Author: Erin Laver

Midwives have many roles when on call and taking pages, even if it is daytime. We may be sleeping following being up all night,  dealing with an emergency, or delivering a baby. For this reason, we ask that you please reserve paging for EMERGENCIES ONLY.


If it is time sensitive, please indicate that in your message, otherwise Lynda will return your call or have a midwife return your call within 48hrs

  • Changing or confirming an appointment
  • Inquiring when a midwife will be doing a homevisit
  • Reviewing blood work or ultrasound results
  • General questions- about diet, exercise, travel, COVID or other illnesses, prescriptions, work letters, etc.


  • Vaginal bleeding – (spotting is normal after having a vaginal exam or sex)
  • Severe pain in your belly; abdominal pain
  • Severe headache, blurred vision, new nausea or vomiting
  • Waters break – please pay attention to the colour and smell of the fluid
  • Decreased or lack of fetal movement
  • Fever higher than 38 C (100.4 F) uncontrolled by Tylenol
  • Regular contractions before 37 weeks of pregnancy
  • You think you have a bladder infection
  • You need to go to the Emergency Department for a problem that is not related to pregnancy and you are more than 20 weeks (5 months) pregnant. If LESS than 20 wks- please just attend the ER if concerned and inform us of the visit by calling the office afterwards


If this is your 1st baby

  • if your contractions are strong, 4 minutes (or less) apart, lasting 1 minute and this pattern has been going on for at least an hour (4-1-1)

If this is NOT your 1st baby

  • if your contractions are strong, about 5 minutes apart and strong
  • if contractions are very strong, even if they are not regular.
  • your water breaks – Note the colour, smell, and baby’s movements
  • you are bleeding and it is like a period or running down your leg
  • If you think you are in labour and are confused or not coping well


  • Completely soaked through a maternity pad in 30 minutes or less
  • A fever of greater than 38 C (100.4 F)
  • A sore, red, painful, hot area on your breast or chest
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Persistent uterine tenderness
  • A vaginal discharge that smells very bad. It should smell like a strong period-smell
  • Blurry vision, upper abdominal pain or severe headache
  • Ongoing feelings of depression, uncontrolled crying, inability to sleep or eat, extreme anxiety or agitation
  • Sore reddened, painful, hot area on your leg, especially the calf
  • Severe chest pain


  • Is breathing more than 1 breath/second for more than 10 minutes. It will look like panting for longer that 10minutes.
  • Has not peed or pooped in the first 24 hours after the birth
  • Will not eat for greater than 6 hours
  • Has a temperature of greater than 37.5 C/ 99.5 F or less than 36.3 C (97.3 F)


Jill PortelanceTaylor VanDuzer
Jasmine AllanCassidy Barfett
Laura ParizeauSarah Pellegrino
Erin Laver Natalie Piche
Nina Couto

At Elgin County Midwives, we are continuing to update our protocol for COVID and our office.

  • When you arrive at your appointment please wait in your vehicle.
  • Text 289-241-2504 and let Lynda or Ann know you are here.
    • Be sure to include your name, appointment time and the name of the midwife you are seeing.
  • Your midwife will call you when she is ready for your to come in.
  • You are welcome to bring in one adult support person.
    • They must pass the COVID screen.
  • You and your partner must wear your mask.
  • Please use the hand sanitizer when you enter.
  • Your appointment will be conducted in the office as usual.

UPDATE: December 1, 2021 – At STEGH you can have a doula AND your support person (your spouse or mom etc) at your birth. Your doula must be fully vaccinated for COVID 19. They are allowed to attend to you once you are admitted to a birthing room. Your support person is allowed to come to all assessments with you. Your doula will stay with you in the immediate post-partum but cannot leave after the birth and come back to see you while you are at the hospital. Your support can stay with your for your entire stay at STEGH.

We miss having doulas at the births we attend.
We miss your mother being there for you.
We miss your sister being at the birth with you.
We miss your older children at the birth.
We miss being there when older children first meet their new little sibling.
We miss hugging you.
We miss hugging your spouse when they are so overwhelmed and thankful that you and the baby are well.
We miss sharing a meal with you and your family after a homebirth.
We miss snuggling your baby while we chat at a home visit.
We miss talking with you and your spouse at clinic visits.
We miss seeing the children we delivered at your visits when you are back in our care.

Doulas are specially trained lay people (not a midwife or nurse) that support women and birthing humans during labour. They are valued. With COVID, all hospitals in Ontario have limited the support people during labour to one person only. That includes doulas.

As noted in my previous post about our COVID-19 safety measures, in order to decrease our risk of contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to our families and clients, we have only allowed no support people during clinic visits (some exception for language interpretation etc). The in-person portion of the appointment is less than 15 minutes.

At homebirths we can be in your house for hours. In your home we do our very best to safely and properly use our PPE – gowns, goggles, hair covering and gloves. It is not perfect. If we are to do our best to decrease the spread of COVID, we must adhere to as many of the Public Health safety measures that we possibly can. That includes limiting the number of people at your birth to only one. That includes doulas. A doula is welcome to attend your birth if they are your sole labour support provider (so is your mother or friend as long as they are the only support person you have there).

We are all making sacrifices in both our personal and professional lives to try and keep each other safe. These are very difficult times and we appreciate your co-operation and understanding that you cannot have a doula or other support people with you at your birth even when it is at home.

