March 25, 2020
Dear Clients of The Midwives Clinic of East York–Don Mills,
We are writing to give you an update and outline changes we have made at our clinic in response to COVID-19 Pandemic. The health of everyone is our top priority at this time. The midwives will follow all Public health guidelines regarding self-isolation if they are at risk of COVID-19 or screen positive. This means that your prenatal visits, birth, postpartum visits may be attended by a midwife that is not part of your team.
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, please follow the advice of Toronto Public Health (call them at 416-338-7600) or call the testing centre at Michael Garron Hospital at 416-469-6858 to see if you qualify for testing. Do not attend your clinic appointment. Instead, call the clinic at 416 424-1976 and let them know what your symptoms are. A midwife will call you back to discuss next steps.
In-person clinic visits:
Starting this week, you will notice that we are wearing cloth masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We are also following what other midwifery and physician clinics are doing to limit the risks of exposure by having you come to clinic less often. We are using the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on the number of prenatal appointments for a positive outcome. We will offer a phone appointment for initial visits at 8-10 weeks, clinic appointments at 12-14 week, 20, 26 30, 34, 36, 38, 40 and 41 weeks. The visits on weeks 37 and 39 will be determined with your midwife if they will be in person or by phone. If your initial visit is greater than 12 weeks, it will take place in the clinic. The in-person portion of your visit will be 10-15 minutes and then the remainder of your appointment will be done by phone.
The post-partum visit schedule includes a home or hospital visit between day 1 and day 2. You midwife will call on day 3 and see you again on day 4. If everything is well, you will return to the clinic on day 10. There will be one or two additional clinic visits, if needed, between weeks 3 and 6.
Between visits, we can achieve a lot over the phone including answering your questions, discussing relevant topics related to pregnancy and birth, arranging ultrasounds and other testing and sending prescriptions and reviewing completed lab work. If there are other appointments that you would like to do by phone, please let us know.
Our clinic space:
We have removed all the toys, magazines and lending library books from the waiting room to reduce the number of objects that are touched and to make cleaning easier.
We will continue to wipe off surfaces in the clinic room in between clients, and, as always, wash our hands or use hand sanitizer in between clients. We ask that you also use hand sanitizer when you arrive for your appointment. For the time being we will be restricting other family members from coming in to clinic visits. All pregnant clients will have a 15 minute in person appointment followed by a phone appointment with family members as needed.
Michael Garron Hospital:
The birthing unit is equipped with items (PPE) required to care for pregnant people with COVID-19. All people entering the hospital will be screened when entering the hospital. You will enter the Coxwell entrance except from 11:30 pm-5:00 am when you will enter through emergency. Labouring clients can have 1 support person for the duration of their stay, this person is not interchangeable with another. All other appointments at the hospital can have one person accompanying you. Children under the age of 16 will not be able to visit the hospital at this time.
All of our clients need to register at the hospital, regardless of planned place of birth. All clients will register by faxing their registration forms before 30 weeks, the forms can be retrieved here.
The breast/chest feeding resources for new parents is limited at this time due to the shutting down of all non essential services at MGH. You can find resources online here.
We continue to offer out-of-hospital births both at the TBC and home. This is a great way to keep clients and babies out of the hospital. As always, we need to be certain that every person requesting an out-of-hospital birth is a good candidate. If any household members are sick or have screened positive for COVID-19, midwives will not be able to attend you at home and will request that the birth occurs in the hospital where there is a supply of masks and gowns.
There are changes happening everyday and we are working hard to stay up-to-date on changes and recommendations. We are hopeful that if we all follow the measures that have been put in place by Public Health and the Canadian Government to reduce travel, close schools, cancel events and practice social distancing, isolation or quarantine as needed, the spread of COVID-19 will be slowed down, and our healthcare system will be able to properly take care of those who need it.
We will send regular emails as things change, update our website: themidwivesclinic.ca, and have regular postings on our social media platforms. You can follow @themidwivesclinic on Instagram, Twitter and The Midwives Clinic of East York-Don Mills on Facebook for updates.
We know these are stressful times. We hope you all are able to feel our continued support and reach out if you have concerns. Most of all we hope that you and your families remain healthy in the coming weeks.
Your Midwives at The Midwives’ Clinic of East York-Don Mills
The Midwives’ Clinic is accepting new clients who want a midwife in Toronto during pregnancy, labour and birth and the first 6 weeks after your baby is born. Our midwives can attend your birth at home, at the Michael Garron Hospital or at the Toronto Birth Centre; the midwives will give you information to make decisions that are right for you and your family. One of your midwives will always be on call for urgent concerns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will be cared for by well-trained, sensitive female caregivers that respect individual needs of the families in our community. Cultural sensitivity is an important aspect of the care your midwives will provide.
Midwives are fully funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and offer complete care for you and your newborn baby; you do not need to see a family doctor or an obstetrician in addition to your midwives. If complications arise, our midwives will consult with the appropriate specialists such as obstetricians, pediatricians and lactation consultants.