Wednesday, April 8, 2009

More Families Look to Midwives...

Last week at our midwife appointment, we were interviewed by local Banff Crag and Canyon reporter, Larissa Barlow, about our decision to use a midwife. I had emailed Larissa to ask her if she would be interested in writing a story that coincided with the Alberta Government starting to cover the service as of April 1st, 2009. She came to the home clinic of our midwife, Mireille Caron, whom we are so happy to be working with. The article came out in the paper yesterday, and is also on their website, which is nice because they only feature a selection of their articles on the site. I will post the whole article below, since this link to the website may becoming inactive over time...

To read some of my other blog posts about midwifery click here, here, or here...

More families look to midwives
Posted By Larissa Barlow

Larissa Barlow/Banff Crag & Canyon. Midwife Mireille Caron, left, with Tiffany Teske, her husband Andre Quenneville and daughter Quinlyn. Midwifery officially became a publicly funded service in Alberta on April 1.

By Larissa Barlow

Last Wednesday was a day to celebrate for expectant moms.

Midwifery officially became a publicly funded service on April 1, giving parents the option of choosing a midwife without having to bear the brunt of the expenses – something that can average around $3,500.

A milestone for women and their families in Alberta, the funding kick-in comes nearly a year after Bow Valley residents protested in a province-wide demonstration against the lack of midwife funding.

Banffite Tiffany Teske was part of that protest, wanting to see the service covered so she and others could enjoy the benefits of having a midwife without breaking the bank.

Teske and husband Andre Quenneville had their first child, Quinlyn, at a birthing centre in Quebec with the aid of a midwife.

After moving to Alberta, they were surprised to see midwifery wasn’t a publicly funded service. The couple planned on having more children, and they wanted to have a midwife after the positive experience they’d had in Quebec.

“I don’t like hospitals and I would just like to avoid them,” Teske said. “I don’t see being pregnant as being a pathology.”

Teske said she liked the familiar feeling of having a midwife guide her through her pregnancy, and it made a world of difference when in labour to have someone there that understood her desire to have a natural birth.

“I wanted to be listened to and be respected and do this myself, but obviously with someone there that had experience dealing with births,” she said.

When she became pregnant again the reality was they would have to pay for a midwife. But less than a month after the couple found out they would be having another child, the provincial government announced $4 million in new funding for midwifery with additional support from the Alberta Health Services, giving a total of approximately $4.7 million to fund the service. Now Teske, due June 7, will be having a home birth with Canmore-based midwife Mireille Caron.

“It’s a safe choice with trained people to help you,” Teske said. “I’d rather be at home for this, and I feel great about that choice.”

Quenneville said from his perspective, having a midwife was an eye opening experience that helped him learn a lot and be at ease.

“I felt comfortable the first time and I feel very comfortable now,” he said.

Caron, who is the only practicing, registered midwife in the Bow Valley, said it’s that comfort, as well as trust and confidence, that people seek when choosing a midwife.

She said it’s an option for women with low risk pregnancies that want to feel that extra support they can provide.

“It’s very family oriented. I try to make it warm and give the feeling of group support,” she said. “The experience people are looking for is different.”

Caron is having another midwife join her practice in September, but now that the service is publicly funded, she said it will be in greater demand than it is now.

“They have to book as soon as they know they’re pregnant. I’m getting calls from women in the city because they’re so packed,” she said.

Caron is already tightly booked, but she said she tries to give preference to Bow Valley women.

With the increase of women seeking a midwife, Caron expects there will be an increase of people becoming midwives.

“There’s going to be a big change within the next year for sure,” Caron said.

For Teske, having a midwife was the preferred option all along, and now that it’s funded, it makes the process that much easier.

“You have such a close relationship with a midwife,” she said. “I’ve never had that with a doctor.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great article Tif!
Congrats on the midwery coverage
Can't wait to meet bebe #2!