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Parenting

 

Once you discover you are pregnant and you have chosen to continue the pregnancy, the next step is to choose a healthcare provider to provide your prenatal care. Prenatal care is really important for the health of parents and babies. Health care providers can be a family doctor, a midwife, or an obstetrician.

Most people go to see their care provider for the first time between 5 and 11 weeks of pregnancy. Prenatal care includes physical exams (urine samples, weight checks, blood tests and ultrasounds) and ongoing discussions about the health of the pregnant person, their plans for delivery, and any questions about their pregnancy.

Most healthcare providers will see you once a month until you are 28 weeks pregnant, after that you will see them every two weeks until you are 36 weeks. After 36 weeks you will see your healthcare provider once a week until the birth of your baby.

If you are pregnant, nursing or planning to become pregnant, you can pick up free prenatal vitamins at SHORE Centre.

Primary Care Options

Family Doctor

  • General medical professional who provides care to all people
  • Appointments are usually between 10 and 15 minutes
  • Do not always deliver babies, they may refer you to either a midwife or an obstetrician
  • Only attend births at a hospital
  • If a complication arises at any stage of your pregnancy an obstetrician may be called in for a consultation and support
  • Costs are fully covered if you have Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP)

Midwife

  • Specialist in normal, low-risk pregnancies
  • Appointments are 30-45 minutes long
  • Your labour and delivery will be attended by a midwife known to you
  • Can attend births at hospitals, birth centres or at your home
  • If a complication arises at any stage of your pregnancy an obstetrician may be called in for a consultation and support
  • Do home visits with you and your baby until six weeks after you deliver
  • Funded through the Ministry of Health and Long Term care, free to clients without OHIP coverage
  • Without OHIP, lab testing, ultrasound, consultants and some hospital fees are not covered

Obstetrician

  • Specialist that has particular expertise in pregnancy and childbirth
  • Appointments are often 10 minutes or less
  • Provides all your prenatal and postpartum appointments
  • Often work in teams, sharing their on-call time
  • The obstetrician that attends your delivery may or may not be known to you
  • Only attend births at the hospital
  • Costs are fully covered if you have Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP)

Need help connecting to a primary care provider?

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