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Frequently Asked Questions




What is a registered midwife?

A registered midwife is a primary health care provider who takes care of low risk pregnant women the moment they know they are pregnant. Individuals do not need a referral, nor do they need to see their doctor before seeing a midwife. A midwife takes care of women throughout their whole pregnancy, labour, birth and for 6 weeks postpartum.

Since 1994, midwifery has been a registered profession with a regulating College and an Association in Ontario.  


What does low-risk mean?

Midwives specialize in taking care of low-risk, healthy women and consult appropriately with specialists for women with high-risk conditions that may arise in pregnancy, labour, birth or postpartum. Occasionally, women may develop ‘high-risk’ conditions while being pregnant (gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, etc.). Midwives are well trained to identify when complications arise and consult appropriately. If a pregnancy becomes complicated by a condition that falls outside the scope of a midwife’s practice, your circle of care will grow to include specialist care (for example, Obstetrician, Endocrinologist, Genetics). Your midwives will continue to provide you with care in this situation, either in a primary or supportive role depending on the nature and complexity of the diagnosis.  


Do we have to pay?

There is NO charge for midwifery services. The Ministry of Health funds midwifery care in Ontario as long as the person seeking care is a resident of Ontario (even without a health card). 


What do midwives believe in?

Midwives believe that pregnancy is a healthy journey in an individual’s life.  

Midwives believe that individuals should be a part of this healthy process and be involved in making choices for themselves and their new family.  

Midwives believe in using technology appropriately and not exclusively.  

Midwives believe in continuity of care by using a small team of midwives, where one of these midwives will be available at any time during your care with them.    


How does a team of midwives work?

New Life Midwives believes in continuity of care for our clients. We work with a small team of midwives (2 or 3 midwives per team) who are available to you for emergency purposes and labour, 24 hrs per day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year throughout your whole care. The team approach allows you and us to build a relationship with each other and ensures you that you will know the midwife at your birth.  


Why does my team only offer clinic appointments two days a week?

We understand that booking prenatal appointments can be challenging, however, it is your right under Ontario law to take time from work to attend prenatal appointments.

Our midwives are happy to assess labour in the middle of the night, stay with you all day in labour, attend your birth on statutory holidays and assist with urgent concerns 24/7. In order to be available to do this, our midwives clinic time is limited.


What kind of care can you expect from your midwife?

As soon as you have a positive pregnancy test, call the clinic (we fill up quickly!) and make your first clinic appointment.  From then on you will see a midwife every 4-6 weeks until you are 28 weeks, every 2-3 weeks until you are 36 weeks and then weekly until you give birth.  Each clinic appointment is 30 minutes long.  After you have given birth we continue to take care of you and your baby for 6 weeks.  For the first week postpartum we see you at home (or hospital if you are still there) every second day and then in clinic at 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 6 weeks postpartum.  


What can midwives order?

Registered midwives of Ontario can order all the basic tests that are needed in pregnancy such as routine blood work and ultrasounds.  


Where can I give birth?

New Life Midwives have privileges and are active medical staff at Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg (level 1 hospital) and Lakeridge Health Oshawa (level 2 hospital).  

Registered midwives are also trained to conduct births at home for persons with low degree of risk where the birth is anticipated to be uncomplicated and either mother nor neonate will require resources beyond the local capacity. Please come to one of our home birth nights and check out our resources page for more information.  

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