What is MIDWIfery

A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary care to low-risk women throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth and provides care to both mother and baby during the first six weeks following the birth.

According to the Ontario Midwifery Act (December 31, 1993), “The practice of midwifery is the assessment and monitoring of women during pregnancy, labour and postpartum period of their newborn babies, the provision of care during normal pregnancy, labour and postpartum period and the conducting of spontaneous vaginal deliveries.

international definition of a midwife

“…a person whom having been regularly admitted to a midwifery education program, duly recognized in a country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery.  She must be able to five the necessary supervision, care and advice to women during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct deliveries on her own responsibility and to care for the newborn infant.  This care includes preventative measures, the detection of abnormal conditions of mother and child, the procurement of medical assistance and the execution of emergency measures in the absence of medical help.  She has an important task in health counseling and education, not only for the patients, but also within the family and community.  The work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood, and extends to certain areas of gynaecology, family planning and childcare.  She may practice in hospitals, clinics, health units, domiciliary conditions, or in any other service.”.

Philosophy of Midwifery Care

  • Informed Choice - Midwives promote decision-making as a shared responsibility, between the woman, her family and her caregivers.  We thoroughly discuss all options for tests and interventions to help you make informed decisions.
  • Continuity of Care - The expectant family will get to know the midwife who will be attending the birth.  A relationship of trust is developed throughout pregnancy, so that your midwife can provide safe, individualized care, and fully support you during labour and birth.  A  midwife is  available to you 24 hours a day for labour calls and urgent concerns.
  • Choice of Birthplace - Midwifery clients may choose to give birth in the hospital or at home.  Uxbridge Community Midwives are part of the health care team at Markam-Stouffville Hospital and have admitting  privileges in the Department of Obstetrics.   Whichever setting you choose, you and your baby will receive thorough care.
  • Family-Centred Care - The care we provide is individualized, as we understand that pregnancy and birth are unique for each woman. We also recognize the importance of family support, participation and choice. According to Health Canada, “Women have diverse experiences and needs. Women and families hold different philosophies of birth, based on their specific knowledge, experience, culture, social and family background, and belief systems…The approach to caring for women and families should involve adapting care to meet their needs, rather than expecting women and families to adapt to institution or provider needs.” (Family-Centred Maternity and Newborn Care: National Guidelines. Health Canada. 2000)

Training of Midwives

Midwives are educated through Laurentian, McMaster, and Ryerson Universities or through the International Midwifery Pre-registration Programme. It is a 4 year Degree of Bachelor of Health Sciences. To help Ontario midwifery grow, we are a teaching practice and provide clinical placements to student midwives. Midwives are registered with the College of Midwives of Ontario.