Midwives are experts in low-risk pregnancy and provide care to healthy pregnant people and their newborns. Midwives actively promote physiological childbirth by placing a strong focus on prevention, birth preparation, reduction of unnecessary interventions and a commitment to one-on-one labour support. Midwives in Ontario follow three main tenets of care set out by the College of Midwives of Ontario: Informed Choice, Continuity of Care and Choice of Birth Place.
Informed Choice recognizes the birthing person as the primary decision maker. Midwives facilitate non-judgemental, evidence-based discussions and support our clients to make decisions to best support their own health and wellness.
Continuity of Care is achieved when a relationship develops over time between a client and your midwives. Care is provided by the same small group of midwives during all trimesters, and throughout labour, birth, and the first six weeks postpartum. Midwives are also available to their clients by pager, 24 hours a day, for urgent concerns and labour.
Choice of Birth Place is offered to all low risk midwifery clients. Midwives are the only care providers who have the skills, the experience and the equipment to attend home births. About 20% of clients in midwifery care plan to birth their babies at home. For more than 20 years, midwives have attended over 49,000 home births in the province and currently attend about 4,000 home births a year. In London, clients may choose to birth at home or at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).
Choosing a midwife doesn't necessarily mean choosing a home birth, in fact, 80% of all midwife-attended births in Ontario happen in hospital.
Talbot Creek Midwives maintain admitting privileges at London Health Science Centre (Victoria Hospital) and work closely with the nurses and obstetricians on staff. As such, we maintain excellent working relationships with anyone who may become involved with your care if the need should arise for a consultation or transfer of care to an obstetrician.
Some of our clients chose to give birth at home attended by two of our midwives. We as a clinic understand that every client is different and respect your choices in regards to all aspects of your care. Learn more about birthing in hospital or at home.
No. Midwifery care is free to all residents of Ontario. Midwives are part of the Ontario health-care system and their services are completely funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. OHIP funding covers routine prenatal tests, including bloodwork and ultrasounds.
Ontario residents who do not currently have OHIP coverage can still receive midwifery care with no charge. Ask your midwife for more information.
Midwives care for you and your baby from around ten weeks until six weeks postpartum.
Prenatal visits take place in our clinic, or via phone or virtual appointments. You will see/speak with your midwife monthly until around 28 weeks and then biweekly from 30 weeks until your baby is born.
You will have up to six midwife appointments during the postpartum period. During the first week postpartum, visits take place at your home to facilitate healing, resting and bonding.
Throughout all visits, midwives monitor the health of both client and baby and provide breastfeeding support.
No. While midwives accept referrals from various physicians, most of our clients contact us directly. You do not need a blood test to confirm the pregnancy. Drugstore pregnancy tests that use urine to confirm pregnancy are enough. If it is positive, contact us.
Yes. If you choose to have an epidural, your midwife will consult with the on-call anesthesiologist who will place the epidural. Your care will remain with your midwife throughout the labour.
Complete an intake form as soon as you find out you're pregnant. Not only is demand for midwives high, but it is also beneficial to access prenatal care at the beginning of your pregnancy. Occasionally we have openings for clients later in pregnancy but sometimes there are wait lists.
Please apply for care as soon as you know you’re pregnant but feel free to contact us at any point in your pregnancy to see if we have space available.
Not typically - Registered midwives are primary care providers, meaning that clients generally see only their midwives for routine prenatal care, during labour and birth, and for the first six weeks of postpartum and newborn care. Your family doctor will still stay involved in your health care for all other non-pregnancy related concerns. If concerns arise during your pregnancy that warrant consultation with your physician or an obstetrician, your midwife will organize this.
Midwives are primary care providers and provide clinical care to you and your baby. Along with you, we manage your pregnancy, labour, delivery and postpartum care. A doula is a professional labour support person. Doulas do not provide clinical care, but may be helpful to you during labour. Some doulas also provide postpartum support.
The vast majority of people will be eligible for midwifery care. If you have a complicated medical history, occasionally we may recommend prenatal care by an obstetrician, or shared care with a midwife and an obstetrician. There are no age restrictions for accessing midwifery care
If a health concern or a complication arises during your care, your midwife may consult with a physician. Situations that require consultation with, or transfer to, a physician are set by the College of Midwives of Ontario. If needed, your care may be transferred to a physician (for example, in the case of a caesarean section). Your midwife will continue to provide support and resume primary care when possible.
