Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 16:49 EDT

Midwives Welcome Opportunity to Lead New Birth Centres in Ontario

March 20, 2012

TORONTO, March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Ontario’s 550 registered midwives
support the announcement made this morning by Premier McGuinty and
Minister Deb Matthews to develop two freestanding, midwifery-led birth

“This pilot project is a great start and sends a clear message to
Ontarians that their government supports normal birth. Birth centres
will help make midwifery more accessible and help more women and their
families realize their goal of a normal and healthy childbirth,” says
Katrina Kilroy, midwife and president of the Association of Ontario
Midwives (AOM).

More than 10,000 supporters sent the Liberal government messages
advocating for midwifery-led birth centres, and hundreds of others used
Facebook and Twitter to promote the benefits of birth centres on the
AOM’s Social Media Day of Action, February 29. “There was a groundswell
of support for birth centres, and thousands of families across the
province all share in the success of securing pilot project funding,”
says Kilroy. “Many communities are interested in having access to a
birth centre and we will be following developments closely.”

Midwifery-led birth centres are an innovative solution that will curb
costs while promoting excellent outcomes and keep birth in the
community. Giving birth is the main reason Ontario women are
hospitalized, yet there is no medical reason to be hospitalized for a
healthy labour and delivery. “Birth centres will provide an excellent
option for women with healthy pregnancies,” says Kilroy. Research has
shown that a planned out-of-hospital birth is as safe as a hospital
birth for healthy women.

“Midwives welcome this opportunity to lead an innovative, safe and
cost-effective option for community-based care. We hope birth centres
will provide a unique setting for interprofessional learning and we
will continue to work closely with physicians and nurses to foster
opportunities for ongoing collaboration,” says Kilroy.

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) reacted
positively to the announcement. “The SOGC is supportive of offering
women a choice of birth settings when appropriate and we support
interprofessional collaboration with midwives,” says Dr. Vyta Senikas,
Acting Executive Vice-President, SOGC.

The birth centre model has been proven to work in the United States, the
United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. Closer
to home, in Quebec, there is a well-established system of midwifery-led
birth centres.

About Midwifery in Ontario

There are more than 550 registered midwives in Ontario, serving
communities in 90 clinics across the province. Midwives have privileges
at most Ontario hospitals. Since midwifery became a regulated health
profession in 1994, almost 130,000 babies have been born under
midwifery care, including almost 30,000 births at home.

A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary
care to women with low-risk pregnancies. Midwives provide care
throughout pregnancy, labour and birth and provide care to both mother
and baby during the first six weeks following the birth. The
Association of Ontario Midwives is the professional organization
representing midwives and the profession of midwifery in Ontario.

For more information about AOM, visit our website at www.aom.on.ca You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (Facebook.com/OntarioMidwives; Twitter.com/OntarioMidwives).

SOURCE Association of Ontario Midwives

Video with caption: “Video: Ontario’s 550 registered midwives support the announcement made this morning by Premier McGuinty and Minister Deb Matthews to develop two freestanding, midwifery-led birth centres.”. Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20120320_C6108_VIDEO_EN_11339.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20120320_C6108_PHOTO_EN_11339.jpg&clientName=Association%20of%20Ontario%20Midwives&caption=Video%3A%20Ontario%27s%20550%20registered%20midwives%20support%20the%20announcement%20made%20this%20morning%20by%20Premier%20McGuinty%20and%20Minister%20Deb%20Matthews%20to%20develop%20two%20freestanding%2C%20midwifery%2Dled%20birth%20centres%2E&title=ASSOCIATION%20OF%20ONTARIO%20MIDWIVES%20%2D%20Midwives%20Welcome%20Opportunity%20to%20Lead%20New%20Birth%20Centres%20in%20Ontario&headline=Midwives%20Welcome%20Opportunity%20to%20Lead%20New%20Birth%20Centres%20in%20Ontario

Image with caption: “At Tuesday’s press conference Premier Dalton McGuinty and Minister of Health and Long Term Care Deb Matthews met birth centre supporters including Melissa Skene, holding 4-month old Katrina who was delivered by a midwife. (CNW Group/Association of Ontario Midwives)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120320_C6108_PHOTO_EN_11355.jpg

Image with caption: “Premier Dalton McGuinty chats with Veruca and Violet Devotta while their mom, Vanessa, looks on holding baby Charli who was delivered by a midwife 8 weeks ago. (CNW Group/Association of Ontario Midwives)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120320_C6108_PHOTO_EN_11356.jpg

Source: PR Newswire