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01. What is Midwifery?

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Definition of the Midwife, from the International Confederation of Midwives:


A midwife is a person who has successfully completed a midwifery education programme that is duly recognized in the country where it is located and that is based on the ICM Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice and the framework of the ICM Global Standards for Midwifery Education; who has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery and use the title 'midwife'; and who demonstrates competency in the practice of midwifery.

02. Scope of Practice

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The midwife is recognized as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife’s own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventative measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures.


The midwife has an important task in health counselling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and the community. This work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women's health, sexual or reproductive health and child care. A midwife may practise in any setting, including the home, community, hospitals, clinics or health units.


Revised and adopted by ICM Council June 15, 2011

03. Philosophy of Midwifery Care

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Informed Choice - Midwives promote decision-making as a shared responsibility, between the mother, her family and her caregivers. Uxbridge Community Midwives will 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 Markham Stouffville Hospital and have admitting privileges in the Department of Obstetrics. Whichever setting you choose, you and your baby will receive thorough care from Uxbridge Community Midwives.

Family-Centred Care - The care we provide is individualized, as we understand that pregnancy and birth are unique for each client. 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

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In Ontario, midwives are educated through Laurentian, McMaster, and Ryerson Universities. Qualification requires the successful completion of a four year Degree of Bachelor of Health Sciences. Internationally educated midwives are required to complete the International Midwifery Pre-registration Programme (IMPP) in order to become certified in Ontario. Midwives must be registered with the College of Midwives of Ontario, the organization that regulates the profession in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act. To help Ontario midwifery grow, we are a teaching practice and provide clinical placements to student midwives. We believe strongly in doing what we can to make it easier to find a registered midwife in Ontario.

What is Midwifery


Uxbridge Community Midwives is a teaching practice, so in addition to the Registered Midwives, midwifery students are normally associated with our practice. These students are enrolled in the Midwifery Baccalaureate Program and spend about 50% of their education time in a Midwifery Practice. Currently in Ontario one woman is turned away from midwifery care for every woman that is booked and in order to ensure better access for women to midwifery care, it is important that we see students graduate from the program.

  • A midwife teach will always be present or nearby when you are with the student

  • The student will give labour support, information and extra time

  • The student will be an extra pair of helping hands so that there is more time to spend with you

  • The student will be at as many of your visits as possible so you can get to know each other

  • The student will usually be at your birth, she may be watching, helping to take care of you, or catching your baby. The midwife teach will show the student how to care for you and your baby

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