As a primary caregiver, provide clients with the knowledge, comfort and care required through their pregnancy, birth and beyond.
The midwifery curriculum is a blend of university academics and an apprenticeship model of clinical education.
Midwifery placements are at least 12 weeks in length. The student is allocated to a placement in one of the midwifery practices in the Laurentian region via a lottery system. The student selects the top 4 choices of geographic location and the computer does the rest. While the lottery can be one of the more stressful experiences in the program, it is also one of the most exciting! Imagine the opportunity to live and work in a brand new community, or possibly stay right at home. Each community has its own distinct features, including the midwifery practice and its clients.
While in the placement, the student is assigned to a midwife preceptor (or small team of preceptors) and will work alongside the preceptor. When the midwife is in the clinic, the student is in the clinic. When the midwife’s pager goes off at 2 a.m. for a woman in labour, the student’s does too. When the midwife is driving out under the stars, or perhaps the northern lights to attend a birth at 4 a.m., the student is also on her way to the birth. And, even in the very first placement, the student plays an active role with all aspects of midwifery practice. It is a wonderful privilege to be with clients during their pregnancies, births and early parenting experiences!
Catching babies is never boring! Who will deliver Canada’s babies in the future? Midwives became legalized in Ontario in January 1994 (the first province in Canada). As the healthcare system shifts, more and more we rely on non-physician primary care providers to fulfill the needs of the population. Midwives are an important part of the future of healthcare. Internationally, 80% of babies are born into the hands of midwives. In Ontario, approximately 10% of all births are attended by midwives. And, about 40% of pregnant people who would like to have midwifery care in the province are not able to do so because there are not yet enough midwives. The number of midwives is expected to double within the next five years.
Midwifery care has been demonstrated to result in good outcomes for mothers and babies. Outcomes for homebirths are as good as for hospital births. Midwifery care is also associated with higher rates of long term breastfeeding, fewer readmissions to hospital for newborn and new mother complications, shorter stays in hospital and fewer interventions including cesarean section. Overall, the cost to the healthcare system is lower with midwifery care.
Brigitte Labelle, Administrative Assistant
This is a four-year program that leads to an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences (B.H.Sc.) in Midwifery. Thirty students are admitted each year. Classes in the first year and a half are in the language of admission. However, students in both streams are combined for some learning experiences in both first and second year. The course “Midwifery Skills” in the second year offers many opportunities for anglophone and francophone students to learn from one another while they are learning the hands-on skills they need for their first placement. During that course, students are often placed in small groups to work with faculty or local midwives or senior students to develop novice competency in skills such as venipuncture, medication administration, baby catching, well woman assessment and pelvic examination, catheterization, suturing and responding to emergencies.
A virtual clinic activity is used in the first three years to help prepare students for working in a group practice and for the management of increasingly complex situations. While in the first year, each student is assigned to follow a single case study, in the second year, students are organized into small group practices with a series of client situations to work through. In the third year, students participate in an online case study project that is a little like the ‘choose your own adventure’ games. Students can safely make decisions and follow-through the outcomes of their decisions.
Midwifery can be a good choice for any student, but there are of course some aspects of the profession that may be more attractive to some potential students than others:
confidence to make hard decisions;
flexibility to share decision making with clients;
enjoy an unpredictable lifestyle – babies come when they come;
not a procrastinator – inevitably if you put something off to the last second, someone will go into labour!
being self-reflective – what went well today and what did not and what can I do to improve my practice?
able to find a balance between work and other life priorities;
- finding a place in your heart for all clients - individuals of all backgrounds and life circumstances become pregnant and need midwifery care – their beliefs and values may not match yours, but they NEED you to be respectful and accepting;
- and the fun stuff – able to provide hands-on support and catch a baby in any position and any location – so be prepared to be squeezed between the toilet and the bathtub or to hold a woman’s leg while she pushes or to support a woman squatting. Be able to do fine motor skills because you will need to learn skills like suturing and starting an IV.
Midwifery is a limited enrolment program. Selection is based upon overall admission requirements, and not solely on grade averages. In addition to meeting the course requirement below, applicants must submit:
- Supplementary Application Form. To apply to the program, you must go through OUAC and later submit your supplementary application on the Laurentian Application Portal.
