Public funding for midwives in Alberta started in 2009. In the first few years, the budget was big enough to pay all the midwives, however, each of them had a very long wait list.
Since 2008, Alberta has seen a substantial increase (17%) in its number of midwives. As exciting as this is, funding has not kept up with this increase. A majority of new midwives are forced to work part time or may find themselves unable to work at all.
In the meantime, wait lists for midwives still exist - the Alberta Association of Midwives counts 250 women on it. This means that many women are robbed of the opportunity to make choices about their caregiver and place of birth.
Only 4% of babies are delivered by midwives in Alberta - a number that would certainly increase if more midwives could work here. In BC, the number sits at over 14%.
Women want options in childbirth. They have the right to choose their place of birth and caregiver.
We know that midwifery care is safe and cheap for the health care system.
We ask that funding for midwives be increased, allowing for growth and for midwives to be fully integrated into the health care system.
We want the government of Alberta to provide ongoing and adequate funding for Alberta's growing number of midwives. Providing excellent funding for midwives is the best way to ensure that every woman who would like a midwife can access this safe, expert & cost-effective option for maternity care.