Update on the IWK’s Midwifery Program – December 2012
The IWK Health Centre has recently welcomed two additional midwives to the Midwifery Service. Please click here to meet our team. The IWK now has four midwives (3.5 full time positions) working collaboratively with family practice physicians and obstetricians both in the Perinatal Centre and in the community, providing primary maternity care to low risk patients.
Recruitment is ongoing to help us build a strong and sustainable team to run our service, which provides continuity of care within a small team and a shared midwifery philosophy.
In late 2010, our midwifery services were temporarily placed on hold due to an unexpected reduction in staffing. The program was on hold for 6 months before the return of one midwife and some services. She was joined by a second midwife (part-time) in the summer of 2011 and until recently, they have been providing care to as many women as possible. With the recent addition of 2 midwives and recruitment ongoing, we look forward to having our midwifery services back to full capacity.
On December 6, 2011, the provincial government announced new funding for midwives for the Halifax region. We are delighted that the provincial government is planning to implement some of the key recommendations from the report on the external review of midwifery in Nova Scotia. This is very good news for families in HRM who wish to have the services of a midwife.
The IWK remains committed to ensuring that quality midwifery care is available to families in the Halifax region. We look forward to working with our partners to make an effective system of midwifery care in Nova Scotia a reality.
The IWK is supportive of offering home births again. We have been hearing from the community and understand your desire for reinstating home births. Because we understand how important this service is to our community, we want to be sure that when we begin offering home birth services, that it is a stable model that can stay operational and maintained with minimal interruptions.
Currently, the midwives are completing their orientation period and working closely to form their team systems and structures. We expect to have home births back up and running later in 2013. We are unable to provide a clear timeline at this stage, but want to ensure you that we are working through planning and recruiting for the service at this time. We will continue to provide updates as we make progress in these areas.
In November, the midwifery service moved to our community location at 99 Wyse Road, Suite 475, Dartmouth, NS. Women wishing to access our Midwifery Service may request it by calling (902) 491-2292. While we will try to accommodate all requests, there may be a waitlist for midwifery care due to limited staff capacity.
Please visit this website for further updates on our midwifery services.
Midwives are part of the IWK's multidisciplinary primary maternity care team, which includes:
Midwives are educated health professionals who are community-based and offer expert care to pregnant women and their new babies. The IWK's midwifery services are publicly funded, and there is no cost for midwifery care.
To contact the IWK's midwifery program, please call (902) 491-2292.
Please note: due to high demand, we anticipate that there may be a waitlist for midwifery care.
In keeping with the recommendations in the external review of midwifery in Nova Scotia, the IWK is seeking a Professional Practice Chief (PPC) for midwifery who could lead our Midwifery Service. The PPC would be responsible for working collaboratively, in a co-leadership model, with other members of the IWK leadership team to oversee the development of the program as well as for conducting quality assessments and practice reviews.