Midwives are experts in low risk pregnancies, labour and birth. They are primary health care providers who work with low risk women throughout their entire pregnancy, including through labour and delivery, and they follow the mother and baby for the first six weeks after delivery.
Midwives work similarly to family physicians – they have ordering privileges for lab work and ultrasound, in addition to having Hospital Privileges (they can order a patient to be admitted to hospital – this Privilege is granted only to Physicians and Midwives). Midwives work together with specialists like Obstetricians and Pediatricians when concerns arise.
Midwives in Saskatchewan are regulated by the Saskatchewan College of Midwives, and in Saskatchewan, midwives are Health Region employees. Midwifery care typically results in lower rates of intervention (less cesareans, fewer epidurals, and less time in hospital) which in turn helps reduce the costs to the Health Region.
Midwives in Canada complete a 4 year university program and national exam to qualify for practice. If the midwife is internationally trained, she must complete an accredited bridging program to gain Canadian registration.
Midwives work out of prenatal and postnatal clinics. Midwives attend births in hospital and at the home of the client if desired and services are available. At this time, there are no “birth centres” available in Saskatchewan.
Midwives are experts in low risk pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Midwives are providers to newborn babies through the first 6 weeks after birth.
There are only 14 midwives practicing in Saskatchewan. Each region has a long wait list of women wanting care without the staffing to accommodate them. Currently there are no universities in Saskatchewan offering midwifery education which means students have to leave the province to get their midwifery education.
Midwives are proven to reduce the rates of interventions and surgical (Caesarian) births. Limiting those exposures can lead to better outcomes for the birth and those in the future. It also saves money by not needing those interventions.