The Association of Ontario Midwives

The Association of Ontario Midwives

Action Alert: Take a few minutes to tell government why you value midwifery care

The Ontario government is looking to improve the way health care is delivered and has asked for public input on its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care.

The Ontario government is looking to improve the way health care is delivered and has asked for public input on its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care.

Many gains have been made in maternal and newborn care – including the availability of midwives. But four out of 10 women who want a midwife still can’t access one. Midwives can’t expand practices to meet the needs of patients because of limits hospitals place on the number of midwives who can work there. Birth is highly medicalized – meaning that many people (about 1 in 4) have their babies by c-section. High rates of interventions and care that is hospital-based are not putting patients who are pregnant or having babies first.

Government is looking at ways to change health care to put patients first. Midwives do this each and every day by building partnership with clients, by providing care at home, in the community and in hospital, and by keeping birth normal (clients in midwifery care, for example, have half the provincial rate of c-sections).

As a midwife, client or midwifery supporter, this is an opportunity for you to encourage government to continue to support the expansion of midwifery care to meet community need and to use midwifery care as an example of putting patients first.

As many of you know, when we talk about midwifery we don’t usually use the word “patient” because pregnancy is not a disease, but we’re deliberately using the word “patient” throughout this consultation to align ourselves with government’s efforts to improve health care.

Take a few minutes and add your voice!

Government has left maternal and newborn health out of Patients First. That’s why it’s so important for government to hear from you today.

Tell government about your experience with midwifery and that you support every Ontarian who wants a midwife to have one.

Midwifery – it’s the key to patient-centred care. It’s also the key to keeping birth close to home so birth is no longer the leading reason for hospitalization.
Here’s some background:

Take Action Right Now – it just takes a few minutes but will make a big difference.

Click on this feedback link and tell government:

  • About your experience in midwifery care (for example, your home birth or support you received postpartum).
  • That midwifery is the key to making maternal and newborn care better in Ontario.

The deadline for feedback is Monday Feb 29.  Make your voice heard today. Many brief e-mails will make a big impact.

Share the feedback you provide to government with the AOM by emailing Heather Harding.

Need some ideas about what to say? If you are able to write a longer comment to government, here’s some additional ideas to write about:

Transform maternal and newborn health care in Indigenous communities:
Indigenous communities have inequitable or no access to Aboriginal maternal and newborn health. Ask government to work with the AOM, NACM and related maternal child health stakeholders to develop a provincial strategy to support the renewal of Aboriginal midwifery. The strategy would include a panel of Indigenous experts in maternal and newborn health, inclusive of all sectors of Aboriginal and Indigenous communities across Ontario (including rural, remote, on and off reserve and urban centres).

Transform maternal and newborn care:

  • shift the high-risk medicalized model of pregnancy and birth to a low-risk model with midwives that keeps birth normal and in the community

Improve access to midwifery by addressing hospital-level barriers:

  • ensure hospitals enable midwives to optimize their scope of practice (in order to end medically unnecessary transfers of care)
  • ensure midwives can work in hospitals without caps on privileges or the number of clients, so that midwifery can expand to meet community needs and people who are pregnant are not turned away from midwifery care

Support out of hospital birth and keep birth close to home
Recent NICE guidelines out of the UK recommend that every person with a healthy pregnancy be offered an out-of-hospital birth. Promote out-of-hospital birth at home and in birth centres so that Ontarians know the evidence is clear – out-of-hospital birth is safe.

Collaboration and innovation
Support midwives working in new and innovative ways, like in midwifery-led hospital units and Community Health Centres, and with extended scope to provide fulsome care, for example, in rural and remote communities.

Make your voice heard – our strength is in the impact midwifery has on families across Ontario.