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Midwives to offer more services in Alberta

Last Updated Dec 12, 2018 at 7:55 pm MDT

Summary

Alberta has increased funding for midwifery services by $11 million over the last three years

In the last two years, funding increases have resulted in year-over-year growth of 400 midwife-assisted births

There are 133 midwives practising in Alberta

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The Government of Alberta is set to expand the use of midwives and their scope of practice to allow them to use their knowledge and skills to the fullest.

The changes are aimed at bringing midwives in Alberta in line with those in several other provinces and territories across the country.

Minister of Health, Sarah Hoffman said the goal is to provide Albertans with easier access to maternal and reproductive health services closer to home.

“Expanding midwives scope of practice and maximizing their skills enables us to offer more essential services to families in their communities. I’m proud to see midwives playing a bigger role in primary health care as well as the journey toward parenthood,” Hoffman said.

This recognizes the important role midwives play in maternal and newborn care in Alberta and AHS is continuing to work with Alberta communities, providers and midwives to expand this service in communities across the province.

Midwives who complete additional training will be able to prescribe, dispense and administer a wider range of drugs and contraceptives including benzodiazepines and narcotics in hospital.

President of the College of Midwives of Alberta, Cassondra Evans described the changes as a new era in professional status for Alberta’s registered midwives.

“This change will allow midwives to make fuller use of their knowledge and skills in the provision of high-quality, cost-effective maternity care for Alberta’s child-bearing families, and increase access to primary care in rural, remote and underserved communities,” Evans said.

The expanded scope of practice will also help women in rural and remote communities access maternal health services.

AHS touts midwifery is a safe option for maternity services for women with low-risk pregnancies. Research has shown that women who give birth with the assistance of a midwife tend to have shorter hospital stays, are more likely to breastfeed and require fewer medical interventions, such as C-Sections.