Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Association of Midwives have reached a three-year agreement that will see provincial funding increase. (File photo by BLACK PRESS)

Greater access to midwives expected by 2020 in Red Deer

Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Association of Midwives reach new agreement

Access to midwifery care in Red Deer is expected to jump when funding increases next year.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Alberta Association of Midwives have reached a three-year agreement that will see provincial funding increase in Central Alberta in April 2020.

“We definitely are pleased with the increased funding and increased commitment to midwifery. It’s definitely moving in the right direction,” said Jennifer Bindon, of Prairie Midwives in Red Deer.

She said midwives with her agency will care for about 155 women this year with the potential to increase to about 240 women in 2020.

She said the increase in funding and commitment to grow midwifery in Alberta is needed to be able to continue to offer more services to women.

For women with low-risk pregnancies, midwifery is a safe option. Research has shown that women who give birth with the assistance of a midwife tend to have shorter hospital stays, are more likely to breastfeed and require fewer medical interventions, such as caesarean sections.

AHS said the renewed agreement will improve access to midwifery for residents of small urban, rural and Indigenous communities.

“Work is underway on a finalized agreement between AHS and the Alberta Association of Midwives regarding how midwifery services will expand in various areas in the province, including Central Zone. However, the new agreement will mean that Central Zone’s midwives will be able to work to their full capacity in Alberta,” the AHS statement said.

Central zone currently has eight midwives providing courses of care to families in Red Deer and surrounding areas. This includes the full spectrum of obstetrical care, from prenatal, to delivery to post-partum.

In December, the province announced it was expanding midwives’ scope of practice, which will bring them in line with many other provinces and territories.

Midwives who complete additional training and are authorized by the College of Midwives of Alberta will be able to prescribe, dispense and administer a broader range of prescription drugs, contraceptives and contraceptive devices and, in a hospital, benzodiazepines and narcotics. They will also be able to prescribe and administer vaccines, insert intrauterine contraceptive devices, provide prescription drugs to induce labour and use ultrasounds to determine fetal position.

Bindon said integrating midwives more into the medical team and giving them more say will reduce wait times for services like access to drugs to induce labour and “that’s huge.”

She said although the scope of practice increases April 1, the college has yet to release training information. She anticipates a long, slow roll out, but hoped midwives would be able to offer more services sometime this year.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATED: Economy and health care expected to be hot election topics

Premier Rachel Notley makes announcement on Tuesday morning

Cruel and sadistic: Central Alberta dog rescuers believe there are dog fighting rings in province

With the increased number of stolen dogs, some central Alberta rescuers are… Continue reading

Red Deer hospital expansion recognized in throne speech

Society for Hospital Expansion in Central Alberta calls for more details

Mixed Nuts revue presented Saturday to kick off first Carole Forhan Theatrical Scholarship

Broadway songs, comedy skits are part of the Red Deer Players production

Opinion: Let’s be heard ‘loud and clear’ during provincial election campaign

By David Marsden During the banquet for Sunday’s Boston Bruins alumni game,… Continue reading

Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man… Continue reading

Want to help bees? Plant flowering herbs

Herbs are among the most useful plants in nature. They can tantalize… Continue reading

UN: Gene editing for human reproduction is ‘irresponsible’

GENEVA — A panel convened by the World Health Organization said it… Continue reading

Photos: Three moose spotted in Red Deer Tuesday

Three moose were spotted in Red Deer Tuesday morning. Red Deer resident… Continue reading

Andreescu rockets to No. 24 in WTA Tour rankings after Indian Wells title

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has rocketed to No. 24 in the WTA Tour… Continue reading

Canadian figure skaters looking to reach new heights at world championships

Nam Nguyen, Alaine Chartrand and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro all have… Continue reading

Man linked to largest art heist in history freed from prison

HARTFORD, Conn. — A reputed Connecticut mobster who federal authorities believe is… Continue reading

Most Read