Women across Wood Buffalo will finally have a choice when it comes to healthcare during childbirth.
That’s the message coming from Wood Buffalo Woman & Baby Care Association speaking about the province’s plans to bring midwifery services to the region.
The hope is to open at least one practice in Fort McMurray after multiple requests over the past three decades.
Co-Chair of the WBWBCA Kayla Lushman tells Mix News families now have multiple good options to chose from.
“Midwives in Canada are highly regulated – highly trained, so they have excellent birth outcomes and midwives can attend home births, birth centre births, and hospital births.”
The rural communities are also expected to greatly benefit from the services.
Lushman says midwives are known for travelling to their clients.
“The mobility that midwives can have will provide better access to those rural communities, it’s going to be incredibly beneficial.”
The province has plans to bring midwives to Fort McMurray within one-year. They’re currently focused on getting this service to Grand Prairie before turning their attention to Wood Buffalo.
“I’m happy the plan is moving forward, I feel like the one-year timeline is very generous and if we do get a practice up and running in one-year, I think that will be fantastic,” added Lushman.
The hope is to start with one practice which two midwives will work out of. In a past interview with the WBWBCA, they said they wanted at least 10 professionals working in the community.
Lushman believes they need to work on promoting the region more as a place to live, work, and raise a family. By doing so, they hope more practices could potentially open.
Meanwhile, the province is in discussions with the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre into possibly getting these midwives the chance to work out of the hospital.
“Establishing those hospital privileges, that will create better sustainability for the practice, it will create a better working environment for all the practitioners and future midwives,” she added.
Until a local practice opens, women looking to use midwifery services will have to go outside of the community – the closest being in Lac La Biche where two midwives work.