More midwives due for rural Canada
Posted: 12 April 2012 by Rob Dabrowski
More families in the Northwest Territories of Canada are set to have the option of giving birth with a midwife.
At present, the only midwives in the territories work in the town of Fort Smith and most babies are delivered by doctors at the area’s capital Yellowknife.
But a new consultant’s report recommends that the territorial government start a programme in which midwives are deployed to four towns in the area.
The report, commissioned by the Department of Health, says women would benefit from being able to give birth in their own communities.
This would cut down on the cost of flying expectant mothers to Yellowknife and housing them there.
It also states the move could have mental and social benefits, as spending the final weeks of a pregnancy alone can contribute to postpartum depression.
Another possibility the report outlines is to allow women from the communities to travel to a birthing centre in their region.
But this model would require more midwives, and the cost is expected to be millions more.
The report suggests initially deploying midwives in larger communities and expanding the programme to include the regional centres when the funding is available.
The Department of Health is now due to consider its options and decide which model would work best for the area.
There are no plans to include money for new midwives in this year’s budget, so the new programme is likely to be a number of years away.