CARE

PRENATAL

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LABOUR AND BIRTH

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POSTPARTUM CARE

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PRENATAL

Midwives are primary care providers to pregnant persons and their babies. This means that your midwife is able to order lab work and ultrasounds, prescribe medications, and admit and discharge you from the hospital. You do not need to receive care from a physician if you’re in the care of a midwife.

On average, your appointments last 30 minutes, and take place once a month for the first 28 weeks of pregnancy, and every two weeks until the 36th week; and then once a week until your baby is born.

What do prenatal appointments look like with a midwife?

  • Answer questions and concerns
  • Informed choice discussions regarding options available to you (e.g., genetic screening, pain relief)
  • Blood pressure check
  • Measuring your baby’s growth
  • Listening to the baby’s heart beat
Midwives feel that it is important to provide clients with:
  • 1. Informed Choice: During appointments, your midwife will talk to you about the importance of each test or option available, the details regarding the options, and any possible risks and benefits.
  • 2. Continuity of Care: Your care will be provided by a team of 3-4 midwives, which means that you get the opportunity to build a relationship with your care provider and will know the midwife who attends you in labour.
  • 3. Appropriate Use of Technology: Midwives believe that technology and interventions should be used appropriately. We understand that there are times when an intervention is warranted and recommended and/or requested by the client.
  • 4. Choice of Birthplace

LABOUR AND BIRTH

What you can expect from your midwifery team in labour:

We attend births at home and in hospital . We have privileges at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital. Currently, as WLMH undergoes renovations, we have privileges at Niagara Health System (St. Catharines). Whether you are planning home or hospital, your midwife team will have you complete a registration package for the hospital.

  • When you are in active labour, you page the on-call midwife from your team ​
  • Checking your cervical dilation and monitoring contractions
  • Fetal heart rate monitoring – we use intermittent auscultation (listen every 15 minutes) unless continuous monitoring is warranted (e.g., epidural, oxytocin infusion, variation of heart rate heard with auscultation)
  • Labour support – encouraging you to eat and drink, suggesting position changes, etc.
  • Minimal interruptions, and a quiet, dimly lit birth space
  • We encourage you to birth in different positions
  • We welcome your birth partner to support you, such as your partner, close friend, or a doula
  • One midwife is with you during labour and a second midwife arrives just prior to delivery
  • Once your baby is born we bring baby skin-to-skin and we wait to cut the baby’s cord (delayed cord clamping)

We have an extensive library of books for our clients to borrow from through their prenatal care. We highly recommend Birthing from Within and Birth Without Fear to help clients prepare for labour. Check our birth preparation class guide.

POSTPARTUM CARE

Whether you have your baby in the hospital or at home, you and your baby will be monitored by your midwife for the first few hours. During this time your midwife will assist you with breastfeeding and provide information about what to expect for recovery and care for your baby.
We offer discharge home as early as 3-4 hours. Research has shown that early discharge is a safe option for women and their newborns if follow-up care is provided and risk screening is done, which means only healthy, stable women and babies are discharged early.
Your midwife will visit you and your baby in the postpartum period to assist with feeding, monitor your baby’s weight and your recovery. Midwives typically come to see you in your home on day 1, 3, and day 5-7. We see you and your baby back to clinic at 2, 4 and 6 weeks.
Your midwife is on-call 24/7 for urgent concerns.