Delivery and postnatal monitoring
You can give birth at home, in the birth centre or in the hospital, with support from a midwife.
If you choose the birth centre, your midwife will be assisted by another midwife as well as a birth attendant; furthermore, you will be free to move about at will, change positions, and eat and drink right up until you deliver your baby. Your delivery will be natural, without epidural.
The midwife will apply stitches as needed, and perform a complete examination of the newborn. She will remain with you for 3 hours following delivery.
The midwife will visit you at home several times and then see you at the Birth centre for up to 6 weeks after your baby is born.
Delivery at the birth centre
- You will contact your midwife once you go into labour. She will perform a telephone assessment, after which a decision will be made regarding when you will need to go to the Birth centre. The midwife will stay with you throughout your active labour. She will continue to assess both your condition and that of the baby and will ensure that your labour is proceeding smoothly.
- Throughout your labour and delivery, you will be free and even encouraged to move about, eat, drink and change positions. You will be able to choose your delivery position. During birth, the main focus will be first and foremost on the safety of the mother and the baby, and then on the comfort of the woman giving birth. Unless specifically contraindicated, birth can take place in water.
- Births with midwives are natural births, with no epidural used.
- The first midwife calls up another midwife for assistance during childbirth, so they can react quickly and effectively should complications arise. The second midwife present at the birth is not the second midwife you met during your pregnancy monitoring. A birth attendant will also join the team.
- If there is a laceration of the perineum post-delivery, the midwife applies stitches under local anaesthesia as needed. She also completes a full examination of the newborn and helps you with the first breastfeeding. The midwife will remain with you and your newborn for 3 hours following birth. After delivery, the midwife provides you with the declaration of birth and all forms legally required to register the birth.
- You will be paid a visit at home during the end stages of your pregnancy to ensure that the area is appropriate and safe for your delivery. You will put some materials together before the actual visit. Furthermore, your home must be within a certain distance from the Gatineau Hospital as this minimizes any delays should care need to be transferred to a physician.
- At the time of delivery, the midwife will go to your home to assist you in your labour and as you give birth. The process is exactly the same as what happens at the birth centre, except that a birth attendant is present. The role of the midwife remains the same, regardless of the birthplace chosen by the client. Every midwife is equipped to handle home births safely since the same equipment and medications are used in both cases.
- You must remember that if you are planning to have a home birth, some situations may arise that are beyond our control, and which could force us to request that you go to the birth centre. An example is where several women go into labour at the same time.
- For women who choose to give birth in a hospital, with the assistance of a midwife, active labour and delivery will take place in one of the birthing rooms at the Gatineau Hospital obstetrics department.
- The midwife remains fully responsible for the woman. Medical-nursing staff is not involved.
- Clients who opt for a hospital birth return home 3 hours following delivery, and consequently, must have planned for and organized their return home.
- Should the condition of the mother or of the newborn not allow them to return home following the delivery, care could be transferred to a medical-nursing team. The mother and her baby are then admitted to the hospital centre. When they leave the hospital, the mother and her newborn return to the care of the midwife.
After you give birth, the midwife will pay you several visits at home. She will go through a checklist to ensure that everything is proceeding smoothly for you and your baby at this time, and provide you with any tips as needed. After that, she sees you at the Birth centre for the following six weeks. Where appropriate, she may refer you and your newborn to other professionals.