Midwives support SOGC in turning the breech issue around

    TORONTO, June 18 /CNW/ - Ontario Midwives welcome the news that the
Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recognizes the safety of vaginal
breech delivery and does not automatically recommend a c-section for breech
babies. While vaginal breech birth is within the midwifery scope of practice,
supportive consulting physicians are key to ensuring women have access to this
choice. The Association of Ontario Midwives recently passed a motion at their
annual general meeting calling for more support for women to have a vaginal
breech delivery.
    "Women should be able to choose a vaginal breech delivery when it's
appropriate and not have the major abdominal surgery of a c-section if it is
unnecessary," says Katrina Kilroy, President of the Association of Ontario
Midwives. "There are many benefits of vaginal birth for both baby and mother.
We're hopeful that this statement will lead to more doctors being trained to
see this as a part of normal birth and acquiring the skills to support women
in vaginal breech birth."
    There are some Ontario midwives who have the skills and experience to
provide care during breech birth after consultation with an obstetrician, and
some also turn breech babies to the head down position externally before
labour begins. All midwives have training in emergency skills when a breech
presentation appears unexpectedly.
    "There is a lot of interest from midwives and their clients in vaginal
breech birth and hopefully this change in SOGC policy will mean more
opportunities for all care providers to learn the skills. We look forward to
working together with physician colleagues to make vaginal breech birth a
viable choice for women," says Kilroy.
    There are about 450 Registered Midwives in Ontario, serving communities
in 72 clinics across the province. Midwives have privileges at 75 Ontario
hospitals. Midwives have been regulated by the province since 1994.

    A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary
care to low-risk women throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth and
provides care to both mother and baby during the first six weeks following the
birth. The Association of Ontario Midwives is the professional body
representing midwives and the practice of midwifery in Ontario.

For further information:

For further information: Joanna Zuk, Association of Ontario Midwives,
(416) 425-9974 x2261, comms@aom.on.ca, www.aom.on.ca

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Association of Ontario Midwives

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