Welcome To Thames Valley Midwives
Welcome to Thames Valley Midwives! In order to make our practice environmentally friendly, we have moved to a paperless online guide.
Birth is seen as a normal healthy process. Ontario midwives provide primary care for low risk pregnancies through to six weeks postpartum. The philosophy of midwifery care in Ontario is based on informed choice by the client; attending the birth either at home or in hospital, whichever is your preference and as midwives we are available to clients within our care 24 hours a day.
This website guide has been developed to increase your knowledge relating to midwifery care in Ontario as well as to provide you with some general information in pregnancy, labour and the postpartum. In addition to this guide, in our exclusive client only area, your midwife will provide information on various topics at each virtual and in person appointment, so together a care plan is created that is right for you. We advise you to read the information in these areas throughout pregnancy and prior to labour, to help guide and support your decisions.
Further information on topics relating to labour and the postpartum can be found within the client only area of our website as well as our resources area. We advise you to read the information in these areas prior to labour to help provide guidance and support to many decisions that you will make as you approach your birth and later, when caring for your baby.
We encourage you to borrow informational material from our lending library to learn more about your pregnancy, labour and postpartum period. Please speak to one of our administrators to sign out these books.
LENDING LIBRARY: $10.00 deposit required when signing out the first book. Unlimited borrowing available throughout your pregnancy and postpartum period.
We encourage you add our contact phone number and pager number to your mobile phone and landline telephone, as well as those of your birth partner’s for any emergencies, urgent or non-urgent calls, just in case you do not have access to the internet.
Please feel free to discuss any questions you may have during your appointments, and your midwife will be more than happy to assist you and provide the resources you require to make an informed decision. If you cannot wait until your appointment, please call the office and our administrative staff will relay the message to an available midwife who will respond to your call within 24 hours. There may also be times when matters are more urgent and you will use the paging system in which to reach your midwife immediately. Examples of when and who to call are located by clicking on the button below.
Informed Choice Agreement:
We will provide you with an informed choice agreement form to sign at your first appointment with us or submit online. The information within our website will enable you to be clearly informed about the services provided to you by our practice, the standards within which we work and our education and experience. We believe that the best care is provided when clients and their families have a thorough understanding of the philosophy and scope of midwifery services, and form a collaborative relationship with their midwives. We ask you, therefore, to read the information within our website carefully in order to understand why you are signing this agreement. If you have any questions, please feel free to discuss them with your midwife.
How do your midwives work with you?
The midwives in our group work as a partnership or small team, and we ensure that you will have an opportunity to meet two to four midwives in the practice. One midwife on your team will be responsible for your chart and ensuring everything is kept up to date.
Our midwives work in a scheduled rotation system to ensure they have periods of time to rest and recover from an on-call period, illness or being at another birth as well as spend time with their own families. Therefore, you can expect them to rotate within your team regularly.
Two midwives or a midwife and a second attendant/senior student/nurse will attend your birth, whether at home or in the hospital.
Unfortunately we cannot accommodate requests for a specific midwife, and your preferred midwife may not always be available. We ask for your understanding and flexibility to accept care from the midwife who is most available to meet your needs.
In rare circumstances, when all the on-call midwives are attending births it may be necessary for clients planning a home birth to come to hospital to give birth. Similarly, clients may very occasionally be required to give birth at a hospital other than the one they had planned to use, either due to midwives already attending a birth at another facility or due to a lack of available labour/delivery beds at an individual facility or due to the lack of adequate or available PPE.
The majority of our hospital births take place at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) Victoria Hospital. Therefore parents planning births elsewhere may be required to attend London Health Sciences Centre Victoria Hospital.
Clients under 37 weeks gestation are required to attend our level three hospital LHSC Victoria Hospital for any necessary hospital assessments. You should page your midwife before going to the hospital. Your midwife may instruct you on a necessary plan of care should you be unable to get to LHSC safely, which may include transferring to an obstetrician for the birth.
Second Birth Attendants:
From time to time, we contract with graduate midwives, who are awaiting registration with the College of Midwives of Ontario, or registered nurses to provide second birth attendant services. Second attendants are certified in emergency procedures such as CPR, neonatal resuscitation and obstetric emergencies, and work only with a registered midwife in the infrequent circumstances when a second registered midwife is unavailable due to illness or simultaneous deliveries. You can find our second attendant biography’s in the section “Meet the Team“.
We currently have a registered nurse who works with our midwives as a second attendant: Kate Taylor R.N.
