Status of Women Council of the NWT
Status of Women Council of the NWT

Midwifery

Facts

  • Midwives are primary health care providerswho work as part of the health care system in most provinces and territories. They provide care to women during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period.
  • Aboriginal women and their infants have a two to four times higher morbidity and mortality rate than the average Canadian. While midwifery has been shown to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal communities, the GNWT provides little support for direct midwifery services in communities. All Aboriginal communities deserve the right to choose midwifery care.
  • Midwifery care is a safe and cost effective solution that can be applied in rural and remote regions to bring birth as close to home as possible.

2011 Midwifery Review and Expansion Analysis findings

  • Women and families in remote areas who leave their community for weeks before birth experience an increase in: family stress; rates of intervention; rates of substance abuse; rates of poor diet and a loss of autonomy while putting a financial strain on an already resource limited system.
  • Returning birth to communities reduces domestic violence and sexual assault; increases male investment in newborn care and partner care; builds capacity; restores skills and pride; builds strong family, community and intergenerational relationships; is a model of respect for traditional knowledge, and promotes healthy behaviours.