Frequently Asked Questions
Why would I choose to get my prenatal care in a group setting?
Many people find that coming together as a group creates a strong sense of community and support as they connect with others to share the experience of pregnancy and parenthood. Meeting for two hours at every online prenatal class (due to COVID-19) allows parents and families to spend more time getting to know their caregivers as well. Listening to other people’s questions and experiences will also deepen each person's understanding of the issues being discussed. Participating in group care is an excellent way to meet other families, to feel connected, and to build relationships that will be part of your community for years to come.
Can I still choose to have a home birth?
We are committed to choice of birthplace for pregnant people.
It is always important to talk with your care team about your own unique situation when deciding on where you will have your baby. Home birth is a safe choice when the circumstances are healthy.
The whole team - midwives and physicians – will support home birth when the pregnant person and their family have made that choice.
What actually happens at a group session?
Many things happen in the online group prenatal classes. There is time for learning – how to care for yourself before and after the baby, how to understand and work with labour, how to adjust to life with your new baby, and much more. We will talk about choices, testing, and recommendations for keeping you and the baby safe and healthy. There will be lots of time for questions and discussion. Most parents find that they learn as much from the other parents in the group as they do from their care providers. We will also introduce you to helpful people and resources in the community. The group is also an opportunity to relax, socialize, and enjoy the company of others who share similar experiences.
I am worried about breastfeeding support. How will Apple Tree help me with that?
Helping people to bond with their babies after delivery and to establish a successful breastfeeding relationship is a high priority for us. We believe in the many benefits of breastfeeding.
Your care provider will help you to begin breastfeeding soon after the birth of your baby. We will follow up with visits in the hospital and your home in the first few days. You can also schedule appointments to see our care providers or our lactation consultants at Apple Tree for help with breastfeeding. We are happy to address any concerns you may have and to provide help and information about breastfeeding.
I want to get to know the person who will be with me in labour. How will this happen in a group setting?
Group care allows for more time with your care provider in a variety of ways – time for questions, discussion and simply chatting as well. Apple Tree’s online prenatal classes can be an excellent opportunity to get to know your team and for them to get to know you.
How do I get a hold of my care provider in labour or when there is an emergency?
There is an emergency number to page the on-call care provider (1-866-279-9111). This will enable timely access to discuss urgent situations and develop a care plan. We encourage pregnant people to stay in the comfort of their home in early labour until active labour starts and it is time to go into the hospital.
Will I still be getting individual care? What if there is a medical problem in my pregnancy?
You will continue to have individual visits with Apple Tree care providers throughout your pregnancy and in the postpartum. Previously, when group sessions were done in person, individual care (ex. belly checks) was combined with the group sessions. Now that Connecting Pregnancy is online, individual care is provided throughout the pregnancy.
I want my care provider to be with me through my labour. I thought only midwives provided this care.
At Apple Tree, both midwives and physicians will provide the same kind of care. We believe that continuous care in active labour is the safest and best option for pregnant people. Your care provider – physician or midwife – will be with you through most of your active labour. If you are in the hospital, maternity nurses play an important role as well. Our job is to ensure that you and the baby are safe and that labour is progressing in a healthy, normal way. We are also there to support, guide, and reassure you and your support people.
Can I choose to have either a physician or a midwife for my birth?
The midwives and physicians at Apple Tree are a team. We draw on each other’s experience, knowledge, and strengths and have a consistent approach in the way we care for pregnant people and babies. You may find that you forget who is a midwife and who is a physician – and that’s fine!
At Apple Tree, we work on a call system, rotating who is available for births. This means that you will have the advantage of a care provider who is available to provide one-on-one care in labour without competing responsibilities. This system also ensures that our care providers are fresh and have lots of energy to give. An exhausted physician or midwife is not able to provide the safest care or the most compassionate support. We understand that sometimes a pregnant person will feel a special connection with one person on the team, but we also find that a special bonding happens very quickly between the person who is in labour and the team member who is actually present and caring for them.