Find out how midwives can help post-partum women cope with the birth of a new baby.
Midwives have been on the frontline of maternal care since the mid-1990s, when they were trained in obstetrics and gynaecology, but they are now gaining recognition for their skills as nurses, midwives and physiotherapists.
There is a shortage of midwives across the country and in Ontario, where the profession is largely defined by its nurse-midwife ratio, which is currently around 4:1.
This means that there are fewer midwives than the rest of the profession, and many of them are not trained to deliver babies.
The shortage has forced many midwives to turn to social workers, social workers-only care facilities and home care, and they are not able to take on the role of primary care givers, which requires more than just a nurse.
This shortage has resulted in midwives being forced to move out of their homes and into a variety of other jobs, including care workers, home care workers and midwives, which can be difficult for the midwife, who may not have the skills needed to do both work.
But there are signs that the shortage is starting to ease.
In February, the Ontario Midwives’ Association voted to open an office in the Toronto area.
In an interview with CBC Toronto, the association’s president, Jillian Laskowski, said the office would allow midwives from other provinces to apply for midwifery jobs in Ontario.
“We’ve heard a lot of interest from other jurisdictions,” Laskowski said.
“And we’re excited to work with them to bring this office in and provide some support for midwives.”
She said the association plans to spend about $10,000 on the office, including a new computer system and a new receptionist.
Laskowkski said the organization is also seeking volunteers to help train midwives.
“I’m really excited about that opportunity,” she said.
Midwifers working at the Toronto office will also have access to the same training programs that midwives working at their home-based facilities receive.
The group has already had one volunteer sign up to work at the office.
In a statement to CBC Toronto on Thursday, Laskowsky said the group is working to find the right midwives for the new office.
She said they are already looking for people who are experienced and capable of teaching and caring for the newly born baby.
“Our goal is to have a professional midwife who can provide the training and skills needed for the post-baby care that is required,” Larkowski said.
The Toronto office is the first of its kind in the province, and Laskwisows said it will be a first step towards expanding midwimery programs in Ontario and beyond.
“It will be an important part of helping women in Ontario to meet their responsibilities in midwital,” she added.
In January, the province began offering midwires at the midwives-only facility in Newmarket, which has a capacity of approximately 150 women.
“This will allow us to provide more midwives with more opportunity to be able to deliver, and help ensure that the women of this province have the same opportunities that we do,” Liskowski said in January.
“So we are looking forward to working with our partners and the province to make this a reality.”