The Pregnancy Show Presents: Learn about the Midwife Shortage
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Melanie Raposo: Okay. Now, I was reading the statistic that about 40% of women seeking midwifery care can't get it because of a shortage of midwives. Is that true, and what's sort of being done to kind of help prevent that, or improve that? Carolynn Prior: I don't have the exacts statistic at my finger, but I do know that a large number of women seeking midwives can't get those midwives. Part of it is in how midwives are trained. Part of our model is to have one-on-one pre sub-training with the senior midwife. So as a midwife I almost always have a student, but only one at a time. So in a given year I could only help half -- a midwife will only get halfway towards her training. So I think one of the reasons is just how midwives are trained. It's a slowly growing profession. It also has a fairly good rate of attrition, the midwives living the profession because of lifestyle concerns, or just finding that it's a different job than they expected it to be. It's going to change over time, and midwives are an important part of filling the gap of obstetricians who are leaving the field, the family doctors who are no longer helping to birth babies. But it's not the only answer. You definitely need more midwives. I don't know what the answer is to help bring more midwives on site. I think that women have to also organize themselves as members of empowerment, and encourage more midwives to be brought in. Part of it is going to be a budget issue, as years go on, but I think it will get easier for women to look for a midwife. Right now midwives deliver about 8% of the babies in the province.