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Demystifying midwifery services

CISSS de la Montérégie-Ouest



< Go back to midwifery services and birthing centre

Have you heard about midwifery services?

There are many myths about midwifery services. Check out this list of true-or-false questions to learn more about the practice. [1]

True or false?

Midwives have a university education.

True : They complete a 4 1/2-year university program that includes several internships in birthing centres, hospitals and community settings.


You have to pay for midwifery services.

False : Midwifery services are covered by the RAMQ.


Midwives are like doulas, and doulas are like midwives.

False : While there are many benefits to having a doula, they are different from a midwife in that they do not have a university degree and have no clinical liability for the pregnancy follow-up, delivery or postpartum care. The services of a doula are not covered by the RAMQ.


I won’t be able to get an epidural if I give birth with a midwife.

True and false : The midwife tailors the birth plan to the needs of the future parents who want a natural birth. They offer expert guidance and a wide range of tools to help manage the pain. During labour, if pharmacological pain relief (epidural) is needed, the midwife can transfer the woman to a physician. Respect for the women’s wishes, needs and rights is central to midwifery practice.


Midwives can perform VBACs.

True : A vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) is possible with a midwife, since it falls within their scope of practice. The midwife explores the different options available and the criteria for a VBAC with the woman or the person giving birth.


Giving birth at home is not as safe

False : In healthy women with normal pregnancies, a planned home birth has been widely proven to be just as safe as a hospital birth. The midwife has all the medical equipment and skills needed to keep the mother and baby safe during and immediately after delivery. They are trained to respond to emergencies and to know when the situation requires transfer to a hospital.

[1] Content from Regroupement Les sages-femmes du Québec (RSFQ):