Promote normal birth and the c-section rate will decrease, say Ontario Midwives

TORONTO, Jan. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Ontario midwives are urging the Liberal government to look at ways of promoting normal birth in order to bring down the caesarean section rate in the province. On January 21, Don Drummond, Chair of the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services, stated in an interview with the Toronto Star that c-section rates in the province are "off the charts" at 28% for 2009-10. Midwives in Ontario have excellent clinical outcomes, very high client satisfaction rates, and a caesarean-section rate of 15%.

"The healthiest birth for the majority of women is a normal, vaginal birth. The rate of c-sections for women in midwifery care is half the provincial average," says Katrina Kilroy, the President of the Association of Ontario Midwives. "Fifteen per cent is in line with the World Health Organization's recommendations."

Ontario midwives urge the Liberals to support normal birth as the means to lower the c-section rate. "Midwives have a proven record of low c-section rates and excellent outcomes for mothers and babies," says Kilroy. "Investment in normal birth, including properly supporting midwives in practice, the growth of midwifery and the establishment of midwifery-led birth centers in the province, would lead to significant cost savings in the future."

Midwives in the province are currently campaigning to see midwifery-led birth centres established in Ontario. According to the AOM, birth centres in the province would lead to reductions in health care spending costs, by keeping healthy women out of hospital and promoting births with fewer interventions. The campaign has the support of Ontario families, and to date, over 6,500 Ontarians have sent Premier Dalton McGuinty e-postcards advocating for 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 more than 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 You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (;

SOURCE Association of Ontario Midwives

For further information:

or to set up interviews with midwives, please contact: Jill-Marie Burke, Communications Officer  Tel: 416-425-9974 x2257

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Association of Ontario Midwives

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