What is Midwifery

Alberta Maternity Care Providers Talk Collaboration in Video Created to Educate Consumers on Midwifery and the Importance of Integrating Midwives into the Current Health Care System

In Alberta, there is a need to educate families on maternity care options, increase access to midwives by revising the funding model, and address concerns of underserved rural populations, where even fewer maternity care options are available. As a way of educating families on midwifery, a video has been created.

In the video, various maternity care providers and stakeholders were interviewed to discuss midwifery, its importance and how it can be integrated into the health care system. Contrary to the preconceived notion that other care providers were resistant to working with midwives, the overwhelming theme that came out of the video was collaboration.

The video highlights the current state of the health care system and offers midwifery as part of the solution.

Obstetricians interviewed talked about how midwives should be delivering a much higher percentage babies, upwards to 70%, in our province. They went on to mention other global health care systems that have successfully integrated midwifery into their care. While Alberta has done well integrating other maternity care services, one missing provider is still the midwife.

One region that has been successful in integrating midwives into their multidisciplinary teams is Rocky Mountain House, where midwives deliver approximately 50% of babies in the area, significantly higher than the provincial average of 4%. The results have been positive especially for underserved rural populations where the need is even greater.

The current funding model does not streamline financing to directly meet the growing demand for maternity care options. As a consequence, many mothers are unable to find midwifery support, are placed on long wait-lists (currently over 1200 women) and must find alternate and less preferable means of giving birth. Maternity care provided by midwives must be more widely recognized as an essential service and should be joined under Alberta Health instead of funded under Alberta Health Services.

Breast is Best

Breast is Best, a prize-winning film from Norway, is now the most extensive film on mother baby friendly practices, including breastfeeding. Thirty three different topics are covered in separate chapters. This is the film used in more than 50 countries to promote the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps program.

Latching On: The Politics of Breastfeeding in America

After filmmaker Katja Esson’s sister gave birth in Germany, she was able to breastfeed her baby anywhere and at any time. Returning home to New York, Esson found that breastfeeding was rarely practiced and largely unseen. Academy Award® Nominee Esson (Ferry Tales) turned her quirky eye on the subject and set out to learn why this was so. Her wide-ranging, frequently funny documentary highlights the intersecting economic, social, and cultural forces that have helped replace mother’s milk with formula produced by a billion dollar industry, and reveals the challenges and rewards for women who buck the trend.

Latching On draws on lively first-hand accounts from mothers of diverse ethnicities and economic backgrounds, as well as candid observations by pediatricians, healthcare providers, lactation specialists, and the proprietor of New York’s first breastfeeding boutique. Including data about paid maternity leave, hospital post-delivery policies, and workplace accommodations for nursing mothers, the film compares current US practices with standards adopted elsewhere. Tensions around public breastfeeding and “breast is best” promotion campaigns highlight society’s perceived interest in regulating women’s reproductive behavior, as well as the power of culture to assign sexual and moral meaning to mothers’ bodies. Entertaining and insightful, Latching On is an important analysis of the politics of breastfeeding, illuminating the complexities behind a simple, natural act.

A Mother is Born

Powerful spoken word featured in the film “A Mother Is Born”. Performed by Mary Pinkoski and Titi Sonuga.Birthing Babies Together Presents the Documentary ‘A Mother is Born’

A Mother is Born will be shown as part of the Choice! A Birth and Baby Film Festival on May 24, 2013 at 19:00 at St. Paul’s university. There is an Optimal Fetal Positioning presentation by Dr. Nancy Salgueiro before the film, at 18:00, and a discussion panel afterwards. Learn more »

Five Countries, Six Births, Seven Babies

Five Countries, Six Births, Seven Babies depicts six beautiful and gentle births in five countries; France, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Bermuda and the USA. The film shows that while cultures, laws and languages may change, birth remains fundamentally the same – biological and sacred. The films speak for themselves through music and images. The director, Diana Paul, filmed the segments between 1994 to 2010. Each birth drives home a message to birthing women. Five Countries, Six Births, Seven Babies is a wonderful introduction to natural childbirth. Five Countries, Six Births, Seven Babies will be shown as part of the Choice! A Birth and Baby Film Festival on April 26, 2013 at 19:00 at St. Paul’s university. Learn more »

The Face of Birth: pregnancy, childbirth and the power of choice

A movie about respecting and protecting a woman’s right to choose how, where and with whom she gives birth. Through the diverse and moving stories of five women who choose to have homebirths The Face of Birth gives us the big-picture on the importance of how, where and with whom we give birth to our children.

Featuring interviews with some of the world’s top childbirth experts The Face of Birth explores the links between choice and safety. It exposes the hidden costs, and broader social consequences of rising rates of intervention.

A must-see for all parents, and anyone intending to give birth, this feature-length movie about pregnancy, childbirth and the power of choice will change the way you view childbirth. The Face of Birth will be shown as part of the Choice! A Birth and Baby Film Festival on March 22, 2013 at 19:00 at St. Paul’s university. Learn more »

Hannah Dahlen on VBAC vs repeat caesarean

Hannah Dahlen is an Associate Professor of Midwifery at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. In this interview she talks about a recent study that looked at the impact that philosophical frameworks had on women’s choices around childbirth after caesarean section. The Face of Birth will be shown as part of the Choice! A Birth and Baby Film Festival on March 22, 2013 at 19:00 at St. Paul’s university. Learn more »