News / Halifax

'Step up to the plate:' Group says Nova Scotia not keeping up with high midwife demand

The Midwifery Coalition of Nova Scotia recently kicked off its “purple postcard campaign” to draw attention to the issue.

The Midwifery Coalition of Nova Scotia's purple postcard campaign encourages supporters to send postcards to the provincial department of health and wellness asking, "Where's my midwife?"

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The Midwifery Coalition of Nova Scotia's purple postcard campaign encourages supporters to send postcards to the provincial department of health and wellness asking, "Where's my midwife?"

An advocacy group campaigning for more midwifery services in the province says with demand outstripping supply, Nova Scotia needs to “step up to the plate now.”

The Midwifery Coalition of Nova Scotia recently kicked off its “purple postcard campaign” to draw attention to the issue.

Although they’ve since produced more, they ran out of their first 500 postcards within the first three days of the campaign.

“We decided that it was time to let the government know that there is a huge demand for this service and that Nova Scotians really want access to midwives and that their government really has done nothing to forward the profession in the province,” said Sandra Murphy, a member of the coalition’s board of directors.

“We would really like to see funding and at least a plan from the department of health and wellness on how they’re going to expand midwifery.”

The campaign features a postcard with a map of Nova Scotia on a purple background with the words #WheresMyMidwifeNS, which they encourage supporters to send to the health department.

“We hear from families quite often who want to know where they can find a midwife, want to know why can’t I access one,” Murphy said.

“We even hear stories of people who live outside (midwife) catchment zones where they’ll use a relative’s address to be able to access the services, so there is definitely a need for expansion.”

The Midwifery Regulatory Council of Nova Scotia website currently lists nine registered midwives as working in the province.

“It feels like again and again we’re beating our heads against a brick wall trying to get the government to support midwifery’s growth. It has been years and years and years of the same message,” Murphy said.
“We understand that people of child bearing age are a bit of a minority in this province, but we have a loud voice and there are benefits to the government as well to funding midwifery. We’d really love to see them step up to the plate.”

The health department and the Nova Scotia Health Authority were unable to find anyone to comment on midwifery positions by press time.

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