Parents' Roles and Responsibilities:
We believe that clients and their birthing partners should be active participants in their care and we expect that clients will be responsible for their health and that of their babies. Clients should eat a balanced diet, participate in prenatal care and get adequate rest and exercise. We believe that parents should acquire knowledge about pregnancy, birth and childcare. We are available to answer your questions, but cannot be the only source of your learning about the many aspects of childbearing that are of importance. We encourage you to do online reading and have provided an entire page dedicated to resources as well as videos to watch that may be of interest to you. There are also many prenatal classes available in the City, with some providing options for online classes too depending on your comfort level during the pandemic. We do not necessarily agree with the information in all of these websites but provide them for your interest. We also welcome contributions of resources that you find particularly useful to add to our website. We encourage you to discuss your questions or concerns at your prenatal appointments; making a written list is often helpful.
In order for us to provide you with the best care that we can, it is important that you keep us informed of problems or situations that may affect your care. It is important that you be frank and honest with us during your pregnancy and labour, so that we can establish a good rapport and can communicate freely and openly. If this is not possible, we can assist you with finding a more compatible caregiver. Referrals to community practitioners can be provided.
Clients planning home births must realize that complications arising during labour or early postpartum may necessitate transport to a hospital. We strongly recommend hospital birth for any clients testing positive for COVID-19. All complications noted by the midwife during labour are fully discussed with parents and the decision to move to the hospital is a joint decision made to ensure safety of you and your baby. Parents are responsible for becoming as informed as possible about the various risks and benefits associated with each place of birth and making a decision that is appropriate for them.
If you are planning to have other children involved in the birth, whether at home or in hospital, you need to have someone trustworthy and familiar to your children present during your labour and birth. Obviously, this person should also feel comfortable being present at the type of birth you have chosen. The primary role of this person is to meet the needs of the child (ren), not as a support person for you. It may be appropriate for the child (ren) to leave the birth in some cases. As well, it is necessary to have childcare plans ready and available for the time of birth regardless of the place of birth. It is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that adequate care arrangements are in place for the postpartum period. New parents need rest for at least the first week postpartum; there should be another adult readily available to assume household chores and childcare during that time. Getting adequate rest during the first week helps ensure a faster and more complete recovery from the birth.
Your Support persons:
We are currently allowing direct household members such as partners and/or your own children to attend your in-person appointment with you. This must be the same support person that plans to be present at birth and passes COVID-19 screening.
Please ensure you check with the hospital you plan to deliver on their visiting policies and guidelines for support people in labour and on the postpartum ward.
It is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that adequate childcare arrangements are in place for both home birth and the postpartum period. New parents need rest for at least the first week postpartum; there should be another adult readily available to assume household chores and childcare during that time. Getting adequate rest during the first week helps ensure a faster and more complete recovery from the birth.
At our postpartum home visits, we request that only our clients and support person are present during the entire visit with their midwife. Masks must be worn at all times – the Government “no mask” mandates do not apply to the healthcare sectors. Please be respectful of these mandates currently in place. Your midwives are doing their best to navigate these difficult circumstances.
Please see your local hospital webpage or contact them directly for their current guidelines on support people attendance for OB visits and labour/delivery/postpartum areas. There are strict restrictions still in place at both LHSC and WGH hospitals.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and look forward to welcoming our families back together soon.
What can you expect from our office:
Scheduling and administration is coordinated by reception, support staff and our office manager. They will be your first point of contact; they will take your phone calls, answer questions or forward them to midwives where appropriate.
They will also schedule your appointments within the clinic, with ultrasound centres, and other health practitioners as required. Administration will provide you with letters for your employers or insurance companies.
In a busy office such as ours, there are a few things that we suggest to make our attention to your needs more efficient.
- Tests and ultrasounds: If we are to schedule an ultrasound for clients, we are not able to ask for specific dates and times. Ultrasound appointment dates and times are given to our office; we then communicate this date and time to the client. Of important note is that most ultrasound centres do not allow visitors during the time in which measurements are being taken, and COVID-19 policies continue to be in effect. When you are given the date and location of your ultrasound, feel free to contact the ultrasound centre to ask them what their respective policy is on having visitors in the room during an ultrasound. London appointments are the most difficult to arrange; if time is of the essence, we may ask that you have an ultrasound in Aylmer, Ingersoll, or Lucan to name a few.
- Consults: While we try to book consultations with obstetricians and/or endocrinologists for the next available date, we are not always successful. Please be prepared to attend these appointments at the time given. Also, be prepared for long wait times when attending an obstetrical and/or endocrine consult.
- Letters for employers, etc: Please provide us with at least three days’ notice should you require a letter for your employer, insurance company, etc. We will be happy to provide you with these letters, free of charge. Having a contact name and fax number will expedite this process.
