Throughout your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period, you will be cared for by an obstetrician (doctor that specializes in pregnancy and birth), a family doctor, or a midwife. GRH works will all three types of providers. You will need to select a provider while you are pregnant; your family doctor can support you with this, or you can look up provider information yourself (see below for details). All three providers are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). If you do not have OHIP coverage, you will need to contact the provider of your choice to discuss cost.
An obstetrician is a doctor who specializes in both low and high-risk pregnancies. Your family doctor can refer you to an obstetrician.
If you do not have a family doctor, you can also look up obstetricians who work at Grand River Hospital on this website. Using the "Advanced Search" function, select specialty "Obstetrics and Gynecology" and set the hospital location to "Grand River Hospital". If you are having difficulty getting an appointment with an obstetrical provider, please visit a local walk-in clinic and ask for an Obstetrical Roster Request sent to the hospital. This process will automatically assign you to an obstetrical provider to works at GRH.
At GRH an obstetrician is available on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is readily available to provide care. If you are being cared for by an obstetrician in the community, the on-call obstetrician will provide your care in hospital. This means the on-call obstetrician will assist with your labour and birth. This on-call practice is used in hospitals across Ontario and has proven to be both safe and effective. Your obstetrician in the community will visit you in hospital after the birth of your baby. After the birth, obstetricians continue to provide care to you, but do not provide baby care.
Some family doctors have special training to provide primary obstetric care in low risk pregnancies. These family doctors have “privileges” to deliver at GRH and provide complete care and advice for low risk patients throughout pregnancy, labour, birth, and the postpartum period. If your family doctor does not deliver babies at GRH, then your doctor may refer you to a different family doctor with “privileges” to deliver at GRH.
Family doctors may consult an obstetrician during your pregnancy, labour, birth, and/or postpartum period. If complications happen, a family doctor may consult either an obstetrician about your care or a paediatrician about your baby’s care. Family doctors care for you and your baby in the community after discharge home from hospital.
Midwives are registered healthcare professionals who provide primary obstetric care in low risk pregnancies. Midwives provide complete care and advice for low risk patients throughout pregnancy, labour, birth, and the postpartum period. Your family doctor can refer you to a midwife, or you can contact the midwifery practice yourself.
Midwives do care for you and your baby in the community for six weeks after birth. Midwives will visit you in your home after discharge from hospital. Discharge home from hospital can be as early as 3 to 4 hours after a vaginal birth. You will need a doctor for baby after the first six weeks.
If your care will be provided by a midwife, each midwife will explain their on-call coverage to you. You will be able to choose between a hospital and a home birth. Midwives have access to consult an obstetrician at any time in your pregnancy, including during your labour, birth, and postpartum period. If complications happen, a midwife may consult either an obstetrician about your care or a paediatrician about your baby’s care.
There are four midwifery groups that currently practice at GRH: