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Choosing to Become a Parent

Deciding to stay pregnant and become a parent can be a major decision. You will need to think about your future and imagine how your decision will fit into your overall life plans.

Planned Parenthood Toronto believes that no matter how old you are, you can be a good parent and that you have the right to choose to become a parent.

Are you unsure?  Take the time you need to make your decision. The information below outlines what you need to know until you are ready to make your choice.

What is prenatal care?

  • Prenatal care is the care that you receive from a health care provider when you are pregnant.
  • You will need to find prenatal care as soon as you are sure you are pregnant.

Are you between 13 and 29 years old?

Planned Parenthood Toronto provides pregnant youth with prenatal services up to the 28th week of pregnancy. Call 416-961-0113 for more information.

Are you over 29 years old?

You need to decide if you would like a doctor OR a midwife to be your primary caregiver during your pregnancy.

What are my choices for care when I’m pregnant?

Family doctor

  • A family doctor (or general practitioner) can care for you when you are pregnant and help you give birth to your child.
  • If you don’t have a family doctor or would like to see a different one, you can use the “Doctor Search” tool available from the College of Physicians and Surgeons website


  • An obstetrician is a doctor who only cares for a person who is pregnant and helps them give birth to their child.
  • If you choose to see an obstetrician, you will need to see a family doctor first who will refer you to an obstetrician. You cannot book an appointment with an obstetrician directly.
  • Planned Parenthood Toronto’s Health Services can refer you to an obstetrician.
Useful Tip
If you already have a family doctor, ask if they provide obstetrical care or if they are willing to provide shared care. This means they will work as a team with an obstetrician. In this case, the family doctor usually provides care at the beginning of the pregnancy and the obstetrician will take over the complete care near the end of the pregnancy and when the child is born.


  • A midwife is not a doctor, but is a licensed medical professional who has a lot of knowledge and experience in caring for people when they are pregnant, during childbirth and for 6 weeks after birth.
  • If there are concerns or complications with your pregnancy, a midwife will work along with a doctor.
  • To find a midwife, check out the Association of Ontario Midwives website.
  • Midwifery services are free for people with an Ontario health card (OHIP). If you do not have health coverage, see the information below.


  • A  doula is someone who provides non-medical support and care to people when they are pregnant and when their child is born.
  • To find a doula, check out the website Doula C.A.R.E.
  • Doula services are not covered by OHIP but some doulas offer sliding scale fees.

What if I don’t have provincial health insurance?

  • If you don’t have an Ontario health card (OHIP) or coverage from another Canadian province or another country, Planned Parenthood Toronto can provide prenatal check-ups and care free of charge up to 28 weeks of pregnancy. For more information call 416-961-0113.
  • Some midwifery clinics don’t require you to be covered by OHIP. Call Planned Parenthood Toronto for more information.

For a downloadable resource on this topic, please visit Planned Parenthood Toronto Factsheet Database.

If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]

Last Edited: May 2020