We provide primary care to low-risk client during pregnancy as well as care for parents and babies for six weeks after birth. At Kensington Midwives we are happy to care for all birthing parents and have midwives available who speak Spanish, have expertise with working with queer families, and families without OHIP.
What is a midwife?
A midwife is a specialist in normal pregnancy and childbirth. A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary care to clients during pregnancy, labour and birth, and for the first six weeks postpartum. As midwives, we are dedicated to supporting clients and their families through the childbearing year. Midwifery care is founded on respect for pregnancy and birth as a normal, healthy process and a profound social, emotional and cultural event in a client's life.
Midwives provide safe, personalized, research-based care. We attend births in hospital, home or birth centre according to the client's choice and clinical needs. We are on-call and available to our clients 24 hours a day during their course of care. Midwives are trained professionals who have the skills and equipment to attend births in both hospital or out-of-hospital settings. In Ontario, the practice of midwifery is based on the principles of continuity of care with a small group of midwives, informed choice for decision-making, and choice of birthplace.
WHAT can you expect from midwifery care?
Midwives begin care as early as the first trimester of a client's pregnancy and as late as the weeks preceding birth, depending on availability. Midwifery care includes visits with the client as the midwifery clinic, attendance at the labour and birth and postpartum home visits.
PRofessional status and education
Midwives have been fully funded and regulated as part of the Ontario health care system since 1994. The profession of midwifery in Ontario is self-regulated and governed by The College of Midwives of Ontario (CMO) which licences midwives and ensures the ongoing quality and safety of midwifery care. Midwifery practice is governed by legislation that sets out the provisions for many health care professionals in Ontario. All midwives must be registered with the CMO to practice in Ontario. The Association of Ontario Midwives (AOM) is the professional organization representing the practice of midwifery and midwives. All of the midwives at Kensington Midwives are members of the AOM and of the Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM).
Becoming a registered midwife in Ontario requires completing a four-year university degree through the Ontario Midwifery Education Program. If a midwife has been trained outside of Canada, they complete the International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program. Aboriginal Midwives may obtain training through the four-year Aboriginal Midwifery Training Program at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta' Maternal and Child Centre on Six Nations of the Grand River territory.
Consultation and Transfer of Care
Midwives consult with other health care providers if necessary and may transfer care to a physician as required by the standards set by our governing body, the College of Midwives of Ontario. A midwife may provide supportive care to a client if care is transferred. You do not see a physician or obstetrician during pregnancy unless you are sent for a consultation. If you have an illness unrelated to your pregnancy (i.e. sore throat) you can make an appointment with your family doctor or go to a walk-in clinic.
CHoice of Birthplace
Midwives at Kensington Midwives are happy to support clients in their choice of birthplace. We have privileges at the Toronto Birth Centre, St. Joseph's Health Centre, or in your home. For more information about all of your options, please speak with your midwives.
Model of care
Most of our midwives share call between teams of two or three. This means that you will be assigned a primary team of midwives, one of whom will be on call when you go in to labour. Two midwives attend most births; your second (or backup) midwife will be a midwife from one of the other teams at Kensington Midwives who you may or may not have met. In the event that one of your primary midwives is unavailable for your birth (for example if they are with another client or off call for sleep relief), you will be attended by your second (or backup) midwife until such time as your midwife becomes available. Rarely, there are some situations where both the primary and second midwives are unavailable, in which case any of the on-call midwives may attend your birth. All of the midwives at Kensington Midwives have the same training, carry the same equipment, and share the same philosophies around birth.
Client records and confidentiality
You may access your midwifery records at any time. If you go out of town we can give you a copy of your records. At your final postpartum visit you may request a copy of your records to keep; we will retain the original in our files. We respect each client's right to complete confidentiality. Information about your care may be shared with all of the midwives at Kensington Midwives when it is clinically relevant as there is a possibility that any midwife at Kensington Midwives may be involved in your care.