation or transfer of care, you will not be expected to see a physician for any care related to your pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, or newborn. Your family physician will resume care of you and your baby between 6 and 8 weeks postpartum.

Midwives of Muskoka follow the consultation and transfer of care standards of the College of Midwives of Ontario. These standards outline situations under which we would consult with a physician or transfer care. It is within the scope of Ontario midwives to order blood work, ultrasounds and other laboratory tests, as well as prescribe certain medications.

We also have practice specific protocols for situations that may arise in your regular care and in emergencies. These protocols outline the roles of your midwives in dealing with specific situations. This way, we are able to function smoothly, cohesively and clearly in decision-making and action.

Why Midwifery?

Midwifery care is based on a respect for pregnancy as a state of health, and childbirth as a normal physiologic process and a profound event in a woman’s life.

Midwifery care respects the diversity of women’s needs and the variety of personal and cultural meanings that women, families and communities bring to the pregnancy, birth and early parenting experience.

The maintenance and promotion of health throughout the childbearing cycle are central to midwifery care. Midwives focus on preventative care and the appropriate use of technology.

Care is continuous, personalized and non-authoritarian. Midwives respond to a woman’s social, emotional, and cultural, as well as physical needs.

Midwives promote decision-making as a shared responsibility between the woman, her family (as defined by the woman) and her caregivers. The woman is recognized as the primary decision maker.

Fundamental to midwifery care is the understanding that a woman’s caregivers respect and support her so that she may give birth safely, with power and dignity.

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