The Ontario Midwifery Model of Care

Margaret E. Macdonald and Ivy Lynn Bourgeault

in Birth Models That Work

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780520248632
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943339 | DOI:
The Ontario Midwifery Model of Care

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  • Medical Anthropology


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Drawing on ethnographic, historical, and sociological data, this chapter describes the integration of midwifery in the province of Ontario from its days as a grassroots social movement to its present status as a full profession. It outlines the history of midwifery in Canada and the ways in which it has influenced the profession's contemporary form. The chapter details the structural aspects of midwifery in Ontario that make it unique, including midwives' autonomous, professional status; their model of care, including home birth and public funding; and their direct-entry education program. It shows how these aspects of the Ontario midwifery profession work to support women to “give birth safely with power and with dignity” in their choice of birth setting, and also includes data on client satisfaction and clinical outcomes. Finally, the chapter reflects on several challenges and questions still facing midwifery in Ontario and Canada as it continues to grow.

Keywords: midwifery; Ontario; sociological data; client satisfaction; clinical outcomes

Chapter.  12321 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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