At Elgin County Midwives we are working hard to do our very best to provide excellent care to our client’s and their babies during these difficult times. Ontario is in “lockdown” starting today, December 26, until at least January 23. We need to do our part is slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Effective immediately, we will be doing very limited home visits in the postpartum. COVID-19 is community spread and we need to decrease the number of homes we enter. We also need to wear full droplet precaution PPE – gown, scrub cap, googles, gloves and a mask. It is very challenging managing that PPE out of our vehicles during the winter.

Midwife Erin at a homebirth (you can’t even see my special homebirth Crocs, that I wash after each use)

We are continuing to support choice of birth place and for clients who are safe and appropriate for a home birth and wish to deliver at home (home is not inherently safer than hospital, from a COVID perspective). We will see those client’s 24-48 hours after delivery at home for the newborn screens. All other postpartum visits will be done in the clinic.

What to expect for your postpartum visits

  • Visits are typically done on day 1, 3-4, 7-10, 3 weeks and 6 week discharge.
    1. More visits may be appropriate depending on the clinical situation such as is the baby gaining weight well.
  • Day 1 visits are done at STEGH prior to your discharge home.
    1. If you choose to go home prior to 24 hours, we are asking you to come into clinic between 24 -48h to have your baby’s newborn screens done.
  • Your day 3-4 visit is scheduled with the on-call midwife. She will call you, typically in the morning, to go through any discussions and arrange a time to meet at the clinic for the appointment.
    1. During this telephone call is your opportunity to ask questions and have any discussions with your midwife
    2. She will complete the COVID screening questions during this telephone call.
    3. The in-person portion of the visit is kept very short and clinical – a physical exam of the client and baby including a weight check.
    4. You will be asked to wear a mask for this visit.
  • Your day 7-10 day visit is scheduled into clinic. The visit will be conducted the same as your prenatal appointments.
  • Your 3 week and 6 week discharge appointments can be done as telephone appointments, as long as the baby has been feeding and gaining well and there are no clinical concerns. You and your midwife will discuss whether an in person appointment is appropriate or not.

We are all looking forward to when we can see the babies we delivered, as toddlers and little children, be excited to welcome their new sibling to the family. We miss hugging new parents when they really want to thank you with a hug for helping them on their journey. We miss the connections that can make midwifery so unique. We will get through this and until then we need to keep one another safe.

Olivia Mickie

Olivia Mickie is a second-year Midwifery BHSc student at McMaster University. She first completed an HBSc in Kinesiology at Queen’s University in Kingston, which helped her find midwifery. She is very passionate about reproductive health and justice and find midwifery to be a great place for her to pursue this passion. Some of her hobbies include biking, traveling, and walking my dogs. She was our student January 4, 2022.

Hello, my name is Bronwyn Rush and I am in my final year of midwifery school. I grew up in Beamsville, Ontario and have always enjoyed living in a smaller town. I have previously completed an undergraduate degree in health sciences from the University of Western Ontario. In my fourth year at Western I was struggling to find a career that I wanted to pursue when I graduated, until I learned more about midwifery while researching a project on rural maternal health in Ontario. I was interested in being able to empower women to make informed decisions regarding their own health and midwifery seemed to be the perfect fit for me. So far I am really enjoying my midwifery education through McMaster University and love working with the Elgin County Midwives. Bronwyn was our student in 2021.

All midwives practicing in Ontario have graduated from rigorous midwifery education programs. They become experts in uncomplicated birth and emergency procedures by studying health, social and biological sciences in the classroom, completing clinical placements under the supervision of experienced midwives, attending births as secondary and primary care providers, and providing prenatal and postpartum care in midwifery clinics and clients’ homes.

There are four possible educational paths to becoming a midwife in this province:

  1. The Midwifery Education Program (MEP), offered at LaurentianMcMaster and Ryerson universities, is a four-year degree program that awards graduates a Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) degree in midwifery.
  2. The Aboriginal Midwifery Training Program at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta’, the Maternal and Child Centre on Six Nations of the Grand River territory, is a four-year education program for Indigenous midwifery students.
  3. The International Midwifery Pre-registration Program (IMPP), offered through Ryerson University, is a bridging program that prepares experienced, internationally educated midwives to practice in Ontario.
  4. The Midwifery Post-Baccalaureate Program for Health Professionals (PBHP) is an accelerated stream of the Midwifery Education Program that accepts candidates who already have health professional baccalaureate degrees and significant maternity care experience.


At Elgin County Midwives our students primarily come from the McMaster Midwifery program. There are many great benefits to having a student. Many clients really enjoy the extra learning they receive both from the client but also from they midwife as she teaches and guides the student through their learning. Midwifery is a hands on profession and there is only one way to learn – hands on!

Elgin County Midwives are committed to providing an inclusive, safe environment for all of our clients, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, religion, relationship status, immigration/citizenship status or ethnic origin.

Same great midwives but now fully dedicated to St. Thomas, Aylmer and the rest of Elgin County. As of December 1 we will no longer be part of Talbot Creek Midwives. TCM will continue to exist in Komoka and serving the families of London and Middlesex County.

Our office address remains 66 West Ave in St. Thomas. The telephone number is the same – 519 637 2224 but we have a new fax number (I know! faxes! but honestly they are still used a lot in healthcare! It’s weird) Our new fax number is 226 406 5833.