The Best Midwifery Clinics-baby bump in the window

The Best Midwifery care in the Tricity area

As a photographer in the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge area, I am commonly asked about the best midwife practices. Luckily for us, living here also means there are lots of options for amazing midwives’ clinics. No matter where you are in the city, there is a great midwife clinic for you! A midwife is a great choice for expecting mothers who are having an uncomplicated pregnancy, and maybe want more control over their birth experience.  If you are expecting and looking for a midwife clinic in the Tri-city Area, I’ve compiled a list of the best midwives in each city, complete with some personal experiences local Moms have had! Let’s get into it.

What are Midwives and Why Would I use them.

Midwives are an amazing resource for pregnant women and families. We are so blessed to have this option while we navigate the world of pregnancy, delivery, and postnatal life. I personally used a midwife for all my pregnancies and was thrilled that I did.  I used Genesis Midwifery in Kitchener ( We lived in Breslau at the time) for all three of my pregnancies.  At 30 weeks I  switched to Born Midwifery during the later part of my last pregnancy because we moved and I really wanted a home birth (which I wasn’t allowed to have in the end due to low fluids). 

Please keep in mind that there are some amazing OBs as well out there! Many people swear by both professions and I am in no way saying one is better than the other. We will talk about those in another blog post. I do feel strongly that it’s a great idea to consider both. Both types of care are as unique as you are and may fit your circumstance better than the other.

Midwives are a great choice for those who want a very personal experience. They promote decision-making as a shared responsibility between the client, their family (as defined by the client), and the clinical care providers. Midwives will provide you with relevant research, community standards, and, when applicable, clinical recommendations, in order to support you in making the decisions you feel are best for you and your baby. They believe that informed choice is an integral part of midwifery care, and invite you to make them aware of your expectations, wishes, and plans so we can better individualize your care.

Did You Know That Midwives?

  • Work collaboratively with obstetricians, pediatricians, and other health care providers.
  • Attend birth at home and at the hospital.
  • Provide labour support, including access to pain relief medications.
  • Are free with your Ontario Health Care Card.
  • Order all routine prenatal diagnostic labs and ultrasounds.
  • Recognize you as the primary decision-maker in your pregnancy.

Kitchener

Kw Midwifery Care https://kwmidwifery.ca/

Kitchener-Waterloo Midwifery Associates was founded in 2001 and is based on a primary standard of care, ensuring you receive continuity of care throughout your pregnancy and delivery.

They have a great team of registered midwives, all with a bachelor’s degree and many years of practical midwifery experience. Each of our midwives has a small caseload, allowing for an increased level of personal attention and appointment availability. We’re a proudly multicultural office with staff who are fluent in a wide variety of languages, including English, Persian Farsi, Turkish, Arabic, and Mandarin.

When I reached out to fellow moms, I was inundated with amazing experiences from mothers who used Kitchener Midwifery Associates.

