In Ontario, Registered Midwives (RM) are primary health-care providers for low-risk clients and their newborns throughout pregnancy, labour and birth, and the first six weeks following delivery (referred to as postpartum and newborn care). Generally speaking, clients choosing midwifery care will only see their midwifery team throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth, and early parenting experience. Only in exceptional circumstances will clients see both a midwife and a physician for their care.
Midwifery practice in Ontario is regulated by the College of Midwives of Ontario and is based on the following three tenants of care:
Continuity of Care
Midwives provide complete care throughout pregnancy, labour and birth, and the first six weeks following delivery for comprehensive postpartum and newborn care. Clients are assigned a small team of 2-3 midwives that will provide care throughout this journey. Clients are given time to meet the members of their team and develop a trusting relationship. Limiting the number of midwives involved in a client’s care provides continuity and optimizes safety and comfort. From the first appointment until the last, clients have access to their midwifery team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all urgent concerns.
Midwives support clients to make informed choices about the care they receive both for themselves and their newborns. Informed choice is a collaborative exchange of information between clients and their midwives. The role of the midwife is to ensure that clients are provided with the relevant information regarding their care and to support the client with their decisions. This approach recognizes the client as the primary decision maker for themselves and their newborn, and puts them at the centre of their care and experience.
Choice of Birthplace
Midwives support clients to give birth where they feel most comfortable - whether that be in their own home or in hospital. In Ontario, midwives are the only health-care professionals who are specifically trained to attend out-of-hospital births. Midwives also attend births in hospitals. They are able to admit and discharge clients and access hospital resources needed by clients during their stay. To learn more about choice of birthplace and options for clients of CMOH, please see our Choice of Birthplace section.
We invite to you explore our sections on Prenatal Care, Labour and Birth Care, Postpartum and Newborn Care, Choice of Birthplace, and FAQs to learn more about what midwifery can offer you and what makes our services unique to supporting your experience.