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Midwifery Services

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What is it?

Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy, birth and babies and provide complete care, including regular visits, routine tests and bloodwork, information and emotional support. Care starts in early pregnancy and lasts until six weeks postpartum.

Midwives support birth in a setting the person chooses. In Chisasibi, this includes at the hospital, the Birth Home, private homes, and in traditional dwellings. Place of birth is assessed for risk of complications; sometimes birth off territory is recommended.

Midwives believe pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding are normal, natural events. And that everyone possesses within themselves the resources for giving birth and becoming a parent. Midwives support this process with careful monitoring, education and support. If you have a midwife, you do not also need a doctor.

Midwifery Services also has Cree Birth Assistants. They take care of the birth home, assist the midwives, provide labour support, and help link clients with resources.


Who is it for?

Midwives care for healthy, low-risk people. If you are interested in having a midwife, please contact the services to find out if you are eligible. Birth on territory with midwives is intended for low-risk clients aiming for a natural birth. Clients who choose, or need, to give birth in Val-d’Or will be cared for by doctors and nurses there, but can still have prenatal and postnatal care with midwives in Chisasibi.

You can call Midwifery Services for information at any time and you can meet with a midwife as soon as you are pregnant. You do not need a referral from a doctor or nurse, although they can help you with this request.

Clients are encouraged to include their partners, family and friends in their care.


Where is it offered?

Midwifery Services is currently offered in Chisasibi for residents of Chisasibi, Wemindji and Whapmagoostui. Even if you live in another community, please contact Midwifery Services to see what is possible.

Residents from Wemindji and Whapmagoostui receive most of their pre- and post-natal care at home with Awash nurses and doctors, but also have virtual and in-person consultations with midwives. They go to Chisasibi to give birth. Midwifery Services has a Boarding Home for clients and family caregivers.

Midwifery Services and Birthing Homes are planned for Mistissini and Waskaganish, which will also service the communities of Waswanipi, Ouje-Bougoumou, Eastmain and Nemaska


What is it like?

Midwives are primary caregivers; that means if you have a midwife you do not also have a doctor. Midwives do work closely with doctors and nurses for any medical concerns or emergencies, as well as with other Cree health Board health professionals and Elders.  

Midwives can get to know you and help you assess if midwifery services is right for you with a phone call or during a first visit. 

Visits are every four weeks until 32 weeks of pregnancy, every two to three weeks between the 32nd and 37th week, and then every week until birth.

Midwives are on call 24/7 for birth and urgent concerns. Midwives work in pairs or small teams so there will almost always be a midwife that you have met who is on call. For instance, you can call your midwife if:

  • you experience bleeding, fever, or headaches,
  • your water breaks
  • you are having contractions
  • your baby doesn’t move as usual
  • you have any other concerns or questions.

Midwives will be with you throughout your active labour and birth, no matter when it happens. After the baby is born, midwives and Birth Assistants do home visits during the first week after birth. They provide care for mothers and their newborns for six weeks after birth.


How long does it last?

You can meet with a midwife as soon as you know that you are pregnant. From your first visit until 32 weeks into your pregnancy, your midwife will meet with you once a month, with increasingly frequent visits as you get closer to childbirth. The midwife will continue to provide care up to six weeks after the birth of your child.

The length of each individual meeting will vary according to your personal needs.


How can I get this service?

If you are interested in seeing a midwife, contact your local CMC or you can contact Midwifery Services directly.


Where can I learn more?

You can find out more about this service through your local CMC or you can contact Midwifery Services directly.



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