Registered midwives are health professionals who provide primary care to women and their babies during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum period.
Midwives provide the complete course of low-risk prenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care, including physical examinations, screening and diagnostic tests, the assessment of risk and abnormal conditions, and conduct normal vaginal deliveries. Midwives work in collaboration with other health professionals and consult with or refer to medical specialists as appropriate. The midwifery model of care promotes normal birth, enables women to make informed choices, and provides continuity of care and support throughout the childbearing experience. Midwives attend births in hospitals, birth centres and at home.
Many women are surprised how engaged midwives are, coming to the house before and after birth to check the baby and ensure that everything is going well. Because the services offered by midwives will vary from midwife to midwife, it is important to interview your midwife before deciding to use her services.
The Peaceful Birth Workbook offers questions to ask your potential midwife.
For more information, visit the Canadian Midwifery Regulators Consortium website: What is a Canadian Registered Midwife?
Definition of a Midwife: adopted by the International Confederation of Midwives July 2005 (PDF document)
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