Funding but no midwives

It will take at least 10 months for Red Deer to get any midwives, maybe longer, despite new provincial funding to pick up the cost for families.

It will take at least 10 months for Red Deer to get any midwives, maybe longer, despite new provincial funding to pick up the cost for families.

The Alberta government provided $4 million on April 1 to make midwifery fully covered under Alberta health care for 2009-10. But there aren’t any midwives in Red Deer to provide the service.

“It would be April 2010 before we could get a midwife in that area. If we can get them,” said Jane Baker, president of the Alberta Association of Midwives.

The funding will be allocated to existing midwives.

Baker said Red Deer could easily use three midwives.

“There are targeted areas for growth, with Red Deer absolutely being one of them.”

Making the service available in Red Deer all depends on how successful Alberta is in recruiting midwives from other provinces or other countries. Classes at Alberta’s new four-year midwifery program at Mount Royal College aren’t going to start until September 2010.

Alberta’s approximately 30 midwives are mostly located in Calgary and Edmonton and there’s been no shortage of families or women there who want a midwife since the funding was announced last fall, Baker said.

“It’s been absolutely crazy. The phone started ringing off the hook.”

Even if people in Red Deer were willing to travel to another community, it’s unlikely midwives have the time to serve them, she said.

“We don’t just catch babies. It’s taking care of somebody from the beginning of pregnancy to six weeks postpartum,” Baker said.

The only midwife in Central Alberta works in Rocky Mountain House. She is also quite busy serving clients in her area.

Cheri Purpur, who was a midwife in Red Deer from 1993 to 1996, was thrilled that funding has finally arrived after years of promises.

Finding midwives for Red Deer is the new hurdle, she said.

“It will happen, but it will take time,” said Purpur, who is now the nurse manager at Red Deer Hospice.

“There is a wide open market here in Central Alberta.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer group looking to keep roads safe for cyclists

A Red Deer cycling group is concerned about road safety after multiple… Continue reading

Smoke and pets do not mix

Take care of your pets during the smoky weather

Former Red Deer lawyer sentenced

Charges included possession of stolen property

Man causes mischief with axe in Ponoka

Arson and attempted break and enter charges laid

WATCH: Raising money for kids at the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic

Former NHL players, Olympians, pro rodeo circuit members and musicians teed off… Continue reading

Oilpatch fears delays as U.S. judge orders further review of KXL pipeline route

CALGARY — Potential delays in the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline… Continue reading

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies at 76

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang… Continue reading

Arrests in Burnaby, B.C., as order against Kinder Morgan protest camp enforced

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters Thursday as officers enforced a… Continue reading

‘Hot and dirty work:’ Commander describes fighting massive Ontario wildfire

BRITT, Ont. — From a helicopter flying over a smouldering swath of… Continue reading

Calgary Fire Department logs record opioid overdose calls in July

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says there were a record number… Continue reading

RCMP in Burnaby, B.C., say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters when officers enforced a court… Continue reading

Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

NEW YORK — If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may… Continue reading

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