Midwifery

ALBERTA MIDWIFERY AT A GLANCE

By Alberta Association of Midwives

AAM_LogoMidwifery care has been funded by Alberta Health Services since April of 2009. Midwifery services are covered for all residents of Alberta and no referral is required. Midwives are primary caregivers. You do not need to have a doctor when you have a midwife. All Registered Midwives must be a member of the Alberta Association of Midwives and carry full liability insurance. Midwives work as independent practitioners and can either work alone or with groups of other midwives in a private practice. Midwives provide care from their homes or private offices. A variety of birth places are offered such as home, birth center or hospital.

The midwifery scope of practice includes providing primary care to low risk women and their newborns through pregnancy, birth and 6 weeks postpartum. Registered midwives have complete access to laboratories and diagnostic services; are able to prescribe and carry select medications, and consult or refer to other specialists when needed. Midwives have hospital admitting privileges in the area that they practice. The practice of midwifery is grounded in the principles of health and wellbeing, women centered care, informed choice, holistic care, continuity of care and collaboration.

There are currently 16 midwifery practices in Alberta; with 92 registered working midwives, and 28 midwifery students.

Midwifery Care

Midwifery Care

What’s New

The College of Midwives of Alberta (CMA) was established as the regulatory body for midwifery in Alberta in January of 2013. CMA’s mandate is to regulate the practice of the profession in the province and to provide an avenue for responding to feedback from the public regarding midwifery practice. This will ensure that midwifery standards of practice are maintained and women in Alberta continue to receive high quality midwifery care.

Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Association of Midwives continue to work together on the midwifery contract and numerous committees to further integrate midwifery into Alberta healthcare. Alberta Health Services has showed continued support for midwifery care and that midwives are an essential part of our health care. The position of Director of Midwifery Services, within Alberta Health Services is held by Gisela Becker, RM MA. We are so fortunate to have her in this role, integrating and advancing maternity services and working towards improving access to maternity services for all Albertans.

What’s New

The AAM has a new Board of Directors and staff. The AAM gladly welcomes Nicole Matheseon as the new President. The remainder of the board is as follows Vice President Heather Fisher Secretary Carly Scrymgeour, Treasurer Nadine Mitchell, Insurance Director Wendy Wood, Privacy Director Megan Lalonde, Communications Directors Heather Fisher and Terri Demers, Student Member Samantha Stupak. The AAM also has a new Chief Executive Officer Lolly de Jonge, PhD. We are thrilled to welcome her and her expertise to the association. We also continue to be supported by our wonderful Executive Administrator Christine Jennings.

The AAM would like to thank our Past President JoanMargaret Laine for her service.

The College of Midwives of Alberta (CMA) was established as the regulatory body for midwifery in Alberta in January of 2013. CMA’s mandate is to regulate the practice of the profession in the province and to provide an avenue for responding to feedback from the public regarding midwifery practice. This will ensure that midwifery standards of practice are maintained and women in Alberta continue to receive high quality midwifery care.

Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Association of Midwives continue to work together on the midwifery contract and numerous committees to further integrate midwifery into Alberta healthcare. Alberta Health Services has showed continued support for midwifery care and that midwives are an essential part of our health care.

Mount Royal University Midwifery Program

The first midwifery class from Mount Royal University just graduated! Mount Royal University in Calgary has a four-year direct entry Bachelor of Midwifery degree program, which is the only Midwifery program in Alberta. The program combines theoretical knowledge and extensive practical experience.Every year students are placed with midwives around the province in clinical placements. Graduates from this comprehensive, evidence-based program are ready to take the Canadian Midwifery Registration Examination. This registration enables Midwives to work anywhere in Canada.

Midwifery Practices

We have seen growth in our numbers of midwives, as students have finished their programs and registered, and new midwives have been recruited from out of province, and out of country. We have a strong commitment to supporting women in their choice of birth place; clients choose to birth at home, birth centre, or in hospital. Midwives have privileges at local hospitals in most areas of the province.

The Lucina Birth Centre opened December 2011 and they recently celebrated their 500th wonderful birth there since the opening of its doors. The Arbour Lake Birth Centre continues to provide services in Calgary. Both are beautiful facilities and we are fortunate to have these centres available to support Albertans.

Midwifery babies

We would like to welcome a new member of the Edmonton midwifery family; little Sol was born to Jenni from Passages Midwifery in February. Nicole from Birth Partnership in Calgary also welcomed her first little girl to the world in May. Stay tuned for more baby announcements this year!

Rural Midwifery

Most of the midwives in Alberta are based in the two major centres of Calgary and Edmonton. There are also practices in Red Deer and Rocky Mountain House serving central Alberta. A practice in High Level for those further North and a practice in Cardston for those in the rural South including Lethbridge, Pincher Creek and many other surrounding areas. Practices in Edmonton serve the greater-Edmonton area including Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Beaumont and Leduc.

One of the priorities of the AAM and Alberta Health Services is the growth and development of midwifery throughout the province. To establish midwifery practices in rural areas and to improve access for all Albertans. Recently the AAM published an infographic that depicts targeted zones for expansion and growth. The AAM is excited to report that they have met with Alberta’s new government and is working to secure funding to better support Alberta families that are requesting midwifery care. As a way to ensure best access to all Albertans the AAM has developed a database with a central intake and waitlist system. These changes began in early July 2015.

Midwifery Facts and Figures

  • Registered Midwives in Alberta deliver proximately 4% of the babies in the province. Midwives in Canada deliver 2% of the country’s babies. http://bitly.com/eYhYoe
  • The number of babies delivered by midwives in the province has more than doubled from 975 in 2009 to 1,984 in 2012.
  • The number of Midwives in Alberta has increased by 17% year-over-year since public funding in 2009.
  • Midwives have been registered in Alberta since 1992
  • In 2009 there were 31 midwives and this has grown to 80 in 2013.
  • There are 45 Midwives in Calgary, 21 in Edmonton, 3 in Red Deer, and 16 Rural.
  • Publicly-funded midwifery care is available in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nunavut, Nova Scotia, and the Northwest Territories.
  • Women can choose to deliver their babies either at home, a birth centre, or in the hospital with an Alberta Registered Midwife.  On average, 50% of midwife-attended births in Alberta occur at home or in a birth centres – this number varies by practice and community.
  • There are currently 36 students enrolled in the 4 year Mount Royal University Bachelor of Midwifery program which started September 2011.
  • Alberta Registered Midwives are able to care for up to 40 clients per midwife per year.
  • Midwives are independent contractors and paid by Alberta Health Services based on the Course of Care for each client.
  • The full amount for a Course of Care that an Alberta Registered midwife can bill for includes a provision for 39-55% for overhead, registration and insurance fees.
  • Canada was the last developed country to legally recognize the practice and profession of midwifery.

FOR MORE INFORMATION about midwifery:

Alberta Association of Midwives: (403) 532-1207 ~

info@alberta-midwives.com ~ www.alberta-midwives.com

College of Midwives of Alberta: (403) 474-3999 ~

info@college-midwives-ab.ca ~ www.college-midwives-ab.ca