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May 4, 2012
Kathi Wilson, Chief of Midwifery, is one of 29 midwives who have practice privileges for women who prefer or require a hospital birth. In fact, 10 years ago LHSC was the first hospital in the province with a midwifery department.
On May 5, midwives around the world will be celebrating International Day of the Midwife. At London Health Sciences Centre, 29 midwives have practice privileges for women who prefer or require a hospital birth. In fact, 10 years ago LHSC was the first hospital in the province with a midwifery department.
“While we’ve seen an increase in the number of home births over the past few years, about six to seven per cent of births at the hospital include a midwife,” says Kathi Wilson, Chief of Midwifery.
The success of midwifery care in London has created strong demand for the service and Wilson says expectant mothers should contact one of the three practices in the area --Thames Valley Midwives, Womancare Midwives and Talbot Creek Midwives -- as soon as they know they are pregnant.
“Our midwives provide complete care for the expecting mother, from early pregnancy to six weeks after birth,” says Wilson. “This includes being available on call by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We really get to know our babies and families well.”
Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy, birth and newborn care. The profession of midwifery in the province is self-regulated and governed by the College of Midwives of Ontario.
“Working with midwives to provide an exceptional experience for expectant mothers is key to our vision of care here at London Health Sciences Centre,” says Bonnie Adamson, President and CEO. “It speaks to the benefits we can create for patients through strong partnerships between hospital and community care givers.”
Midwives are required to complete a four-year university degree through the Ontario Midwifery Education Program. If a midwife has been trained outside of Canada, she completes the International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program. Once a midwife has completed training, she is licensed through the College of Midwives of Ontario.
Ontario midwives are funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care so services are free to clients.