A natural choice

Want a non-medicated birth experience with as few medical interventions as possible? You may wish to consider the services of a midwife.

Experts in low-risk births, midwives deliver as many as 22,000 babies of the 142,000 born each year in Ontario. More specifically, midwives are highly trained and closely regulated professionals who provide women with care from the time clients learn they are pregnant until six weeks after they give birth. This care reflects midwives’ view of childbirth as a normal yet profound event in a woman’s life, and focuses as much on a woman's emotional, familial and cultural needs as her physical ones.

Practical considerations

  • How much do the services of a midwife cost?
    Nothing out of pocket. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), covers all of the expenses of midwifery care for Ontario residents.
  • Can I have both a doctor and a midwife?
    In short: no. Midwives are primary caregivers, responsible for planning, organizing and delivering all of your prenatal, birth and postnatal care. Having an obstetrician or family physician in addition to a midwife, therefore, would be a needless duplication of healthcare services.
  • What’s the difference between a midwife and a doula?
    A midwife is a regulated health care professional and expert in normal pregnancy, birth and postpartum. A midwife cares for women all through the pregnancy, labour, birth and the first six weeks of your baby’s life. A doula—or labour coach—provides emotional and nonmedical support to women and their families, most critically during childbirth.
  • What if I have a high-risk pregnancy?
    Women with high-risk pregnancies require the care of an obstetrician. If a pregnant woman in the care of a midwife develops complications at any time, the midwife will consult with an obstetrician and/or transfer the care to an obstetrician.

Contact a midwife today

Ottawa has several midwifery practices which are affiliated with the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre. Contact a midwife group in your area as early as possible in your pregnancy to secure a spot with a care provider you trust.