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17 More Midwives for the Ottawa Area

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17 More Midwives for the Ottawa Area

Almost 300 More Ottawa-Area Families to Access Midwifery Care

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Ontario is increasing access to midwifery services in the Ottawa area, with 17 more midwives that will provide expectant families with more pregnancy, newborn health and wellness care closer to home. 

John Fraser, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre today to make the announcement.

These new midwives, seven of whom are recent graduates, will join existing Midwifery Practice Groups that will now be able to provide care for over 2,300 expectant families in the region — an increase of 291 clients since last year.

Additional new investments in the Ottawa region will expand access to care and give expectant families more choice by:

  • Introducing pregnancy and newborn care to shelters, group homes, methadone clinics, and hospitals under a new midwifery care model by the Community Midwives of Ottawa
  • Funding for an innovative physician-midwifery model providing outreach care to meet clinical needs as well as address substance use, mental illness and poverty. Key collaborators are The Ottawa Hospital's Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic and Community Midwives of Ottawa, with many other important community partners.

The province is also supporting the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre with additional funding this year to increase access to midwifery births, ensure retention and recruitment of qualified staff and support high quality services for their employees and clients. 

Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.

Quick Facts

  • In total, 30,000 expectant families in Ontario will have access to midwifery care this year, an increase of 6,700 more families since last year.
  • Ontario is investing up to $166 million in midwifery care this year.
  • Ontario is providing $1.48 million in funding to the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre this year.
  • In 2016-17, midwives supported approximately 24,066 births, representing 16 per cent of all births in Ontario.
  • There are over 850 midwives registered and regulated by the College of Midwives of Ontario with over 700 active members practicing in 92 Midwifery Practice Groups.
  • Midwifery clients receive access to 24/7 care from midwives through pregnancy, labour and birth, and post-partum care for the client and infant for six weeks.
  • Midwives offer a choice in birth settings including, home, hospital or one of the two midwifery-led birth centres in Ontario – the Toronto Birth Centre and the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre.

Additional Resources


“Our government recognizes the tremendous contributions midwives make to families and our health care system. Supporting expectant families with more options for their care is part of our government’s commitment to make life easier for families across Ontario.”

Dr. Helena Jaczek

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Midwifery care is such an important part of family health in our community. Expanding midwifery care and services in the Ottawa area will offer more expectant families greater choice when it comes to birth and newborn care.”

John Fraser

Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“The Birth Centre is proud to offer a safe, trusted and empowering out-of-hospital birth option to families in the Ottawa region. This government investment allows us to continue to deliver high quality care and grow to better serve the community.”

Elyse Banham

Executive Director, Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre

“These streams of funding for midwifery create new opportunities for midwives to meet the needs of communities across the province. Now, more Ontarians will be able to access the benefits of midwifery care, including the excellent health outcomes that come from client-centered, evidence-informed care.”

Elizabeth Brandeis

Chair, President, Association of Ontario Midwives

Media Contacts



Government Health and Wellness