Midwives Association of New Brunswick

February 21, 2014 05:00 ET

Midwives Association of New Brunswick Seeks to Partner with Health Minister on Lowering C-Section Rate, Improving Maternal Outcomes

MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwired - Feb. 21, 2014) - The Midwives Association of New Brunswick welcomes the Conservative government's move to lower the province's caesarean section rate and improve outcomes for expectant mothers and babies. On February 19, Health Minister Hugh Flemming announced a New Brunswick Perinatal Health Program to monitor maternal and newborn outcomes, including rates of caesarean section. New Brunswick's c-section rate has been steadily increasing, and is currently at 28 per cent of all births.

In almost all jurisdictions across Canada, midwives are an integral part of the provincial and territorial public health care systems and play a vital role in ensuring lower obstetrical interventions rates for mothers and their newborns.

"Registered midwives in other provinces have a proven record of low c-section rates and excellent outcomes for mothers and babies," says Kate LeBlanc, President of the Midwives Association of New Brunswick. "Research clearly demonstrates that registered midwives provide safe and effective care. The inclusion of midwifery as part of the maternity care teams in New Brunswick is a vital part of the solution," concludes Ms LeBlanc.

New Brunswick remains one of the last provinces to integrate midwives into their health care system. In provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, registered midwives are funded to provide primary care to women during pregnancy and six weeks post-partum. Midwives in Ontario, where midwifery care has been funded by the province for twenty years, have excellent clinical outcomes, very high client satisfaction rates, and a caesarean-section rate of 15%. There are over 1200 practicing midwives across the country.

In 2013, the Conservative government suspended the work of the Midwifery Council of New Brunswick. Created in 2010 to oversee the implementation of the Midwifery Act, the Council had been working to develop policies, standards and guidelines necessary for the planned and eagerly awaited implementation of midwifery services in the province.

"We look forward to working with Minister Flemming to improve perinatal health in New Brunswick," says LeBlanc. "Integrating midwives into the health care system is both fiscally responsible and has proven benefits for mothers and babies."

About MANB/ASFNB

MANB/ASFNB's membership consists of registered midwives and midwifery students who are ready to work in New Brunswick. MANB maintains an active social media community at New Brunswick Midwives/ Sages-Femmes du Nouveau Brunswick Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/NewBrunswickMidwives).

Contact Information

  • To set up interviews with MANB midwives:
    Catharine Tunnacliffe, Communications
    Tel: 647-624-5279
    ctunnacliffe@gmail.com