The Association of Ontario Midwives

The Association of Ontario Midwives

AOM Blog

The AOM blog is updated periodically with columns about current health care issues, the benefits of midwifery, and insights into improving maternal and newborn care in Ontario. Posts may be from midwives or staff of the association. 

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Vicki Van Wagner: prejudices regarding midwifery education continue

Despite the incredibly intense education program and increased level of responsibility, government does not appropriately value or compensate midwifery work.



“This case is a good example of the ongoing struggle against myths, prejudices and misunderstandings about midwifery work and its value and position in the health care system.” said Van Wagner in her testimony.

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AOM witness Jane Kilthei - history of sexist prejudice and stereotypes plagues midwifery

Jane Kilthei, a former registered midwife who practiced in Ontario pre- and post-regulation and was the president of the AOM from 1992 – 1994, testified at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) on Wednesday and Thursday. Kilthei was instrumental in providing input into the government’s regulatory and funding framework for midwifery. Today Kilthei provided evidence to the HRTO highlighting the historical sexist prejudice and stereotyping that was experienced by both midwives and women in midwifery care, in the male-dominated medical approach to pregnancy and birth which prevailed in the 1980's and early 1990's when midwives were finally brought into the funded health-care system.

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Gendered language and the HRTO

This week, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) will start hearing witness testimony in the AOM’s application pursuing pay equity for midwives. Much of the language that surrounds our case is gender-specific. The foundation of our application is evidence related to the fact that, as midwives, we suffer a gender penalty because we are a female-dominated workforce, providing care to women, for a women’s health experience of labour and birth – a perfect trifecta of discrimination. While the case before the HRTO will focus on female-based gender discrimination, discrimination takes many forms.

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Boycotting Nestlé to save babies’ lives

I’ll be on call during World Breastfeeding Week (August 1 to 7) and I know that some of the clients who contact me will have questions and concerns about breastfeeding. Discussing the health benefits of breastfeeding with my clients and providing the support they need to breastfeed successfully is a very important aspect of my work as a midwife. During postpartum home visits – especially with first-time moms – much of my time is spent assisting them with breastfeeding. Whether my clients need reassurance or practical advice, or both, it’s not long before they are on their way, confidently feeding their babies the most natural and healthiest food possible.

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Healthy pregnancy? Consider a home birth

Good intentions sometimes lead to great results…

Just look at the recommendations from our new guideline on choice of birthplace: simply planning a home birth is associated with a lower chance of needing certain interventions and having certain complications. We think it’s an option worth considering for everyone with a healthy pregnancy.


 

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