In Ontario, pregnant people generally chose an OBGYN as their health care provider for prenatal care and birth. Many more people are choosing midwives than ever before and some still use their family doctors. Here are the benefits and limits of doctors and midwives in the Ontario context specifically.
Attend all types of births
Able to perform C-section if required or wanted
Specialized training to handle high risk births
May not attend your birth
More likely to use interventions
Short prenatal appointments
Only attend births in hospitals
Specially trained in low risk pregnancy management
Attend births in all locations
Able to order the same screening tests as OBGYNS
Usually offer continuity of care
Care for you and baby for 6 weeks postpartum
Can still care for you even if you need or plan for a c section
No referral needed
Covered for those who do not qualify for OHIP
Typically only attend to low risk births
Limited availability as there are not as many midwives and it may be difficult to get one if you find out you’re pregnant later or want to switch
Only work within their own catchment area
Which healthcare provider you choose is a highly personal decision. You should definitely choose your care provider wisely and find someone who aligns with your goals and needs.
Always remember that you are allowed to change health care providers if they are not the right fit for you. Many people choose to interview their health care provider before deciding to choose them. Keep in mind also that the majority of OB’s do not offer continuity of care so it is very likely that the person you have prenatal appointments with will not attend your birth.
For more information or any questions about birth planning contact email@example.com.