South Shore Midwife Program Suspended

Posted on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 19:13 PM

An alternative to hospital birth is being lost on the South Shore.

Nova Scotia has approximately ten midwife positions across the province, two of which are based in the South Shore.

Both of those positions are vacant at the moment.

NDP Leader Gary Burrill is concerned this loss is a result of government underfunding the program.

"There was a major review of this, now seven years ago that said, there's a critical mass of midwives that you have to have in order to have an effective midwife program. It's about double the number of people that we have in this field at the moment."

Burrill says his party would have followed those recommendations to hire more midwives.

"There would be double the amounts so that there would be someone there to back up people when they had to go on vacation or when their own health was in question, or any of the many things that can happen."

Burrill says without enough funding for the program, there won't be enough people in place to provide the service that is needed.

Meanwhile,

The Director for Maternity and Children Services for Nova Scotia Health Authority Sally Loring says the loss of the South Shore's Midwife program is temporary.

"We're not actually losing the midwives. There are two midwives in South Shore. One is on some leave at the moment. The second midwife has been working by herself for a little while and wishes to take some well-earned rest."

Loring expects the midwife will take at least three weeks off after which time they will discuss when she will return.

She says no expecting mother will be without health care because of the change.

"Because there's just been the one midwife, she's obviously had time off during the week as well. So, it has been shared care for these moms. So, it's likely they'll already know the family physicians in Bridgewater."

Loring feels the program is a great option for women who are healthy but may have trouble accessing hospitals.

She says the Health Authority is actively trying to recruit more midwives.