Midwifery Clients and the Public FAQs
Finding a Midwife
No, we don’t recommend midwives or help you find a midwife. We do provide information on midwives through our midwife directory (public register), a listing of every midwife that has been registered with the College since 1994. The searchable online directory will give you information about Ontario midwives, including their practice information, registration information, and conduct information, if relevant, which may assist you in deciding whom to choose for your care.
The College’s midwife directory details information about Ontario midwives, including their conduct information and registration history where applicable.
The College’s public register is a complete listing of all the midwives that have ever been registered with the College. If you cannot find your midwife’s name in the public register or suspect that someone you are dealing with as midwife is not registered with the College, please contact us immediately at 416.640.2252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only registered midwives can use the title “midwife” or any variation of that title. In addition, people who are not registered midwives cannot hold themselves out as midwives. This prevents people from pretending that they are midwives when they are not.
The only exception is an Indigenous person who provides traditional midwifery services. They may use the title “Aboriginal midwife” or a variation, abbreviation, or an equivalent in another language and may hold themselves out as a person who is qualified to practise in Ontario as an Aboriginal midwife.
Receiving Care from a Midwife
Ontario midwives are primary care providers and will work with you through pregnancy, labour, and the first six to eight weeks after your baby is born. If you have never received care from a midwife before or want to find out more about midwifery regulation in Ontario, you may find it useful to learn more about what you can expect when you choose a midwife and review the Professional Standards for Midwives.
Midwives are highly skilled primary care providers who are fully integrated into Ontario’s family health system. At the College, our role is to set the standard of professional practice for registered midwives and to ensure midwives work within evidence-based practice guidelines to deliver safe and effective care.
We regulate midwifery in the public interest to make sure that the Ontario public and families who choose to work with a midwife can trust and feel confident in that choice.
Our work relies on midwives, stakeholders, clients, and members of the public all doing their part to keep midwifery at a high standard in Ontario. We publish information about how we work with the public to ensure midwifery is practised safely and ethically. Read more about how we work with you.
The College has a Professional Practice Advisor who can assist you if you have questions related to midwifery practice, including College standards and regulations governing the midwifery profession. Reach out to our Professional Practice Advisor by phone at 416.640.2252 or by email: email@example.com.
Visit our Standards and Resources section for more information on the regulation of midwifery.
Additionally, all midwives are required to provide appropriate information to their clients about how midwifery is regulated in Ontario, including how the College’s complaints process works. If you haven’t been provided this information, you can request it from your midwife at any time.
Concerns About Midwives
We receive complaints by email or regular mail, including audio/video recordings. You can submit a complaint at any time as there is no time limitation. Informing us as soon as possible is recommended, however, as it allows us to act in a timely manner.
You can file a complaint yourself, or ask someone to act on your behalf, such as a family member, friend, or your lawyer.
If you are dissatisfied with a decision from the College’s Inquiries, Complaints, and Reports Committee, you can make an appeal to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board within 30 days of the decision being issued by the College.
Health Professions Appeal and Review Board
151 Bloor Street West, 9th Floor Toronto ON M5S 1S4
Tel: 416.327.8512 Toll-Free: 1.866.282.2179 Fax: 416.327.8524
Consider raising your concerns with your midwife. We require midwifery practices to establish a system to deal with their clients’ expressed concerns promptly, fairly, and openly. Your midwife or the practice administrator should have given you details of how the practice handles concerns when you started using their services. If not, you can request this information from them at any time.
You can also share your concerns with us without filing a formal complaint. Based on the information provided, the Registrar of the College may make further inquiries. The registrar may decide to appoint an investigator to examine the matter if the registrar believes there are reasonable and probable grounds that the midwife may have committed an act of professional misconduct or is incompetent.
The registrar will then report the results of the investigation to a panel of the College’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) to review and make a decision.
Practice of Midwifery
Yes, your midwife can write a note to your employer because a midwife is considered a legal, qualified medical practitioner who can authorize leaves related to your pregnancy.
Planning where to have your baby is your choice and should be made by considering the benefits and risks to you.
Learn more about the choices midwives must provide during care in our Standards of Practice. You can also reach out to our Professional Practice Advisor by phone at 416.640.2252 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are some tests that midwives are not authorized to order which means they will have to send you to another healthcare provider (often a physician) for the test. You can review the Midwifery Scope of Practice document for more information or reach out to our Professional Practice Advisor by phone at 416.640.2252 or by email: email@example.com.
COVID-19 FAQs for Clients
If you are receiving midwifery care, your midwife will be able to provide you with personalized guidance based on evidence-based information from reliable sources such as public health officials and all levels of government. They will offer treatments based on the current and accepted evidence and resources available.
For general resources, please see the following links:
- Maternal-Neonatal COVID-19 Information (Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health)
- COVID-19: Pregnancy, childbirth and caring for a newborn (Government of Canada)
- COVID-19 Vaccines in Pregnancy (Ontario Ministry of Health)
Yes, your midwife can provide care remotely when it is acceptable to do so. You can help by paying close attention to your health and reporting your findings to your midwife. Some questions your midwife may ask you to keep track of are your temperature, the frequency of fetal movements (kicks or rolls) felt within a specific timeframe, or how many times your newborn has fed and passed urine or stool in the past 24 hours. There are many ways midwives can assess your overall well-being, and that of your newborn, over the phone or by videoconference.
Midwives are required to follow legislated mandates to ensure that your personal health information is kept safe no matter how you access care.
Midwives have the required knowledge, skills, and equipment to use infection prevention and control measures while practising. They will use their judgment to limit direct contact during in-person visits and will use the recommended personal protective equipment (such as gloves and in some cases, masks, goggles, and gowns) to protect you and your family.
As a health care regulator, the College does not have a policy regarding mask-wearing for midwifery clients, as the College does not have any policies dictating client behaviour. Other government bodies, hospitals, and healthcare providers may have policies related to client behaviour including the requirement that clients wear masks.
The College requires midwives to follow current best practices for infection prevention and control which may include wearing a mask during in-person midwifery care.
If a policy recommends masking and you cannot wear a mask, your midwife will use the current evidence and their professional judgment to come up with a plan of care that is in your best interest and balanced with their safety and the safety of others.
The province does not require midwives to be vaccinated against COVID-19 though there may be a COVID-19 vaccination policy in the hospital where your midwife practises.
Yes. If a client wishes to have their care transferred either because a midwife declines to disclose their immunization status, or because they disclose that they have not received a vaccination for COVID, the midwife should refer the client to another midwife or physician in accordance with the Standards of Practice.