Budget announcement solidifies support for Aboriginal midwifery

TORONTO, April 24, 2015 /CNW/ - Yesterday, the Ontario government released its budget, which included some very important news for midwifery in the province.

The 2015 Ontario budget highlighted support for midwifery, and specifically included a commitment to fund Aboriginal midwives providing care in their communities: "Ontario will also continue to support midwifery practice groups and Aboriginal midwives who offer support to expectant mothers and their babies."

Ellen Blais, co-chair of the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives and policy analyst at the Association of Ontario Midwives, is excited about what this commitment will mean to the Aboriginal midwives who are practicing in Ontario.

"Government support is essential to grow Aboriginal midwifery across the province," says Blais. "Including Aboriginal midwives directly in the budget papers shows this government is serious about the commitment they have made to fund Aboriginal midwifery. We cannot wait to work with them to get practices up and running in communities where they are so badly needed."

The real benefit of the piloted projects will be to the women and communities that will be served by the newly funded practices. Aboriginal midwifery will provide culturally appropriate, safe care that will help preserve identity and strengthen communities.

The funding is well in line with one of the governments' core health-care objective: delivering better coordinated and integrated care in the community, closer to home.

"Birth closer to home," explains Blais, "builds stronger community ties, connection to the land and the place and space for self-determination."

In a time of fiscal austerity when we can all assume budget decisions are tough, yesterday's announcement entrenching a commitment to support Aboriginal midwifery reflects an important moment in the advancement of midwifery across the province.

About Midwifery in Ontario
There are more than 700 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 150,000 babies have been born under midwifery care, including more than 35,000 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.

SOURCE Association of Ontario Midwives

For further information: or to set up an interview, please contact: Juana Berinstein, Director, Policy and Communications, Association of Ontario Midwives, Cell: 416-371-1468, Juana.berinstein@aom.on.ca

RELATED LINKS
www.aom.on.ca

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Association of Ontario Midwives

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