I’ve just stumbled upon this article by the Globe and Mail on the Mis and Under use of Midwives in Canada. I’ll write more at length about midwives but I honestly can’t speak highly enough about my experience and advocate on their behalf. I don’t know how or why women would go through the experience of pregnancy and childbirth without this positive knowledgeable and women’s-and-children’s-issue-focused approach.
If I had my way my first birth would have been a home birth. As the sac cradling my son was slightly low on water I unfortunately DID require *minimal* medical intervention in the form of being induced with oxytocin and having my baby’s heart rate and contractions being consistently monitored. So either way my partner got his wish for a hospital birth. I, luckily, was only in the hospital for a total of 7 hours, and was HOME within two hours after birth.
Apparently the poor women of New Brunswick have only had legalized and government subsidized midwifery for five years and it is already lost. The same goes for the Yukon, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. Pregnancy is not a disease, nor is childbirth a surgical procedure that required medical prevention in most cases. Yet childbirth is the No. 1 cause of hospital admission in Canada (98.5% of births are in hospitals). This is a HUGE strain on our healthcare system. Not only that, but they have found that hospital births are significantly more likely to have unnecessary medical interventions (pain medications, obstetric forceps and suction extractors, Cesarean section births, etc) which adds strain on the bodily system of the woman giving birth (and potentially the baby).
“The rules vary from province to province, but in most cases, midwives must work under the supervision of a physician, or as part of a team. Instead of substituting midwives for physicians at deliveries and reaping the savings that would come from doing so, we have actually added a layer of costs.” Ridiculous. Simply ridiculous.
The solution should not be to eliminate midwifery, we should be expanding the program, giving midwives the power to do their job and educating women on their choices. Obviously even if women were educated on their options, it’s not like Canada would move from 98.5% of births to 50% of births occurring in hospitals, but every 1% that felt comfortable with a home birth made the shift that would free up beds for thousands of people in need of hospital care every year.