Registered Midwives deliver professional, safe, cost effective, high quality maternity care in Alberta. Midwifery services are publicly funded and are available to Alberta families from all walks of life.
Registered Midwives in Alberta deliver approximately 5.5% of the babies in the province. Midwives in Canada deliver 10.8% of the country’s babies with B.C. and Ontario leading the country at 22.4% and 18% midwifery assisted births respectively.
Publicly funded midwifery care is available here in Alberta, as well as B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and the NWT.
Women can choose to deliver their babies either at home, a birth centre, or in the hospital with an Alberta Registered Midwife. In 2017 approximately 40% of midwife-attended births in Alberta occurred at home or in a birth centre, although it varies from community to community.
In 2013, 93% of midwifery clients in Alberta delivered vaginally, with 12% requiring c-section (compared to 28.9% Alberta overall c-section rate). Additionally, 79.5% of clients who attempted VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian section) under midwifery care were successful.
Low intervention rates among midwifery clients, along with the option of out-of-hospital birth, offer significant savings for the Alberta Health Care system. A 2016 report on the state of maternity care in Alberta, found that out-of-hospital births with a midwife offer a savings of $2055/birth and in-hospital births with a midwife offer a savings of $540/birth when compared to maternity care with an OBGYN.
Midwives have been registered in Alberta since 1992, and the Alberta Association of Midwives has been in operation since 1986.
The number of babies delivered by midwives in Alberta has increased significantly since public funding began in 2009. Midwives attended 975 births in 2009, 1,984 in 2012, 3,042 births in 2016, and 3,574 in 2017 and we are on target for 3,974 in 2018. The total number of births in Alberta in 2009 was 51,722 and in 2016 it was estimated at 58,035.
There are 123 Registered Midwives in Alberta, a four-fold increase since public funding began in 2009.
Alberta Registered Midwives are able to care for up to 40 clients per midwife per year.
Mount Royal University is the only educational institution in Alberta to offer a Bachelor of Midwifery program, which started in September 2011.
Midwives are independent contractors to midwifery practices who are compensated by Alberta Health Services.