Personal Experiences

I planned to deliver in the birthing suite unmedicated (that is the part of the day that did not work out). My primary midwife was Heidi, and my secondary was Adriana. They felt my first contractions at about 11pm the night before my son was born. My contractions came hard and fast, and they were very close together from the very start. I laboured at home until they got really intense around 3 am. I called Heidi, and she came to my home and checked my cervix. I was only 3cm dilated, so she left and told me to call back if things got even more intense. I ended up calling her back at about 8 am. She came back to my home, checked me again, and I was 5cm dilated. She told me we could head to the birthing suite whenever I was ready. I laboured at home until I didn’t think I’d be able to make it up the stairs at the clinic if I waited longer and ended up in the birthing suite by around 10 am. I got in the tub and laboured with warm water for a while, and things were slowly progressing – I got to about 8cm and the baby turned transverse, so Heidi asked me to get out of the tub and try to do some lunges to get the baby to move back head down. I was bleeding a fair bit, but Heidi kept her cool. At this point, I hadn’t slept since 5 am the day prior, and I was completely exhausted, so I asked to move to the bed. At some point during this all, the baby turned their head down again. My water still hadn’t broken and I was dealing with very intense labour, so Heidi attempted to break my water, but I had a very thick membrane and she struggled to do so without causing me immense pain, so we just kept trooping. At around 2:30 pm she checked my cervix again, and I was at 6cm. My cervix had started to swell closed with the stress of labour. She very compassionately told me I needed an epidural to relax, and I should go to the hospital, so we walked on over to GRH. This was in the depths of the pandemic, and the guy at the door of emerging tried to #1 not let me in that door (he wanted me to walk all the way over to the other doors — which at that point, I could NOT do) and #2 didn’t want to let my partner in with me.Heidi advocated on my behalf when I was absolutely in no state to do so myself, and we all ended up going in through emerge together. She got me a wheelchair and wheeled me up to L&D with my partner.I was put in a room immediately and an IV was placed. The anesthesiologist came and placed my epidural. Heidi held me while it was placed, and my partner and she helped me stay still through the very very very intense contractions. I was definitely in shock at this point – I was freezing cold, and shivering uncontrollably. She gave me some heated blankets. I had blood drawn, and I promptly fell asleep. I was So. Tired. She continued to switch out the heated blankets as I slept.Heidi didn’t leave my side as I slept but told my partner to go get our car from the birthing suite and grab himself something to eat.She gave me until 6:30 pm to progress, and then the plan was to induce.I slept until 6:30, and she checked me. I was 10cm with an anterior lip (on my cervix). She said she could get around it, and we wouldn’t have to induce (which I did NOT want).She told me I was ready to push. She manipulated the anterior lip around my baby’s head through the first few contractions/pushes, and we were well on the way to meeting the baby.I asked for a warm compress on my perineum, and she promptly got one and held it there for the duration of pushing. I only pushed for about an hour, and they expected it to be longer given the labour I had endured, so my secondary midwife didn’t actually make it in time for my delivery (she showed up maybe 15 minutes later). So, my baby was born with just Heidi, my partner, and myself in the room. She single-handedly coached me and my partner and caught my baby. She was SO supportive. She gave me all the affirmations of strength I needed to get through the delivery.My baby came out and was immediately put on my chest. We excitedly found out it was a boy.She prepared the space to weigh and test him, and another midwife from the practice came in to help before my secondary arrived (she was already at the hospital with another patient).My secondary arrived and they weighed him and put him right back on my chest.While they were making their notes, I put my son to my breast and he began to feed.They noticed, and Heidi came over to assess his latch and ensure he was feeding well (he was). She left shortly after and I waited the 6 hours necessary after having my epidural removed.After the baby was born she visited my house the second day after he was born, and then I believe once a week afterward for the first few weeks. She weighed him, did the heel prick, and answered any questions I had. The aftercare was a HUGE perk for a first-time Mom. It gave me such a sense of relief to know someone was keeping an eye on his growth and overall health.Overall, I would absolutely recommend Heidi. I was so pleased with the compassionate and caring approach, and she was so willing to try her hardest to allow me the birth plan I wanted, and when it didn’t work out, she was so empathetic and caring. She worked diligently to ensure I didn’t tear (she said I did have a VERY small tear, but I literally never felt it at all, even post-delivery).I owe my son and my health to her, and I would 100000% use her again.

-A

Expecting mother and child

I had all of my babies with KW Midwifery, but going back a bit (2003/05/07 & ’11). My primary midwife with all four was Ann Crabbe (Robinson) who has recently retired. She was no-nonsense, caring but not suffocating LoL. We had a wonderful rapport, and I trusted her judgment completely.

I will say this: I am very heavy, and although she never skirted around the issue and was always totally upfront about potential risks and complications, she treated me like a normal mother. I am pretty certain that, had I gone to an OB/ GYN I would have ended up with 4 c-sections. I credit Ann for treating me as the individual in front of her, not as a weight # and statistical risk.

Ann had a background in nursing before becoming a midwife when it was first licensed in Ontario (1994), and had loads and loads of experience.

