Maternity group to rally for midwifery care

Labour Day will take on a whole new meaning on Monday. Mothers of Change for Maternity Care will host a rally at Red Deer City Hall Park at 11 a.m. to demand more funding for midwifery care in Alberta.

Labour Day will take on a whole new meaning on Monday.

Mothers of Change for Maternity Care will host a rally at Red Deer City Hall Park at 11 a.m. to demand more funding for midwifery care in Alberta.

Rallies will also be held in Edmonton, Calgary and Fort McMurray, led by a non-profit advocacy group.

Chelsea Casson, executive director of Mothers of Change and provincial rally organizer, said the current three-year, $37-million funding agreement with Alberta Health Services is not enough.

Each midwife in Alberta is allowed to have 40 patients a year, which would cost $42.5 million, she said.

“The midwifery model of care is really an amazing model of care. However, the lack of access to this type of care for women is an issue right now,” said Casson.

She claims that limiting midwifery funding does not save the health-care system money. Research shows that the increased likelihood of interventions in a medically-managed birth can end up costing the province more than a birth attended by a midwife, she said.

And with midwives there’s a opportunity for home births, Casson said. “That’s a substantial amount of savings right there.”

She said current funding also limits the number of midwives who are able to practise in Alberta, including students enrolled in Mount Royal University’s midwife program who are scheduled to graduate in 2015.

As taxpayers, Albertans are helping pay for the Mount Royal program, she said.

Casson said about 30 people are expected to attend the Red Deer rally.

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