Celebrating 25 years of midwifery

News / General
By Christine Maloney

Even after 25 years, there are still things people don’t realize about midwifery. Here are the top five things you should know.

It’s been 25 years since midwifery was first publicly funded and regulated in Ontario. In the inaugural year, 1994, there were initially two and then three midwives in Kingston licensed to practice midwifery and who were given privileges at Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s Kingston General Hospital site.

There are now 14 midwives practicing as part of the Community Midwives of Kingston. Between 450 and 500 women in the Kingston area deliver their babies each year with the care and support of midwives.

Valentina is one of those babies. It was her dad, Michael Meszaros, who first suggested the care of a midwife to Valentina’s mom, Mandy Downes. After hearing about the positive experiences their friends had had, Downes and Meszaros decided they wanted a midwife to provide care throughout the pregnancy, during labour and birth, and after their baby was born.

Even after 25 years, there are still things people don’t realize about midwifery. Here are the top five things you should know:

  1. The services of a midwife are fully funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, so clients do not pay for care out-of-pocket.
  2. Midwives have privileges to practice in hospitals, just like other health care providers. This gives parents the option to deliver their babies at home or in hospital.
  3. Midwives are well integrated into obstetrical teams, and can consult with or transfer care to a physician as needed.
  4. Registered midwives complete a four-year university degree, are registered through the College of Midwives of Ontario, and are required to complete a one-year mentorship within an established midwifery practice. 
  5. Anyone with a normal, low-risk pregnancy is eligible for the services of a midwife.