I will also add that when my first labor stalled and ended in a transfer of care (just the delivery) – Ann stood by me and took over once my daughter was born. The home visits were amazing – I failed at breastfeeding (long story – I have a condition called IGT and produce almost nothing). I still remember her saying to my tears, “There is so much more to breastfeeding than breast milk, and there is far, far more to being a mother than breastfeeding.”. I nursed and supplemented at the breast with all my kids.

At the time my first was born there was palpable friction between the medical staff at the hospital and the midwives. It was actually uncomfortable at moments! I believe that has improved a lot (sure hope so!)

-LM

very round pregnant belly in a condo in Toronto.

I went with KW midwifery. I have never felt super comfortable in hospitals and loved that they had a birth suite and were located directly across from the hospital. We had Heidi as our primary midwife and Adrianna as our secondary. Both ended up at the birth so that was perfect! But we also had great interactions with all the midwives there. I think it’s important to make sure you connect with your midwife and it’s okay to ask to switch if you don’t 😊 I appreciate their medical approach, but also their ability to make us feel really comfortable with childbirth, that it’s not an emergency. Both my husband and I were able to go to the appointments (pre/early covid) and had all our questions answered and really felt listened to. We were able to give birth in the birth suite and it was so comfortable. We had to get a few things, towels and sheets to bring with us, but most everything you could need was there. They have a birth suite list online. I spent 3 hours in their tub and then transitioned to the bed for the last hour. They had many options for pain relief (no epidural) and we discussed them all before birth. I picked a few I wanted to try and they were all prepared for me to try the ones I wanted (hydrotherapy, tens machine, laughing gas) though I only remembered to use the hydrotherapy 😆 Other than my husband and our midwife, we laboured alone until just before giving birth when the second midwife came. I appreciated the privacy and it gave me the ability to concentrate. Overall I had an incredible experience with kw midwifery and recommend them and Heidi to anyone who is looking for a similar experience 😊

– C

 

Cambridge Midwives

cambridgemidwives.ca are located on water street not far from the hospital! 

Cambridge Midwives are your trusting healthcare professionals who provide government-funded expert primary care to pregnant people and their newborns. Throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and the first 6 weeks after birth you and your baby will be cared for by a small group of midwives. Having a small team of midwives that have been in operation since 2000. 

Personal Experiences

Do it! Get a Midwife! I had my first 2 kids with an OB which was fine, but you get so used to your OB but when it comes time to have the baby you don’t know who you’re going to get delivering your baby. The reason why I went with a Midwife this time was because of Covid. The hospital kept changing their rules on how many support people you were allowed (1 to 2 back to 1, etc.) Where as I like to have my hubby, mom, and sister there at least and this time I wanted to have a friend there as well so I was contemplating a home birth this time which you can only have with a Midwife.I ended up going with Cambridge Midwives and they were great! Because of Covid they didn’t want to have too many appointments at the beginning like you normally would have unless you wanted more or had any concerns which was nice. You get 2 Midwives that you alternate with and its super personal and great. The “routine” tests at an OB where they tell you to just do them are given with more options and they explain them much more which was great! Closer to my due date I was able to do a webinar for home births to learn more about the whole process and I learned that they are basically a walking hospital when they are in your home with all their equipment, and the ambulance is only a phone call away which was very comforting. They even have laughing gas and a zappy massage thingy for your back (don’t remember the name, lol) for “pain relief” which was nice to know.The day I started having contractions I ended up getting my bloody show and was slightly concerned about it so I actually called the Midwife on call number and my Midwife wasn’t able to answer me because she was resting due to another birth she just did, but you get an additional Midwife on your on call list and she was able to help me right away which was much nicer than having to possibly go to emergency over nothing.Because this was my third baby and my second baby had come so fast my Midwife team was ready for this one to come out just as fast so when I called saying my contractions were getting worse my Midwife came to check on me at my house and because I was planning a home birth she set everything up and checked me and told me how far dialated I was(which wasn’t much) and then instead of going to her house to go back to sleep (it was the middle of the night) which was 30 minutes away she went to the Midwife clinic which was 5 minutes away and slept there until I needed her.The best parts about having a home birth was definitely being able to labor in my own home, laying in my own bed, snuggling with my dog who was super comforting and being able to have not only my husband, mom, sister, and friend there like I wanted, but my 2 boys got to come in and out of the room to see me and comfort me and watch if they wanted to as well! It was super special to me and to them and that would have never happened at the hospital.My Midwife team that helped deliver a 10lb, stubborn baby who didn’t really want to come out, lol, was amazing! They were super supportive and calm and helpful the whole time and got him out safely and everything went great! The one thing I never knew about Midwives was the aftercare. Depending on if your Midwife had another birth to attend or not she would come (or another Midwife would come) to check on you and the baby every 2-3 days or more if you were concerned. They were on call 24/7 if something concerned about you or the baby and you wanted them to come to check it out or just talk to them about it over the phone. Then after about a week of them coming to your house to do check-ups you then go to their clinic for the next 5-6 weeks for checkups. I just had my last appointment with them and it was sad because I had such a great experience with them I wish I would have done my first 2 babies with a Midwife as well! I definitely recommend getting a Midwife!!!

