Questions about midwifery? We've got answers.


What is a midwife?

Midwives are trained primary health care professionals who are experts in normal low-risk pregnancy, birth and newborn care. Midwives provide a complete package of prenatal, birth and postpartum care can order blood tests, ultrasounds and prescribe medication over the course of your care. We can also consult with other health professionals if situations arise in your pregnancy or postpartum period. Midwives promote a natural approach to childbirth and empower women and their families to make informed choices throughout their pregnancy and birth. The College of Midwives of Ontario licenses midwives and ensures the ongoing quality and safety of midwifery care.

Can I have a doctor and a midwife?

No. You can have a doctor or a midwife. Midwives, obstetricians, and family physicians are all considered primary caregivers. A primary caregiver takes sole responsibility for your care. To have two caregivers is a duplication of health care services. However, if there are complications referrals will be made to the appropriate health care provider.

Is a midwife and doula the same thing?

No. A midwife is a health care provider. A doula is not. A doula is a trained labour support person who provides emotional and physical support in labour. While a doula is not a medical professional, she can offer a wide range of comfort measures. Research shows that this support helps reduce the need for medical intervention. You would find and pay your doula yourself. Doula services are not covered by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. If you are considering having a doula at your birth, talk about it with your midwife. We can try and help you find a doula and we can discuss the many benefits.

Do I need a doctors referral?

No, you do not need a doctor’s referral. You can call us directly. It’s best to get in touch with us as soon as you know you are pregnant. If you decide come into midwifery care midway through your pregnancy, we can request your records from your caregiver. To request a midwife click here.

How much does it cost to have a midwife?

There is no fee for midwifery services. Midwifery care is fully funded through the Ministry of Health for women with OHIP. Midwifery services MAY also be covered for people without a health card. Call our office to find out more.

Where can I give birth to my baby?

Clients of West End Midwives can have their babies at home, at William Osler Etobicoke General Hospital or at Humber River Hospital. We currently do not attend births at the Toronto Birth Centre.

I'm high risk, can I still have a midwife?

Midwives are specialists in low-risk pregnancy. At your first visit with us, we will ask you about any specific past or current health conditions you might have. This will help us to determine if we can care for you or if you’d be better suited to see an obstetrician. Over the course of your care, if any medical concerns arise, we will consult with the appropriate health care provider. If your care needs to be transferred to a specialist, than we may remain involved in your care but in a supportive role.

How often do I see my midwives?

You see your midwives every month until you’re 28 weeks, every 2 weeks until you’re 36 weeks, and then weekly until you have your baby. This schedule of visits is the same as if you saw a doctor or a nurse practitioner. We will continue to care for you and your baby for up to 6 week after the birth.

What happens at appointments once my baby is born?

Midwives provide care for both birth parents and newborns for six weeks after the birth. Whether your baby is born at home or in the hospital, your midwives will visit you within 24 hours of the birth and twice more within the first week. Clients will have about six midwifery appointments during the six weeks following the birth. We will monitor the health of you and your baby and provide breastfeeding support. Midwives remain available 24 hours a day, every day, for emergencies. After six weeks, you and your baby will be discharged from midwifery care. From then on, you will see your family doctor.