As primary health care providers, midwives can provide all necessary care for healthy pregnant women.
Prenatal care (care during pregnancy) includes regular visits with your midwives and is an important part of keeping yourself and your baby healthy.
During your prenatal visits, your midwives will:
• check your blood pressure, urine and weight
• assess your baby’s growth and position, and listen to your baby’s heart beat
• discuss screening and diagnostic tests available to you including bloodwork and ultrasounds
• help you form a plan for your pregnancy and birth
• monitor for conditions or pregnancy complications that may necessitate a referral to a specialist
• answer your questions
• refer you to books and community resources for more information
We hope to make your prenatal care experience as pleasant as possible! We want our clients to look forward to every visit.
We prefer to see clients as early as possible in pregnancy for an initial visit – our goal is to offer you a visit within one week of your first call. This allows you plenty of time to make decisions about screening tests that you may want to do in pregnancy, and identifies any modifications to care that need to begin early in pregnancy. Before your first visit, you will receive an information package about midwifery care from us by email or regular mail. At the first visit, we ask you questions so that we know your health history and any concerns that you may have, and then we decide together if midwifery care is appropriate for you. The first visit usually lasts 1-1.5 hours and subsequent visits usually last 30-60 minutes.
We make every effort to keep our clinic running as scheduled, and try to cover each other’s clinic appointments instead of rescheduling. This may mean you see a different midwife from our practice than you were expecting for an appointment. Occasionally, we may have to reschedule clinic appointments if we are called to a birth. If this happens, we will notify you as soon as possible, and we appreciate your patience and understanding.
Most lab samples can be taken in our office during your regular visits. This means that you will usually not need to make an extra trip to the lab to do blood or urine tests. The exceptions are IPS bloodwork and the 75-gram glucose test. There is no lab pickup on the weekends or holidays so we cannot take some lab samples during appointments that are late on Friday or on Saturday.
Specialists in Normal Pregnancy
Midwives specialize in caring for women experiencing normal pregnancies and are trained to detect complications that may arise. If you develop a complication during your pregnancy, we will recommend a consultation with an appropriate health care provider. Often this is your family doctor or an obstetrician. If your pregnancy becomes high-risk, we will transfer your care to a specialist and remain in a supportive role. You may continue to have visits with your midwives during your pregnancy and a midwife will attend your birth (unless you need to give birth at a hospital outside of our area).
Midwives are required to follow the “Consultation and Transfer of Care” Standard provided by the College of Midwives of Ontario:
“According to the midwifery model of care, the midwife works in partnership with the client. As a provider of primary healthcare, the midwife is fully responsible for the clinical assessment, planning and delivery of care for each client. The client remains the primary decision-maker regarding her own care, and that of her newborn. Throughout the antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum periods, clinical situations may arise in which the midwife will need to initiate involvement of other health care providers in the care of a client or her newborn. According to the requirements of this Standard, she will:
1. Consult with a physician, or the most appropriate available health care provider, or
2. Transfer responsibility for primary care to a physician”
We are committed to being an accessible, family-centred practice, and offer regular weekday evening and Saturday appointments. We know that some clients are not able to easily leave work to come to regular office hours (particularly clients who are self-employed), and that in some families, partners are only able to attend visits outside of regular business hours. We also offer home visits throughout pregnancy and after birth if you are not able to come into the clinic because of transportation issues.
We welcome family members, including your partner and children, or anyone else who is supporting you, to come to appointments. Please do not bring anyone who is currently ill to your visits (cough, fever or diarrhea).
- Prenatal Education – Key Messages for Ontario (Best Start)
- Folic acid: for preconception and pregnancy (SOGC)
- Evidence-Based Prenatal Care (American Academy of Family Physicians)
- The Healthy Pregnancy Guide (Public Health Agency of Canada)
- Tdap vaccination during pregnancy to reduce pertussis infection in young infants (Canadian Family Physician)
- Pregnancy and Dental Health (HealthLink BC)
- Ergonomics and Pregnancy (Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc.)
- The Exercise and Pregnancy Helpline (Women’s College Hospital)
- I’m Pregnant, Should I Exercise? (Healthy Pregnancy BC)
- Exercise in Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period (SOGC/CSEP Clinical Practice Guideline)
- Pap Testing (SOGC)
- Prenatal Screening and Diagnostic Services (Mount Sinai Hospital)
- Ultrasound in Pregnancy (SOGC)
- Diabetes and Pregnancy Clinical Practice Guideline (Canadian Diabetes Association)
- Group B Strep (Association of Ontario Midwives)
- Fetal Ultrasound for Keepsake Videos (SOGC)
Concerns That May Arise in Pregnancy
- Hyperemesis Education and Research
- Hemorrhoids – Reducing the pain and discomfort (The College of Family Physicians of Canada)
- Thyroid Disease, Pregnancy and Fertility (Thyroid Foundation of Canada)
- Thyroid Disease and Pregnancy (American Thyroid Association)
- Preterm Labour Signs and Symptoms (Best Start)
- Depression During Pregnancy (BC Reproductive Mental Health Program)
- Risks of untreated depression during pregnancy (Motherisk)
- What Women Should Know About Cytomegalovirus (CDC)
- Exposure to Fifth Disease in Pregnancy (Canadian Family Physician)
- Rubella in Pregnancy (SOGC)
- Breech Childbirth (SOGC)
- Abuse in Pregnancy (Best Start)
- When Your Pregnancy Goes Past Your Due Date (Association of Ontario Midwives)
- Management of the Uncomplicated Pregnancy Beyond 41+0 Weeks’ Gestation (Association of Ontario Midwives)
- Guidelines for the management of pregnancy at 41+0 to 42+0 weeks (SOGC)
- Routine induction of labour at 41 weeks of gestation – nonsensus consensus commentary (British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology)
Please note that Grand Valley Midwives does not endorse or promote any of the information, products or services contained in any of the links posted on our website. We do not receive any compensation, financial or otherwise, for including these links on our website. Accessing information, products or services through any of the links provided is entirely at the user’s own risk. Information on these websites is not meant to replace advice from your midwife.