Choice of Birthplace
Ontario midwives attend women in their choice of birthplace. It is important that women receive accurate information about the risks and benefits of birthplace for low-risk pregnancy and labour in order to make an informed choice. At approximately 28 weeks into your pregnancy you will be sent a link to a comprehensive video that was developed by and features midwives of Muskoka. The video discusses the nature of both hospital and home birth, safety issues, and how to prepare for a birth in either setting. Water birth is also discussed.
For certain high risk pregnancies, your midwife will recommend a hospital delivery. For healthy women with low-risk pregnancies and with a care provider present who is trained in home delivery, a large body of literature supports home as a safe place to birth. If you choose home birth, Midwives of Muskoka will bring all the necessary equipment to your home to respond to any unexpected emergencies, including oxygen for mother and baby, resuscitation equipment for the newborn and intravenous supplies and medications for treatment of hemorrhage. The fetal heart rate is monitored frequently in active labour with a portable hand-held Doppler. In the event of complications, transport to hospital takes place in a straightforward manner. After the birth of your baby, your midwife will stay at your home for approximately 3 hours postpartum to ensure you and your baby are healthy, and she will return within 48 hours of the birth to check on you and your baby. She will also, as always, be on-call for you should you need her sooner.
The Midwives of Muskoka also attend births at Huntsville District Memorial Hospital and South Muskoka Memorial Hospital. Women choosing hospital birth can still elect to be initially assessed at home in early labour and spend time at home with their midwife in attendance until labour is clearly established. After delivering in the hospital, midwifery clients have the option of being discharged home as early as 2-3 hours postpartum, or staying in the hospital’s postpartum ward for up to 48 hours after the birth.