Midwives are health professionals who have specialized midwifery education and training. They must be registered by their provincial regulatory body in order to practice. Midwives provide primary care for women from early pregnancy, throughout labour and birth and up to at least six weeks postpartum. They also care for newborns. Midwives deliver babies in both hospitals and in homes (and birth centres in Quebec).
If a complication arises during the pregnancy, labour, birth, or postpartum, a midwife will consult with a specialist such as an obstetrician or pediatrician. Midwives provide advice about healthy food choices, breastfeeding support, family planning and birth control counselling, gynecological services, and preventive health screening. They are qualified to prescribe some medicines and to order screening and diagnostic tests for women and their newborns.
Midwifery is a regulated profession in most provinces and territories in Canada.
Current as of: October 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Donald Sproule MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine