Alberta Maternity Care Providers Talk Collaboration in Video Created to Educate Consumers on Midwifery and the Importance of Integrating Midwives into the Current Health Care System. | January 14, 2015
In Alberta, there is a need to educate families on maternity care options, increase access to midwives by revising the funding model, and address concerns of underserved rural populations, where even fewer maternity care options are available. As a way of educating families on midwifery, a video has been created.
In the video, various maternity care providers and stakeholders were interviewed to discuss midwifery, its importance and how it can be integrated into the health care system. Contrary to the preconceived notion that other care providers were resistant to working with midwives, the overwhelming theme that came out of the video was collaboration.
The video highlights the current state of the health care system and offers midwifery as part of the solution.
Obstetricians interviewed talked about how midwives should be delivering a much higher percentage babies, upwards to 70%, in our province. They went on to mention other global health care systems that have successfully integrated midwifery into their care. While Alberta has done well integrating other maternity care services, one missing provider is still the midwife.
One region that has been successful in integrating midwives into their multidisciplinary teams is Rocky Mountain House, where midwives deliver approximately 50% of babies in the area, significantly higher than the provincial average of 4%. The results have been positive especially for underserved rural populations where the need is even greater.
The current funding model does not streamline financing to directly meet the growing demand for maternity care options. As a consequence, many mothers are unable to find midwifery support, are placed on long wait-lists (currently over 1200 women) and must find alternate and less preferable means of giving birth. Maternity care provided by midwives must be more widely recognized as an essential service and should be joined under Alberta Health instead of funded under Alberta Health Services.
The Alberta Association of Midwives (AAM) is without a long-term contract and must renegotiate their funding on an annual basis. They are meeting with Alberta Health Services (AHS) on Friday, January 15.
The video was funded by the Association for Safe Alternatives in Childbirth (ASAC), whose mandate is to educate women and help them have better births. The video can be viewed at this link: http://bit.ly/1ZzgC2I
Contact Information: ASAC: Dana Weatherhead, cell 780-887-0725, firstname.lastname@example.org