The Riverdale Community Midwives practice has been at their current location at Queen and River streets in Corktown for the past 12 years but they been helping women in the neighborhood for more than 20.
There is a waiting list for their services in Corktown, indicating the high demand in the community. Midwives are registered healthcare professionals. During the last 20 years the number of midwives at Riverdale have increased from three to nine, with most of them living in the Downtown area or directly in the community.
“Our care extends, not only the term of the pregnancy, labour and birth but also post-partum for 6 weeks,” Andrea Luciuk, a midwife working at the clinic, told The Bulletin. “It’s a different way of experiencing care in terms of you see the same group of midwives and there is more discussion than if you saw an obstetrician or family doctor around choices around testing and what’s involved in the pregnancy.”
Although there is a need for more midwives, bringing them into the area rests on the hospitals increasing their privileges within their facilities. Each midwife must be linked directly to a hospital, which enables them to follow their clients if the expectant mothers need or want to give birth in a healthcare setting. Currently there are more midwives than available positions and this is stretching the system.
Luciuk told The Bulletin that the most challenging thing for midwives is being on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and having a life outside of their demanding duties. In her practice she works a constant 11 days with three days off in between.
Changes are coming to Toronto with a birthing centre coming into the area that will be shared by all the midwives working in Toronto.
“Most likely that birthing centre will be in the east end of the city and most likely within the neighbourhood,” Luciuk revealed but added that the location hasn’t been finalized.
For more information about finding a midwife or their services, Visit www.ontariomidwives.ca.