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Birth Care

  • For your birth, you have the option of choosing home or hospital as a birthplace. Home birth is well studied and research shows is it just as safe as hospital birth for mom and baby, and even has some added advantages, such as lowering your chances of needing interventions like pain relief medications, induction of labour, and assisted birth with forceps, vacuum, or cesarean section. Your midwife will make any recommendations specific to your care and birth plan.
  • Choice of birthplace is a significant decision for mothers. Humans are like all other mammals during the birth process. Certain hormones that allow labour to progress, as well as provide natural pain relief, rely on the mother to feel safe and relaxed in her environment and with her support people. It is important to choose a place where you can feel secure and comfortable for your birth.
  • Our midwives predominately work at Norfolk General Hospital. We also hold privileges at Brantford General Hospital for consulting with specialists in the case of clients needing a higher level of care.
  • In Ontario, the model of midwifery states that two midwives (or a midwife and a qualified second attendant) will attend every birth.
  • At your birth, a midwife will assess you at home or hospital as needed, and attend you throughout your active labour. Close to the birth, a second midwife or a second attendant will be called to come as well. They are there to assist the primary midwife, care for the baby, and help with postpartum care.
  • The hospitals we work at do not recognize the role of second attendants and do not allow nurses to fulfil this role, as they do with doctors. Unfortunately, both hospitals have a policy that a midwife is required to transfer care to an on call physician if there is only one midwife in attendance. Due to the unpredictable nature of when you will give birth, it is a possibility that there may be only one midwife available. We feel you should understand that there is a chance that your care may have to be transferred to an on call obstetrical physician if you are planning hospital birth. You are always welcome to give feedback to the hospital directly to encourage change of this policy, or to provide any other helpful opinions as a health care consumer.
  • Our practice works with four qualified Second Attendants. We are very fortunate to have these women assist us at home births. They bring their experience as doulas and mothers into their compassionate care. They are trained in assisting the midwife at normal births, with emergencies, and with neonatal resuscitation. Their passion and kindness enhances the birth experience with an extra support person for mom during labour and birth.

Nov-Dec 2011 118