Yes. Your midwife can order all pregnancy-related blood tests, urine tests, vaginal swabs and pregnancy related ultrasounds. At Talbot Creek Midwives we can often draw your routine blood work right at the clinic during your appointment. For other blood work and ultrasounds there are many local community options available. Midwives can provide you with requisitions to any location of your choice.
Midwives arrange all routine prenatal testing, including ultrasound and genetic screening, as well as standard laboratory and diagnostic tests. Test results are sent to the midwives who discuss them in detail with their clients, and provide or arrange follow-up as necessary.
Midwives offer the same routine tests during pregnancy as family physicians and obstetricians, including blood tests, urine tests, genetic screening, ultrasound, gestational diabetes screening, pap tests, swabs for sexually transmitted infections, and testing for Group B Streptococcus (GBS).
During your appointments, our midwives will provide informed choice discussions about these routine tests. This typically involves reviewing information about a test, how it is performed, possible advantages and disadvantages, and any risks involved.
In addition to arranging tests, midwives can also prescribe certain drugs related to clients’ care, such as those used to ease morning sickness or antibiotics to treat infections like GBS, urinary tract infections and mastitis (an infection of the breast tissue).
During your care, if a health concern arises that is beyond the scope of midwifery practice, your midwife will arrange for a consultation with an appropriate health care professional. Occasionally this may result in a transfer of your care to an obstetrician, or a paediatrician for your newborn. If your care is transferred, your midwife will stay in a supportive role and resume your care when it is safe and reasonable to do so.
** Due to COVID-19, please be aware that there are fluid policies in place regarding who can attend your prenatal visits and labour and deliveries. Please read the COVID-19 information section to learn more. Or speak with your midwife. **
Yes, we encourage you to bring partners, children or other support persons to your clinic appointments. There are no limitations on the number of support people that can be present at a home birth. In hospital, typically two support people (in addition to your midwives) are permitted in the birth room, although this is often flexible. Please be sure to check with your midwives about current hospital and practice policies as these may change depending on current security or infection control concerns.
No. You are not required to have a student midwife participate in your care.
Talbot Creek Midwives are a teaching practice and are committed to supporting placements for clinical learners. We recognize that our clients and their families have an important role in supporting the teaching of new midwives and we encourage you to consider welcoming a midwifery student to be a part of your care. Midwifery students complete two major placements with midwifery practices: Normal Childbearing (16 weeks) and Senior Year (total of 36 weeks). Students typically follow a team of midwives, and are involved in all aspects of clinical care. As students progress through the program, they can be expected to perform most clinical tasks independently under the supervision of a Registered Midwife. This includes scheduled clinic appointments, community or hospital assessments, labour and birth support, postpartum and newborn care, and returning phone calls/pages. Most clients find that having a student involved in their care enhances their experience, and many clients come to see students as an integral part of their team. The choice of whether or not to have student involvement in your care is up to you and your family. We will discuss your preference with you at your initial visit.
Whether at home or in hospital, two midwives attend every birth. One midwife is with you for the duration of your labour, and this is typically a midwife from your team. When it is almost time for the baby to be born, a second midwife will be called to attend. Both midwives remain with you and the baby for several hours after the birth. If your midwife has a student and you have chosen to allow them to participate in your care, they will also be present.
For non-urgent questions, please contact our clinic at 519-601-9220. Either our administrator or a midwife will return your call.
For urgent concerns (ex, labour), midwives are available by pager 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The paging system is ONLY for current clients of Talbot Creek Midwives and the paging number will be provided to you at your first appointment.
Talbot Creek Midwives is a full scope midwifery practice. This means that we are able to manage labours in hospital that require oxytocin to induce or augment labour. In general, low-risk inductions are managed by your midwife.
Midwives in Ontario must be registered by the College of Midwives of Ontario (CMO) in order to practice. The CMO sets standards that protect the public and guide our practice. These standards include guidelines such as what equipment midwives must bring to a home birth, or when a doctor must be consulted. They also establish rules on continuing education and require regular training and practice for emergency situations and also regularly participate in Quality of Care and Patient Safety activities. To learn more, please visit the CMO website.
Midwives qualify for registration in Ontario by graduating from the Midwifery Education Program (four year Bachelor of Health Science in Midwifery) at one of several Canadian Universities (in Ontario these are Laurentian University, McMaster University, and Ryerson University) Foreign-trained midwives can qualify for registration in Ontario by successfully completing the International Midwifery Pre-registration Programme offered throughout the continuing education division at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario.