The first midwife-assisted birth at the Credit Valley site of The Credit Valley Hospital and Trillium Health Centre took place in March with the arrival of little Violetta Strashko, weighing an even 8 lbs. As of January 1st, expectant mothers in Mississauga and the surrounding communities who choose to deliver their babies with the help of a midwife are able to do so at Credit Valley.
The addition of midwifery care means that expectant moms and families now have greater choice about their obstetrical care at Credit Valley. “We are very pleased to be able to offer this choice to the women in this community,” said Angela Rea Mahoney, Director, Maternal-Child Program. “The midwives that have joined Credit Valley will work closely with our obstetricians and family physicians to deliver to the highest level of care possible to our families.”
A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary care to women with low-risk pregnancies. Midwives provide care to women throughout pregnancy, labour and birth and continue to provide care to the mother and baby during the first six weeks following the birth.
“Many women choose midwives because of the on-call continuity of care before, during and after the birth of the child,” said Stephanie Crouch, Lead Midwife, Midwifery Care of Peel and Halton Hills, the midwifery group now providing care at Credit Valley. “They also offer more time to the patient and rely on a more natural way of childbirth. Many expectant moms want the deeper personal relationship that often develops between the mother and the midwife.”
For parents Nadiya Lopatina and Vlad Strashko, using a midwife was the opportunity to have a different kind of birth experience. “When our first child was born there were a lot of doctors and nurses involved and we didn’t really know them,” explained Nadiya. “This time, it was more personal; we knew the midwives. It was so good to have someone familiar to us at a time when there’s a lot of stress!”
The new midwifery program at Credit Valley was officially in place on January 1 and registered midwives began seeing clients immediately. Midwives must be registered with the Ontario College of Midwives in order to qualify for privileges.
Midwifery services are fully funded by the provincial government. The Midwifery Care of Peel & Halton Hills provide support to 500 expectant mothers each year, and Crouch expects that midwives will attend between 80 and 100 births at Credit Valley in their first year. About 75 per cent of Midwifery Care of Peel & Halton Hills midwives’ patients opt for a hospital birth, while the remainder choose a home birth.
In total, more than 5,100 babies are born at Credit Valley each year.
Midwives have had privileges at the Trillium – Mississauga site of The Credit Valley Hospital and Trillium Health Centre since 1994.
About Midwifery in Ontario
There are more than 550 registered midwives in Ontario, serving communities in 90 clinics across the province. Midwives have privileges at most Ontario hospitals. Since midwifery became a regulated health profession in 1994, almost 130,000 babies have been born under midwifery care, including almost 30,000 births at home. Midwives must complete a four-year university degree program. Laurentian, Ryerson and McMaster Universities all offer the Midwifery Program in Ontario. The Association of Ontario Midwives is the professional organization representing midwives and the profession of midwifery in Ontario. For more information about midwifery contact the Midwifery Care of Peel & Halton Hills at 905-890-4914, or visit the Association of Ontario Midwives website at www.aom.on.ca.