Photo by Helga Himer
LETHBRIDGE, AB – Starting Oct. 7, full midwifery services will be available at Chinook Regional Hospital.
According to Alberta Health Services, five registered midwives will join the hospital’s maternal health care team. Local women with low-risk pregnancies will have the option to give birth at the hospital with the support of a midwife, or to have the planned home birth as well.
Midwifery services are fully covered by Alberta Health.
An information session for parents, families, and members of the public will be held on Monday, Sept. 30, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the main floor of Chinook Regional Hospital.
According to the College of Midwives, as of 2018, there were between 130 and 135 registered midwives in the province who provide primary care to families and their babies during pregnancy, labour, birth and six-weeks post-partum.
AHS numbers indicate that about 3,500 Alberta families used midwives over the last year, a 50 per cent increase in the last five years.
The College of Midwives also indicated that as of 2018, Chinook Regional Hospital was one of the last of the larger hospitals in the province to approve midwifery privileges.
In the south health zone, Cardston Health Centre added the services in 2016, Medicine Hat Regional Hospital did in 2017, and Brooks Health Centre also did so in 2018. Services have also already expanded in Grande Prairie and Okotoks, while Indigenous programs have also been added in Calgary and in Edmonton.
by Lara Fominoff