Online Information Session
Welcome to our care! Prior to your first visit at Guelph Midwives, please watch the following five videos and review the information below. These videos are designed to help you understand the care you will be receiving from your midwives. At your first appointment, you will be asked if you have any questions about the information found here.
As a midwifery client your midwives expect that you will be an active participant in your care. Your midwives will provide you with the best evidence and information regarding tests and procedures available during your care. Midwives recognize that people have varied experiences, values and desires and their choices may reflect those differences. Your midwives will support you in what you choose, while ensuring that you understand the information provided. During an emergency, midwives will keep you as informed as possible as to what is happening and why. Following such an event, we will be available to review the situation in more detail.
How and When to Contact Us
Our regular office hours are 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Use this number for non-urgent questions and concerns.
Emergency Line: 1-888-858-2833
This number is for midwifery emergencies ONLY. The operators have been instructed to ask you a few questions to determine the nature of the call. They will then page the midwife on call. Stay off the phone so that the midwife can reach you. If she has not returned your call in 15 minutes, call the service again.
Please report any of the following to us immediately – call the emergency line if we don’t answer the office phone or it is after hours.
- Any vaginal bleeding which is dark or bright red (not pink spotting)
- Severe abdominal, back or upper stomach pain
- Severe headaches or blurred vision
- Sudden or persistent swelling
- Illness with vomiting, or fever and/or chills for over 24 hours
- Any leaking of amniotic fluid from vagina, whether a gush or a trickle.
- A noticeable decrease in fetal movement, or if something doesn’t “feel” right
- Rhythmic labor contractions prior to 37 weeks
- Active labor at term (contractions 5 minutes apart or less, lasting for 45-60 seconds, for the last hour)
Rescheduling of Appointments
Occasionally, your clinic appointment may be cancelled and rescheduled if your midwife is attending a birth. Please ensure we have the best number to reach you during the day, and check your messages regularly during the day of your appointment.
We make every effort to maintain the confidentiality of your records. There may be times when we must share with other midwives or physicians information that may be significant to our care for you. We will also ask you to sign a release for your name and health card number to the Ministry of Health.
We are a teaching practice and have students working with us on a regular basis. We also fully respect your right to decline student involvement in any aspect of your care either before or after meeting the student. Students are closely supervised according to their level within the Midwifery Education Program.
Guelph Midwives maintains a library of books and videos for our clients to borrow. Please fill out the card on the inside of the book or DVD and give it to the administrator prior to taking the book. DVDs must be returned in a week and books must be returned in two weeks. If you do not return the book or video, we will require you to pay to have it replaced.
Regular prenatal care is required for all clients. We schedule prenatal visits through the week during business hours and they are within 3-4 hours after giving birth. Clients are seen once a month until 28 weeks, every two weeks from 28 – 36 weeks, and then once a week until delivery. If you must cancel, please let us know at least 24 hours in advance. You will have appointments with all the midwives on your team to get to know each of them. Prenatal care involves monitoring the health of you and your growing baby, education and preparation for childbirth, as well as any necessary or recommended testing.
Choice of Birth Place
Guelph Midwives offers the option of either home or hospital birth to our low risk clients. We have privileges at Guelph General Hospital and Groves Memorial Hospital in Fergus. We also offer the option of “Choose in Labour”. This option means you prepare for both home and hospital, and make your final decision in labour. You may also have the option of labouring at home with your midwives in attendance and moving into
the hospital when the birth in imminent.
To learn more about choice of birth place click here.
We remain with you after the birth for approximately three hours at home or hospital. We promote early discharge, and stable clients may leave the hospital within 3-4 hours. You can also choose to stay longer at the hospital. Midwifery postpartum care normally includes three home visits in the first week, and three visits back at the clinic in subsequent weeks. We monitor mother’s and baby’s physical progress, and provide breastfeeding and emotional support for new parents. We remain on call for emergencies during the postpartum period. Care with your midwives officially ends at the 6 week postpartum visit, when you and your baby will be transferred back to your family doctor.
If Complications Arise
Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy, birth and postpartum care. We are also experts in identifying when things are no longer normal. There are certain clinical situations where midwives are required by the College of Midwives of Ontario to either consult with, or transfer care to a physician. If your care is transferred to an obstetrician we remain involved in a supportive role. If your care is transferred during your pregnancy, the care is typically transferred back to the midwife once the baby is born and the complications have resolved.