What is a Midwife?

by Maxine
Posted August 9 2010 11:48am

A midwife is a registered healthcare provider. She gives basic care to low-risk moms throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth.

Midwives are professionally committed to using as few medical procedures as possible. Midwives spend more time developing relationships with moms than physicians, and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Midwives work together in group practices. Their group practices differ from physicians’ practices in that two midwives will develop a relationship with the expectant mom, so if one midwife is busy when a baby is being born, the other midwife will take over. Moms who use a midwife do not see a physician unless problems arise. In uncomplicated pregnancies, a mom who uses a midwife can choose to give birth at home. Midwives also have hospital privileges and work together with other healthcare providers such as nurses and doctors. OHIP funds midwives’ services.

Regarding labour: Midwives often are with moms throughout their labour.

Regarding delivery: If the delivery is uncomplicated, midwives deliver the baby. If the delivery becomes complicated, the midwife will call in a physician or obstetrician to take over the delivery. Midwives may consult with an obstetrician if a problem arises in pregnancy or labour. If the labour turns into a high risk situation, the midwife calls in an obstetrician to take the lead.

Regarding postpartum: Midwives provide care to both mom and baby during the first six weeks following the birth. Sometimes, this is done through home visits.


To find a midwife, contact:
Canadian Association of Midwives

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Varicose Veins

by Guest
Posted August 9 2010 03:27pm
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Some pregnant women develop varicose veins. These can arise with aching or throbbing of the area. Varicose veins (varicosity) can occur in the legs, vulva or rectal area. Sometimes, this can happen as hormones cause the vessel walls to relax and blood pools in these areas. It is also due to heredity.

If you develop varicose veins, try these tips to ease your discomfort:

  • Elevate your legs at least twice a day.
  • Increase your physical activity. For example, try swimming or prenatal yoga or you and your partner can go for a walk.
  • Avoid restrictive clothing, like knee-high stockings.
  • Use a footrest when you're sitting.
  • Talk to your doctor about using support stockings.
  • Use witch hazel compresses to ease your discomfort. You can buy these at the drug store.

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Safe Sex During Pregnancy

by Maxine
Posted April 29 2012 07:41pm
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Safer sex prevents either you or your partner from contracting or transmitting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV, Syphilis and other diseases spread during sex. We recommend the use of condoms or dental dams throughout pregnancy because even a yeast infection can be passed between the couple.

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Morning Sickness

by Maxine
Posted August 1 2010 03:41pm
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For some women, morning sickness can be the roughest part of pregnancy. About 75% of pregnant woman suffer from nausea and vomiting, with one out of every 10 women living with this past the first trimester. It usually appears early in the pregnancy and lasts about 8 to 12 weeks.

There are many reasons why you may be experiencing nausea and vomiting - hormones, food staying in the stomach for a longer period of time, low blood sugars or sensitivity to odours. Prenatal vitamins that contain iron can make morning sickness worse.

There's good news! There is a lot that you can do to feel better. Try these suggestions:

  • Eat smaller meals more often.
  • Avoid fatty, spicy or fried foods. These can be hard on the stomach. 
  • Try eating foods that are salty, tart, crunchy, bland, sweet or dry.
  • Try eating cold meals. That way, you can avoid strong odours.
  • Drink fluids a half an hour earlier than you plan to eat solid foods.
  • Wear loose clothing around the neck, waist and chest.
  • Use ginger in cooking or try eating crystallized ginger.
  • Drink lemon or ginger tea.
  • Try acupressure bands (motion sickness bands) that stimulate acupressure point six on the wrist.
  • If you have severe nausea and are vomiting or have other symptoms, too—like fever or cramping—contact your doctor.

You can find even more information on morning sickness at Motherisk's website.

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