- CASPer Test - more information is posted to applicants via their Laurentian Applicant Portal
1 grade 12 English U/M course
1 grade 12 4U Chemistry or Biology
1 grade 12 U/M Social Science
3 additional grade 12 U/M courses
A minimum overall average of 70% in the 6 best grade 12 U/M courses
Additional information for applicants who have completed Advanced Placement courses.
Additional information for applicants who have completed the International Baccalaureate.
Applicants from outside an Ontario High School
For Current Students
The degree options listed below are for the upcoming academic year, not the current academic year. If you are a current student looking for which courses to take in order to complete your degree options from a previous academic year's curriculum, please consult with an academic advisor.
Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery
Program of Study
MIDW 1056E With Woman (minimum B)
MIDW 1057E Becoming a Midwife (minimum B)
MIDW 1406E Life Sciences (minimum C)
BIOL 2105E Human Anatomy and Physiology (minimum C)
WGSX/WOMN 1005E Introduction to Women’s Studies
SWLF 1006E Introduction to Social Welfare or ISWK 1006E Introduction to Indigenous Social Welfare (minimum C)
SWLF 1007E Introduction to Social Work or ISWK 1007E Introduction to Indigenous Social Welfare and Social Work Practice (minimum C)
6 elective credits*
MIDW 2056E Skills for Midwifery Practice (minimum B)
MIDW 2066E Critical Appraisal of Research Literature (minimum C)
MIDW 2106E Reproductive Physiology (minimum C)
MIDW 2406E Pharmacology/Therapeutics (minimum C)
3 elective credits*
NOTE: Students must successfully complete the above first and second year courses before beginning MIDW 2004.
MIDW 2004E Midwifery Placement I: Normal Childbearing (taken in Winter term)
MIDW 3006E Advanced Clinical Skills I (minimum B)
MIDW 3007E Advanced Clinical Skills II (minimum B)
MIDW 3056E Midwifery Issues (minimum B)
MIDW 3094E Community Placements: Maternity Care System
MIDW 3415E Community Placements: Designated Populations
MIDW 3425E Interdisciplinary Maternity Care (minimum B)
MIDW 3014E Midwifery Placement II: Complications and Consultation (taken in Spring term)
MIDW 0400E Midwifery Comprehensive Examinations (minimum B)
MIDW 4004E Midwifery Placement III: Maternal Newborn Pathology
MIDW 4024E Midwifery Clerkship
*a minimum of 6 credits must be taken from the list of approved social science or humanities courses. BIOL 2757 cannot be taken for credit as one of the electives.
The School of Midwifery reserves the right, at any point during the term, to remove a student from a clinical placement or laboratory setting if the student exhibits unsafe clinical practice or behaviour that places clients or others at risk, and/or violates the Midwifery Act of Ontario. Such removal will result in the student receiving an “F” grade and may result in dismissal from the Program.
CONTINUATION IN THE PROGRAM
All courses (clinical and non-clinical) as outlined in the Program of Study are required for the degree. Students are reviewed at the end of each term. Students must achieve a cumulative average (CA) of at least 4.9 in all graded courses and achieve a pass/satisfactory performance in all clinical courses at each review to continue in the program.
A student will be placed on probation for any of the following criteria:
1. Obtains a cumulative average (CA) less than 4.9 in graded courses.
2. Obtains a grade less than C in BIOL 2105 (Human Anatomy and Physiology), or less than B in MIDW 1056 (The Midwifery Profession), 2056 (Skills for Midwifery Practice), 1057, 3425, and 3056
A student who obtains a D or D+ in BIOL 2105 has the option to take a supplementary course in the summer, with the program director’s approval, and must obtain at least a grade of C before registering for MIDW 2106 (Reproductive Physiology).
3. Receives a grade of less than C in more than one of the following courses:
- MIDW 1406 (Life Sciences)
- MIDW 2106 (Reproductive Physiology)
- MIDW 2406 (Pharmacotherapy)
- MIDW 2066 (Critical Appraisal of Research Literature)
- SWLF 1006 or ISWK 1006 (Introduction to Social Welfare)
- SWLF 1007 or ISWK 1007 (Introduction to Social Work Practice.)
4. Receives an F or Fail/Unsatisfactory in any clinical course.
5. Receives an F or a Fail/Unsatisfactory in any course not listed above.
If a student fails to meet the minimum grade requirements in the required courses or a Pass/Satisfactory designation in a clinical course, the student may, at the discretion of the Academic Review Committee, be allowed to repeat the course on program probation. A student must obtain the minimum required grade for the course being repeated and have a minimum overall CA of 4.9 at the completion of the probation period.
