A midwife is a registered primary care provider for healthy, low-risk women during their pregnancies, births and for 6 weeks postpartum. The midwife consults with and refers to specialists, when necessary. The midwife will use emergency measures within the scope of her practice, if the need arises.
Fundamental to midwifery care is the understanding that a woman's caregivers respect and support her so that she may give birth safely, with power and dignity. The midwife sees pregnancy and childbirth as a normal state for the healthy woman and believes that unnecessary intervention is an interruption of a healthy process.
Philosophy of Care
Womancare Midwives' philosophy of care is based on respect for the birth process and women's ability to give birth. We are guided by the principles of continuity of care, non-authoritarian relationships, client as the primary decision maker, choice of birth place, appropriate use of technology, and time spent with women to develop non-authoritarian relationships and provide
information to facilitate informed decisions by the client.
Pregnancy is a Time of Health
The maintenance and promotion of health throughout the childbearing cycle are central to midwifery care. Midwives focus on preventive care and the appropriate use of technology. Midwifery care is based on a respect for pregnancy as a state of health and childbirth as a normal physiologic process. Midwifery care respects the diversity of women's needs and the variety of personal and cultural meanings which women, families and communities bring to the pregnancy, birth and early parenting experience.
Continuity of Care
Care is continuous, personalized and non-authoritarian. It responds to a woman's social, emotional, cultural and physical needs. The same midwives provide care throughout pregnancy, labour and after the birth.
Midwives encourage the woman to actively participate in her care throughout pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period and make choices about the manner in which her care is provided. Midwives promote decision-making as a shared responsibility, between the woman, her family (as defined by the woman) and her caregivers. The woman is recognized as the primary decision maker. Midwifery care includes education and counseling, enabling a woman to make informed choices. Responsibility for well being rests with both those who offer health care and each individual seeking health care. Better health care is attained when individuals make informed decisions regarding their care.
Choice of Birthplace
Midwives believe that each woman should be able to decide where she wants to give birth. All midwives in Ontario offer a woman the choice of giving birth in the hospital or at home and are trained to provide all the necessary care in both settings.
Brochure: About Midwifery