Updated: July 2, 2020
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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.
Worrying if you have CoVID-19?
Have you developed the common symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever (over 37.8C), new or worsening cough, and/or difficulty breathing? Do you have any of these other symptoms; sore throat, difficulty swallowing, new olfactory or taste disorders and upset stomach: with new or worsening nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain? Do you have any of these atypical symptoms such as conjunctivitis, chills, headache, unexplained fatigue? Also consider if you have a runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion in the absence of an underlying reason for these symptoms such as seasonal allergies, post nasal drip etc.
You can review the Ministry of Health CoVID-19 Reference Document for Symptoms here. Please reach out to your midwife and/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 but keep us updated by calling the clinic or in urgent situations please page us.
**New Information** In-person clinic visits and OTN/Internet visits:
Your midwives will be wearing masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 for all your in-person visits. As of April 20th we will be starting Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) visits which will mean you can meet with your midwife in a secure way over the internet. Your midwife will let you know before your visit if it will be in-person visit or by using this platform. 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 or OTN, please let us know.
**We are asking that all of our clients who come to our office wear a mask. In the city of Toronto you are now required to wear a face covering/non medical mask inside where physical distancing is challenging or not possible. Our clinic is very small and there are many places that you will not be able to socially distance with our administrators or our midwives. The MOH Operational Requirements for Health Sector Restart states that health care providers should: “Provide face coverings when physical distancing is not possible, and if a patient is not wearing their own face covering”. When you come into our office you will be met by a staff member and screened for symptoms and then given a cloth mask to wear. You can keep this mask or return it after your visit in the basket provided.
We are using the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on the number of prenatal appointments for a positive outcome. We will offer a virtual appointment for initial visits at 8-10 weeks, clinic appointments at 12-14 weeks, 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 postpartum 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 4/5. 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.
Cancer Care Ontario is recommending the gradual resumption of cervical cancer screening for those who are due or overdue. Talk to your midwife if you due or overdue for your Pap test so that we can make arrangements for this to be done.
Our clinic space:
We have removed all the toys and we ask you not to touch the lending library books in 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 our clinic rooms and wash our hands or use hand sanitizer in between clients. We ask that you also use hand sanitizer when you arrive for your appointment that is available at the front desk. For the time being we will be restricting other family members from coming into clinic visits. All pregnant clients will have a 15 minute in person appointment followed by a phone appointment with family members as needed.
*New Information* 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 for CoVID-19. You can only enter the Coxwell Ave entrance when going to Labour and Delivery regardless of time of day. If you are less than 20 weeks gestation and require emergency services you will go to the emergency entrance and seek care there. 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.
It’s currently recommended that people who are CoVID-19 positive or People Under Investigation (PUI) for CoVID-19 should have external fetal monitoring and epidural for their labours. This is due to the many uncertainties during the labouring process with people who are ill. Your midwife will discuss these recommendations with you if you become positive or have symptoms of CoVID-19. All people who are either CoVID-19 positive or a PUI will be placed in a single room for the entirety of their stay.
Due to the growing number of CoVID-19 cases in the Toronto shelter system our hospital will be initially isolating clients who live in a shelter. What does that look like? When you talk to your midwife on the phone they will screen you for symptoms of CoVID-19. When you arrive at the hospital you will be admitted directly into a room instead of being assessed in triage.
All of our clients will register at the hospital, regardless of planned place of birth. You can register by faxing your registration forms before 30 weeks, the forms can be retrieved here. If you do not have access to a fax machine bring your forms to your next in-person visit and we will fax them for you.
** Michael Garron Hospital Breastfeeding Clinic 416-469-6580, extension 6667 to book an appointment. Due to Covid-19 your first visit will be a virtual appointment with a Lactation Consultant. They will then book you an in-person visit after this based on need. Currently there is no drop-in option due to the requirement to socially distance and the cleaning requirements of Covid-19. As of Aug 17th, 2020 the clinic will be open 5 days a week being closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
*New Information* Home Births and Postpartum Home Visits:
Your midwife will be wearing the appropriate PPE when in your home. When we visit we ask that you provide paper towel in the bathroom or kitchen so we can dry our hands off after hand washing. When we visit we hope that family members who are in contact with our midwives will be wearing masks and keep social distancing measures whenever possible.
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.
**As of July 2nd, 2020 clients can have two support people present at their home birth. This includes other family members or a doula. We request that the birth guests wear masks and socially distance as necessary.
*New Information* Getting Information that’s relevant to you!
We are committed to giving you the best possible update information. We will change this page when new information becomes available. There are also these links to read:
**Thinking of travelling this summer? Here are some links to help you make your decision.
- The US-Canada land border remains closed to non-essential travel until at least July 21st. Canadian citizens, permanent residents and visitors are mandated by law to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Canada from any international destination.
- Non-essential travel throughout Canada is generally advised against. Travel restrictions, including mandatory periods of self-isolation, vary between provinces. Before travelling, visit the intended province’s public health website to learn about current restrictions.
- Visit local public health websites to learn about any potential restrictions for travel within Ontario, particularly if you plan to travel to a ‘hot spot.’
Clients can self-refer to receive telephone support with breastfeeding and or postpartum coping from a Public Health Nurse by completing an online form on the TPH website:
Michael Garron Hospital Breastfeeding Clinic 416-469-6580, extension 6667 to book an appointment. Due to Covid-19 your first visit will be a virtual appointment with a Lactation Consultant. They will then book you an in-person visit after this based on need. Currently there is no drop-in option due to the requirement to socially distance and the cleaning requirements of Covid-19. As of Aug 17th, 2020 the clinic will be open 5 days a week being closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
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.