If a student receives a CA of less than 4.9, she/he may remain in the program, but will be placed on program probation for one reviewing period. A student may be on program probation only once.
Students must complete all required first year and second year fall term courses before proceeding to MIDW 2004. A student on probation because of cumulative average or a lack of successful completion of 3 cr of elective or social science courses at the completion of Second Year must undertake the missing course work or remedial course work and remove the probationary status before proceeding to MIDW 3004. Planned course work for any student on probation must be approved by the Academic Review Committee.
REQUIRED TO WITHDRAW/SUSPENSION FROM PROGRAM
A student will be required to withdraw from the program for any of the following criteria:
1. Obtains a cumulative average (CA) less than 4.9 at the end of a probation period.
2. Fails the second attempt at a course or fails to obtain the minimum required grade in a course on the second attempt.
3. Fails two courses in an academic year.
4. Fails any two clinical courses at any time in the program.
5. Fails to complete Program requirements for graduation within the maximum allowable time (five years).
To be eligible to receive a degree from Laurentian University, a student must complete at least 30 credits at Laurentian, normally the last 30 of their program.
A student is clear for graduation when the following criteria are met:
1. Completion of all required courses, including electives, with a CA of at least 4.9
2. Achieves a minimum grade of C in BIOL 2105 (Human Anatomy and Physiology) and a minimum grade of B in MIDW 1056 (With Woman), MIDW 1057 (Becoming a Midwife), MIDW 2056 (Skills for Midwifery Practice), MIDW 3056 (Midwifery Issues) and MIDW 3425 (Interdisciplinary Maternity Care), MIDW 3006 (Advanced Skills 1), and MIDW 3007 (Advanced Skills 2)
3. Completion of the following courses with a minimum grade of C with an allowable exception of one which may have a grade of D or D+:
- MIDW 1406 (Life Sciences)
- MIDW 2106 (Reproductive Physiology)
- MIDW 2406 (Pharmacotherapy)
- MIDW 2066 (Critical Appraisal Of Research Literature)
- SWLF 1006 or ISWK 1006 (Introduction to Social Welfare)
- SWLF 1007 or ISWK 1007 (Introduction to Social Work)
4. Completion of all clinical courses with a Pass/Satisfactory grade (70% in the exam component, 70% in the tutorial component and an overall satisfactory in the clinical evaluation component).
5. Completion of all courses for the degree within the maximum allowable time (five years).
Other program requirements *
1) During the first week of courses, you must submit a completed health information form and a completed immunization record. This form is sent to all students who are accepted to the program.
2) During the first week of courses, you must present the results of a Mantoux test for tuberculosis. The result of a negative test must be dated the last year. For positive results, proceed to chest radiography and ask for a follow up with the Health Service.
3) Prior to the first clinical placement, you must have received a series of vaccines against hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphheria, pertussis and polio. Otherwise, you may not have permission to start the placement.
4) Before the first clinical placement, you must have successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), neonatal resuscitation, WHIMIS, and maskfit testing. Before the third course, you must pass the training in emergency care. You may have to cover the cost of these courses. If you have been late in your studies (due to a holiday or other), you are responsible for maintaining your skills and present recent certificates before readmission to the program.
5) You must have an up to date Vulnerable sector record check by the first placement
6) You must have access to a car or other reliable means of transportation for internships.
7) The main method of program communication is email. You must use the email address that is assigned to you by the university and have access to an Internet-connected computer. You are required to verify your email daily. Documents sent by email will not be distributed on paper.
* The health requirements are subject to change from the Ministry of Health.
Becoming A Midwife
Midwifery Placement I: Normal Childbearing
Skills for Midwifery Practice
Critical Appraisal of Research Literature
Advanced Clinical Skills I
Advanced Clinical Skills II
Midwifery Placement 2: Complications and Consultations
Community Placements: Maternity Care System
Community Placements: Designated Populations
Interdisciplinary Maternity Care
Midwifery Comprehensive Examinations
Midwifery Placement Iii: Maternal and Newborn Pathology
List of Faculty Members
- Kelly Armstrong
- Aimée Carbonneau
- Shelley-Ann Clarke-Dolby
- Nicole Conway
- Sophie Leduc
- Karen Rebeiro-Gruhl
- Leigh Sheppard
- Renée St Onge
- Jessica Taylor