Born Midwives- Cambridge Ontario

https://bornmidwives.ca/

Born Midwives are another great choice in Cambridge Ontario. They are located right across from the hospital in Cambridge Ontario and  have privileges at Cambridge Memorial. 

Personal Experiences 

I’d like to start off by introducing myself, I am a 33 year old mother of two boys (9 months and 02 years 9 months). I have an anxiety disorder as well as other mental health difficulties and often need my husband as a support person.

When I was pregnant with my first child I was living in Hamilton and the midwife clinic I chose was recommended to me by a family member. The midwives from my first pregnancy ended up feeling like family. When I became pregnant with my second we were living in Kitchener and although I wasn’t able to have the same midwives I was looking forward to having the same type of experience. After speaking to some local moms I decided that I Iiked the sound of the St. Jacobs midwives and wanted to use their services. When I completed the registration call with them I was told that there was a lengthy waitlist and to apply elsewhere. I ended up going with the first clinic that responded to me. I felt so unheard at this Clinic, my anxiety and my required support were ignored and dismissed. I talked to a few clinics about my unhappiness with my current clinic and was basically told that I should just deal with it. This is an awful piece of advice, especially in a field that focuses on empowering women.

I tried to advocate for myself with the clinic to no avail and ended up transferring to Born Midwives. Where I found the experience I was looking for. I felt heard and supported. They made sure I was comfortable and ensured they understood me. I personally think the relationship with your midwife should feel like family. You should think about whether or not you would truly be comfortable with this person helping you make decisions when you are in labour and feeling vulnerable. Do they truly listen to your wants and needs? Do you feel supported? If the answer to any of those questions is no, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself! Advocate to your midwife, the clinic, and if all else fails call around. I was waitlisted when I switched clinics but it was worth it! This is a huge moment full of big emotions and you deserve a fantastic experience with the best care!

pregnant mother looking out the window in her Toronto condo

Blue Heron Midwifes– Uptown Waterloo

https://blueheronmidwives.com/

Blue Heron Midwives is a group of midwives dedicated to providing you with high-quality, compassionate care throughout your pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.  Their primary goal is to make sure you have a safe and positive birth experience. Blue Heron Midwives are conveniently located in Uptown Waterloo. 

Personal Experiences 

So I really struggled with PPA, mostly due to lack of sleep and it was one of the midwives that said I needed to let my partner take the baby for as long as possible and sleep. She reminded me that my supply would be fine for one long stretch. The midwives also helped us find the support we needed for getting the baby to latch and the first time I successfully latched her was with the midwife on a home visit.

I also had an emergency c section and the midwife was so amazing in supporting my partner and me during the scary transfer to the hospital. She was there during the C-section and then with us in recovery. She came to check on us the day after (her day off) in the hospital, which was so nice because no one could come to visit us due to Covid restrictions

-M

 

 

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