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Why Midwifery?


Did you choose midwifery attended childbirth? Why? I finally caught up with my favourite doula. We have been meaning to catch up for a few months and we did it in 15 minutes yesterday afternoon. Why is she my favourite doula you may ask? Because she was my doula! She is the very reason I am on my path. She held my hand in a way that made me believe in myself and I haven’t looked back since. Plus…she’s a wealth of knowledge and she inspires me to keep going. So the title of this post? Why Midwifery?…my favourite doula lives in Alberta. Alberta has only recently added midwifery to it’s Health Care plan. So when I was living in Alberta having my first baby in 2003 and tried to find a midwife to support my homebirth I was quoted $2000.00 for her services. I tried so hard to come up with the money, but in the end I went with a hospital birth attended by a family physician and a doula because I didn’t have the cash. So now my favourite doula is a student midwife and working in Alberta. We spoke about midwifery care and the type of women who are seeking the midwifery model. It seems the midwives are attending mostly hospital births and inducing women mostly due to “dates” The women are more concerened about which midwife is going to be at their birth than with what type of birth they are going to try and achieve. They love the longer appointments, and often have been referred by a friend. Many of the women prefer to birth in the hospital “just in case.” So why midwifery?
What about the woman who paid out of pocket for her first two homebirths before provincial coverage, who is now considering unassisted birth because her midwife is fully booked the month her third child is due? She’s not thinking “just in case.” Why Midwifery?
I believe in midwifery. I believe that all women deserve the midwifery model of care no matter where they choose to have their babies, but not if it’s not widely available to all women. So far in both Alberta and BC it’s not. So what’s the solution…more midwives! More hospital based practices, more birth centre practices more homebirth practices, more education! In all of Canada and our 65 Universities there are only 6 midwifery programs. In BC there is 1 Registered Midwife for every 33,704 expectant mothers. In Alberta that statistics jumps up by nearly 40,000 women at an astounding 1 RM for every 73,163 expectant mothers. It’s no wonder most women find themselves on a waiting list!
So if you’re an expecting mother and you’re reading this…I believe you deserve a midwife…but let me ask you this…
Why Midwifery?