May 5th, 2018

More supports needed for Nova Scotia midwifery program

HALIFAX – May 5th is International Day of the Midwife. Nova Scotia’s midwives need more support and the program should be expanded to serve all parts of the province. Currently, Nova Scotia has 11 full-time midwives based in Halifax, Antigonish, and on the South Shore.

“We heard from women across the province earlier this year that this is a service they want to be able to access,” said Tammy Martin, NDP spokesperson for Health. “Women who want to access a midwife should be able to choose that option. And, the midwives working in Nova Scotia would be better supported by a robust network of colleagues working throughout the province.”

Earlier this year South Shore residents protested to restore their program after it was suspended. The government added an additional midwife in both Antigonish and the South Shore but more supports are needed.

“Midwives are highly trained and educated health professionals who are able to care for women from the beginning of their pregnancy until six to 12 weeks postpartum,” said Kelly Chisholm, president of the Association of Nova Scotia Midwives. “Nova Scotia needs to invest in an expanded midwifery program so that anyone, in any part of the province can access these services.” The NDP Caucus introduced legislation in March that would require the government to ensure there were enough midwives in the province to provide services to anyone who requested them. The NDP bill suggested the government aim to have one midwife for every 14,000 residents in each of the health zones.
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