Toni Saik (left) with her son Elliot, Serenity Brown and her mom Sabrina Brown attend a rally in support of midwifery. (Photo by Lana Michelin, Advocate staff).

Midwifery supporters rally in Red Deer for better access to the birthing service

Alberta Health promises “under-served” Alberta communities will get more midwives

Midwifery advocates came to demonstrate, but received news they hope to celebrate.

Supporters rallying in Red Deer City Hall Park on Friday for better access to midwifery services, were cautiously optimistic upon hearing the government plans to increase the number of midwives in under-served parts of the province — including rural and remote areas.

Since Red Deer only has four practising midwives and Rocky Mountain House has two, rally organizer Linnea Deutscher hopes this means Central Alberta will soon have better access to midwifery services.

Alberta Health Services spokesperson Tim Wilson said the communities that will be targeted haven’t yet been determined.

The province has committed almost $13 million in additional funds for midwifery care since 2015. This means 400 additional women in each year from 2016 to 2019 will be served with midwife-assisted births.

According to Alberta Health Services, some 2,374 Alberta women received birthing assistance by a midwife in 2014-15. This is expected to grow to 3,974 by 2018-19.

Deutscher questioned whether this will make enough of a difference, since 1,300 women are on waiting lists in the province for birthing assistance by midwives. The additional funding “is better than nothing,” she said, “but let’s keep it going until we get to where we need to be.”

The registered nurse who works in a maternity ward believes all expectant mothers should have a choice of whether to deliver their babies in hospital settings or at home with a midwife.

Just as per-capita education grants follow Alberta students, regardless of whether they are schooled in public, Catholic, or private schools, expectant mothers should be able to choose how their portion of health care dollars is spent, she added.

Deutscher delivered three of her nine children with a midwife. She noted studies have shown midwives help reduce pre-term births, help boost breastfeeding success, and lower the number of cesarean sections.

“Many women need to be in a hospital to deliver, but let’s allow low-risk women be able to choose midwifery services. It saves tax money, empowers women and makes them better mothers,” Deutscher added.

Some women at the rally of about 60 people could not get midwifery services — including said Toni Saik, who applied for the service months before delivering her son in a hospital.

Her friend, Sabrina Brown, feels lucky to have had a midwife at two of her children’s births, since demand for the service has grown.

Just Posted

Accused murderer’s story questioned

Jason Klaus spends day being cross-examined by lawyer for co-accused Joshua Frank

Red Deer Royals extend fundraising deadline for St. Joseph fieldhouse project

Fundraising chair says it’s a tough slog raising money in this economy

Red Deer seeks public input on coming changes to sign bylaw

A half-kilometre buffer zone could separate billboards in Red Deer under proposed… Continue reading

Innisfail man injured in home invasion

Police say the injury was non life-threatening

Credentials questioned man at Remembrance Day services

Veterans are crying foul after an alleged faker posed as a former… Continue reading

VIDEO: Red Deerians taste what the city has to offer

Red Deerians sampled some of the finest foods Central Alberta restaurants have… Continue reading

Volunteer with victim services in Red Deer

Learn more at info session on Nov. 27

Updated: Missing Sylvan Lake women found

Women were reported missing earlier this week

Liberals propose billions for affordable housing, including individual benefits

A Liberal government fond of promising help for those working hard to… Continue reading

Alberta Party sees growth in Central Alberta

Greg Clark addressed health care needs addressed in Red Deer

Ponoka council freezes Ponoka Fire Department spending

All discretionary spending frozen until full budget numbers are presented

WATCH: Ponoka’s Festival of Trees sees continued support

Three days of celebration and fundraising held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month