Expectant families from Fort Saskatchewan and surrounding communities can now deliver their newborns with the support of a midwife at the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital.
“More women in Alberta are choosing a midwife to support them both before and after a baby is born. We are thrilled that Fort Saskatchewan has added midwifery to their women’s health program to help more families get this support closer to home. The support midwives provide makes a tremendous difference to new moms and dads and I’m proud we’re investing in a service that helps so many newborns get a good start in life.”
“I had an amazing experience with my midwife delivery at the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital. Our room was nice and bright, the staff was so helpful and the nurse I had was lovely. I think a lot of women from the surrounding community will be excited to learn they can deliver with a midwife closer to home. I’d absolutely recommend having a midwife delivery there.”
The expansion of midwifery services to communities across the province is at the heart of a new agreement between Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Alberta Association of Midwives. The agreement includes a plan to get more midwives caring for families in rural and remote areas.
“The Alberta Association of Midwives is really glad to see more options opening up for families who want to birth with a midwife in smaller centres around Alberta. We look forward to continuing to work with our health-care partners to address barriers to the sustainable growth of midwifery in Alberta.”
“As a young, growing community, midwifery services at the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital will be very well utilized. Our families deserve to stay right here at home as they welcome their new family member. This is a wonderful addition to our health care services in Fort Saskatchewan.”
“Alberta Health Services is committed to improving access to women’s health services outside urban centres. Adding midwifery services in Fort Saskatchewan means more women can access their choice of safe, quality and consistent maternal care in their own community.”
Since 2015, the government has committed almost $13 million in funding for midwifery care, including a three-year, $11-million investment in Budget 2016. As part of this funding, the government asked AHS and the Alberta Association of Midwives to target growth in underserved communities.
- Midwives serve individuals with low-risk pregnancies. Care starts during pregnancy and continues after birth.
- As part of Budget 2016, an additional $11 million was allocated for midwifery services over the next three years for a total of $49 million:
- 2016-2017: $14.6 million
- 2017-2018: $16.3 million
- 2018-2019: $18.1 million
- Funding increases have resulted in year-over-year growth of 400 midwife-assisted births and a 30 per cent increase in the number of midwife-assisted births in Alberta in the last two years.
- Midwife-assisted births by year:
- 2014-2015 – 2,374
- 2015-2016 – 2,774
- 2016-2017 – 3,174
- 2017-2018 – 3,574 (projected)
- 2018-2019 – 3,974 (projected)