Ultrasound Centre Policy:
Seeing your baby’s image for the first time and watching as it grows are amazing aspects of the pregnancy experience for both you and your partner. Because of this we have polled our local ultrasound clinics on their policies regarding allowing the patient’s partner and/or children in the examination room during ultrasound measurements.
From this poll we have found that ultrasound clinics allow only clients scheduled for the examination into the ultrasound room during the time that measurements are being taken. The reason for this is that ultrasound technicians must focus on making accurate measurements; however, after measurements have been taken, your partner will be allowed into the examination room. The technician will give your partner the opportunity to see images of your baby after measurements are taken.
If you have your child(ren) with you, most clinics ask that you have someone with you to look after your child(ren) in the waiting area while measurements are being taken. If age appropriate and if it is your wish, your child(ren) will be allowed into the examination room after measurements have been taken.
All of our local ultrasound clinics are very supportive of allowing your partner to experience this aspect of your pregnancy with you; however, if you are late to your appointment, your partner may not be given the opportunity to view the images due to time constraints.
We hope you find this information helpful. If you have any further questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us or the ultrasound centre that you are scheduled to attend.
Your midwives will follow up on normal ultrasound results at your next appointment. You will receive a phone call or email if your midwife has received abnormal results or in most cases, the technicians were unable to see something due to baby’s position, in which case she will discuss follow up. We do ask kindly that you do not contact the office for your results, as our office administrators are not able to read results over the phone as they are not medically trained. Should you wish to have a gender reveal envelope made up, you can ask your midwife at your next appointment when you discuss your results.
Seeing your baby’s image for the first time and watching as it grows are amazing aspects of the pregnancy experience. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, partners are not always allowed to attend this appointment unless specified differently by the ultrasound department. Some ultrasound departments require partners to be vaccinated. Please check for instructions from the ultrasound lab for specific details on their visitors policy to avoid disappointment.
The technician will wear a mask for the duration of your appointment and provide images of your baby after measurements are taken.
If you have any further questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact the ultrasound centre that you are scheduled to attend.
Your midwives will follow up on normal ultrasound results at your next appointment. You will receive a phone call or email if your midwife has received abnormal results or in most cases, the technicians were unable to see something due to baby’s position, in which case your midwife will discuss follow up. We do ask kindly that you do not contact the office for your results, as our office administrators are not able to read results over the phone as they are not medically trained.
Blood work results:
At our London office, our midwives can do routine blood draws during your appointment. We also offer in-house one hour 50 gram glucose testing while you wait in your car or if you live close, you can drink it at home and attend your appointment for the regular time.
We are aware of the system where patients can access their blood results online, however, we do not encourage clients to access their own records as it usually causes undue distress when they see “low” or “high” numbers which can quite often be normal during pregnancy. As your hormones change in pregnancy, so does your blood work, however the “normal” ranges will not recognize that you’re pregnant.
Your team of midwives checks blood work results on a daily basis Mon-Fri after they are sent to our online system by the lab directly. Your midwife will then sign off on each client’s results. If we receive abnormal results which are concerning in terms of your pregnancy, your midwife will flag this and call you at their earliest convenience. Sometimes your midwife will be unable to call until the end of a busy clinic day or after delivering a baby. We advise you in the meantime to not “Dr Google” your results, or look to the internet for guidance on your results, because a low or high result is not always indicative of a medical concern.
All normal blood work results will be discussed with you at your next appointment.
Client Records and Confidentiality:
You are free to review your midwifery records at any time. If you are travelling, we will supply you with a copy of your records to carry with you. We will provide you with a folder containing a copy of your records during the last month of pregnancy so that if you require a hospital visit you will have readily accessible information. If you are provided with a folder, you must bring this to all prenatal appointments, to the hospital (if this is your choice of birthplace), and back to the clinic after your baby is born.
The College of Midwives of Ontario requires that midwives participate in peer case review on a bi-monthly basis. Peer review is conducted under the strictest rules of confidentiality; all identifying information about the person(s) involved in the case under review is completely omitted.
- This Midwifery Practice Group is bound by law and professional ethics to safeguard your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information.
- Collecting only the information that may be necessary for your care
- Keeping accurate and up to date records
- Safeguarding the medical records in our possession
- Sharing information with other health care providers and organizations on a “need to know” basis where required for your health care
- Disclosing information to third parties only with your express consent or as permitted or required by law
- Retaining/destroying records in accordance with the law
You will be asked to sign a consent form that gives your consent for our collection, use, and disclosure of your personal information for purposes related to your care.
You have the right to see your records. You may also obtain copies of your records; please see our Practice Administrator and Privacy Officer.
Please speak to your midwife if you have any concerns about the accuracy of your records.