Midwifery in Nova Scotia has been regulated since 2009 but midwifery services are still only available at three sites. Requests for midwifery care far exceed the capacity of the small number of midwives at these sites. Families living in other areas of the province still have no access to midwifery care.
In 2011, an external review commissioned by the Department of Health and Wellness recommended increasing the number of midwives to 20 by the year 2017. This target would enable midwives to attend about 10% of all births in the province. Currently, there is no government commitment or plan for ongoing expansion of midwifery services.
In other provinces, families are the driving force behind the successful growth of midwifery (e.g. there are more than 1000 midwives in Ontario alone). Your voices, letters, emails and public rallies to advocate for midwifery DO have a collective impact!
Write a Letter
Writing a letter to the Minister of Health and telling your own story is an important and helpful way to advocate for midwifery in Nova Scotia. The following letter is one example.
Honourable Michelle Thompson
Minister of Health and Wellness
P.O. Box 488
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Dear Minister Thompson,
I am writing to you as the Minister of Health and Wellness because I’m concerned that there are no midwifery services in my community and there appears to be no plan to make these services available in the near future.
As you know, there are only three sites in the province where registered midwives practice. Unfortunately none of these sites is where I live. I had a midwife for the birth of my first baby in Alberta and I’ve experienced the excellent care that midwives give. When we moved to Nova Scotia I was delighted to learn that midwifery is also recognized and funded here. You can imagine my disappointment when I realized that midwifery care is available to just a lucky few, and I am not among them.
It is now 14 years since midwifery was regulated and midwifery services are still out of reach in most of Nova Scotia. I am asking you to publicly commit to a timeframe within which I can expect these services to be available to my family. I would like to see a government plan to integrate midwives more widely across the health system, so that parents and families in all parts of the province have fair and appropriate access to midwifery care.
Thank you for your attention to this issue. I look forward to your response.