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Midwifery services coming to local hospital

PHOTO. Families may now have midwifery services at home or at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre. Alberta Health Services announced local registered midwife Debbie Mpofu, left, will join the maternal healthcare team at the hospital. MYMCMURRAY/Phil Wood.

The Northern Lights Regional Health Centre (NLRHC) will be home for midwifery services in Wood Buffalo.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) announced registered midwife, Debbie Mpofu will join the maternal healthcare team at the hospital.

Midwives offer prenatal care for women with low-risk pregnancies.

AHS Senior Operating Officer Murray Crawford said it’s the first time the hospital would provide midwifery services.

“Our intention is to grow the program and that’s what Debbie also going to be doing on top of delivering babies and working with families is [to develop] the program so that we can [make] more midwives.”

The NLRHC delivers an average of 1200 babies each year.

Prenatal Care

Crawford added it’s an exciting time for the staff at the hospital as well.

“Debbie’s been very warmly received by our community and our physician group. The community is always looking for different options and different choices, [and] not everyone wants to come to a hospital to have a baby.”

Basing her practice out of Pinnacle Chiropractic in Eagle Ridge, midwife Debbie Mpofu said the reception from the community was positive adding some residents already brought welcome gifts and plants to the practice.

“That’s where I will see women on a weekly basis, but then we will conduct the births in the hospital or at home.”

Midwives review prenatal, medical, and obstetrical histories of their ‘courses of care’, and determine how women want to deliver their babies.

“As midwives, we look after four ‘courses of care’, so four women a month. We take longer with our appointments so that we really discuss the various aspects that affect a women’s life as she’s preparing to have that baby.”

Mpofu said midwives may look after up to 40 women a year.

Deliveries through midwifery services would begin at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre in April 2020.