About Midwifery

Midwives are health care providers that care for their clients before and throughout pregnancy, labour, birth, and the postpartum time. Midwives are experts in low-risk, normal pregnancy and birth.

In Canada, midwifery is regulated and publicly funded by provincial and territorial governments.

Pregnant persons can choose to be cared for by either a midwife or a doctor. Midwifery clients will not see a physician unless there are concerns or complications. If complications arise, midwives can consult with physicians or, if necessary, transfer a client's care to a physician. If care is transferred, midwives continue to support their clients and resume primary care when it is possible.

Core principles of midwifery care in Canada

Informed Choice

Midwives respect their clients as the primary decision makers about their own care. Midwives allow enough time during each client visit to provide evidence-based information, answer questions, and have meaningful discussion.


Midwives work collaboratively with their clients in a non-authoritarian way to ensure the needs and experiences of each individual and family are respected.

Evidence-based Care

Midwives combine research, evidence-based guidelines, clinical experience and the unique values and needs of their clients to provide safe, high quality health care.

Continuity of Care

Midwives work in pairs or small teams, to ensure their clients almost always receive care from a midwife they have met. Midwives are on call at all times to answer questions, discuss concerns, or to care for their clients during labour and birth.

Choice of Birth Place

Midwives are equipped to care for their clients at home, in a hospital, at a birth centre, or in a health clinic. Midwives provide care to clients in their birth setting of choice, depending on the facilities available in each area.

Collaborative Care

Midwives are health care providers who work independently and in collaboration with other healthcare professionals as needed.

Professional Autonomy

As autonomous primary health care providers, midwives provide comprehensive care during pregnancy, labour, postpartum and the newborn period. Midwives work in home, hospital and community settings, including maternity centres and birth centres. Midwives access emergency services as needed. Where available, midwives maintain hospital privileges for the admission of clients and their newborns. Midwifery in Canada is a direct entry profession and is self-regulated. Midwifery services are publicly funded and integrated within the Canadian healthcare system.