Midwife B discharged her client once the full course of midwifery care had been provided. Care was then transferred to the client’s family physician.
Midwife B received a phone call from the former client a few days later, stating that her baby’s skin appeared to be yellow and asking if Midwife B could come over to look. Midwife B asked the former client to text a picture of her baby. She also asked the former client if the baby had a fever, which the former client confirmed.
After looking at the baby’s picture on her phone, Midwife B told the former client that her baby had jaundice, and to contact her family physician for further care.
Did Midwife B fail to meet any Professional Standards in this case?
Midwives cannot provide care to a former client once they have been discharged. In this case, since the former client was discharged, Midwife B should not have diagnosed the baby’s condition.
If a former client has concerns that warrant immediate testing and care, a midwife should instruct that former client to seek care at a hospital’s emergency department instead of contacting their family physician.
Relevant Professional Guidelines
The College’s Guideline on Ending the MidwifeClient Relationship states “no further care is provided to the client after discharge and the midwife-client relationship comes to its natural conclusion.”