South Shore Midwifery Program To Return End Of July

Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2018 09:43 AM

After several rallies and impassioned letters, the South Shore has its midwifery program back.

The program was suspended in early 2018 after one of the two positions fell vacant and the other midwife went on leave.

Now the Nova Scotia Health Authority says the long-time midwife has returned and they filled the vacant position.

They've also added a third midwife position which has also been filled.

Sally Loring, Director for Maternity and Children Services for the Nova Scotia Health Authority, says the demand was there for a third midwife but they are also seeing benefits to having the service in the area.

"They are able to look after their care for six weeks and we're finding there's a bigger uptake for breastfeeding," says Loring.

The program also gives women the option of giving birth at home in the case of normal pregnancies, which can be an added benefit to women in rural areas, as Roseway Hospital and Queens General Hospital do not provide services to accomodate births.

If a midwife is utilized for a hospital birth, the mother can also leave the hospital quicker as her after care will be provided at home by the midwife.
Loring says she's excited about the new recruits in the South Shore area.

One midwife previously practiced in the United Kingdom and Canada and has a great deal of experience.

The other is younger and is coming to the South Shore from Winnipeg.

"It's nice to have a different age group within the team so the fact that these two midwives bring different things is very exciting," says Loring.

Loring says that will also help space out things like retirement age.

The new midwives will need some time to adjust but the program is expected to be up and running by the end of the month.

The third midwife position is one of three being added across the province, including one in Antigonish and the Halifax Regional Municipality.

There are approximately 13 positions across the province now, but the service isn't available in all areas.

An external review of the service titled - "Midwifery in Nova Scotia" was done in 2011 and recommended hiring 20 positions province-wide by 2017.

There are no further plans to increase the service right now, says Loring.

Story by Brittany Wentzell
Twitter: @BrittWentzell
Email: wentzell.brittany@radioabl.ca