Ontario Government Delivers More Midwives

    Ontario Midwives to Deliver 1,200 More Babies

    TORONTO, Aug. 22 /CNW/ - The Association of Ontario Midwives (AOM)
welcomes today's announcement by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and
the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to invest in midwifery
care. As a result of today's investment, each year there will be an additional
1,200 women, and newborns, who will be able to access midwifery care.
    "Government clearly understands that Ontario needs more midwives now,"
says Kelly Stadelbauer, AOM Executive Director. "The expansion of midwifery is
a significant step in addressing the overwhelming need for midwives across the
province. Last year, while 10,000 pregnant women were able to access midwifery
care, 6000 additional pregnant women seeking midwifery care could not be
accommodated due to the current shortage of practitioners."
    Currently, there are over 400 registered midwives in the province,
delivering approximately 8% of births. Midwives provide primary care in
low-risk situations, which account for approximately 80% of all pregnancies.
As a result of this announcement, the Midwifery Education Program will be able
to boost their admission number from 60 to 90 students.
    "The expansion of midwifery is a clear and welcomed sign that government
values the contributions of midwifery to the well-being of women and babies,"
says Lisa Weston, AOM Vice President. "The midwifery model, based on health
promotion, leads to a low rate of complications and interventions, short
hospital stays and a low rate of hospital readmissions. Not only is this
beneficial for women and babies, but it also means cost savings to the health
    In addition to the current shortage of midwives, a maternity care crisis
has been threatening Ontario. Recent expert reports (including the Ontario
Maternity Care Expert Panel) show that in five years from now 10,000 pregnant
women in Ontario will not have any maternity care provider at all.
    "Today's announcement is a good first step. Investing in midwifery is the
right thing to do. Midwives have a central role in addressing the looming
maternity care crisis. We are experts in pregnancy and birth. It's all we do.
It's what we know. We look forward to continuing to work with government to
ensure that all pregnant women in Ontario have excellent care and that all
newborns have the best possible start in life," says Ms. Weston.

    The Association of Ontario Midwives represents Registered Midwives and
promotes the profession of midwifery in Ontario.

For further information:

For further information: Juana Berinstein, Director of Policy and
Communication, Office: (416) 425-9974 or 1 (866) 418-3773, Mobile: (416)

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Association of Ontario Midwives

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