Midwives are health care professionals that care for pregnant women and their newborns. They are experts in low-risk birth; providing care for women and their child during pregnancy, labor, and the six-week duration after birth. During this time, midwives ensure the safety and comfort of the mother and child by recognizing, assessing, and preventing pregnancy-related complications. Midwives do not treat disease, disorders or conditions, but provide various services to prevent problems during and after pregnancy. Some of these pregnancy-related problems prevented by midwives include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Infections
  • Preterm Labor
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Pregnancy loss/miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Severe nausea and persistent vomiting

Midwives work directly with pregnant women and their families in hospitals, pregnancy clinics and the client’s home. Some services provided by midwives include:

  • Providing physical examinations and assessments, support and information
  • Arranging and discussing all required tests, examinations, check-ups, and referrals.
  • Dealing with pregnancy complications by collaborating with physicians.
  • Helping clients make informed pregnancy-related decisions and answering client questions and concerns.
  • Monitoring the health of both client and baby and provide breastfeeding support.
  • Prescribing and applying medications, such as those used to ease morning sickness or treat infection.
  • Providing pain relief and support and managing complications during birth.

In Ontario, a “Midwife” is a regulated profession subject to the Standards of Practice, Guidelines and Policies, defined by the College of Midwives of Ontario. For more information on regulatory colleges, view our What is a Regulatory College page.