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Midwives Offer Solution to Rural BC Maternity Care Shortage

Vancouver, Jan. 20 – The Midwives Association of British Columbia (MABC) today called upon the provincial government to use the services of midwives to help address the dire shortage of maternity care providers in Fort Nelson and throughout British Columbia.

“It is critical that women in labour be able to birth their babies in the communities in which they live. Expectant mothers in our province shouldn’t be forced to drive hundreds of kilometres to receive maternity services,” said Ganga Jolicoeur, Executive Director of MABC. “Midwives can offer a practical and cost-effective solution to deal with the growing shortage of maternity care providers, not only in Fort Nelson, but in all regions of British Columbia.”Increasingly in rural British Columbia, women and in particular low-income and First Nations women, have no other options but to leave their community to receive the maternity care they require.

“With the BC Liberals and the NDP selecting new leaders, we call upon the leadership candidates of both parties to commit their support to midwifery in British Columbia. Expectant mothers, regardless of whether they reside in urban or rural BC, deserve locally-based maternal care.”

BC Midwives now deliver over 10 per cent of the province’s babies each year and are publicly funded and regulated by the provincial government. There are currently around 200 practicing midwives registered in B.C.; there are approximately 720 throughout Canada. In B.C., clients who choose midwifery have the option of a home or hospital birth.

The MABC educates the public about midwifery care while supporting the growing number of midwives across the province. Registered Midwives are a funded part of the health care system in BC and are experts in normal birth. By working in partnership with other maternity care providers, Midwives can help to reduce costs in the healthcare system and improve health outcomes.

With extensive training that focuses on pregnancy, birth and the postpartum for both mom and baby, midwives are a safe and recognized choice for maternity care in BC , across Canada and around the world.

For further information:
Alexandra Cubitt
NATIONAL Public Relations
(604) 767-0207