Thursday, June 4, 2009

Goodbye, Midwives

The last midwife left New Brunswick 2 weeks ago. Gone. There are no more licensed midwives left in the entire province (at least, not publicly).

I can't even begin to explain what this means to me.

I can't blame them for leaving. The government has been farting around so long on the midwifery issue that the midwives were bound to either go broke waiting for funding, or get fed up and leave for greener pastures.

For the public, this means: No choice when it comes to care providers. We don't have the luxury of choosing a doctor or midwife. The way it works here is by shared practice. You see a different doctor every time you go in for your prenatal appointments. You're stuck with whoever is on call when you go into labour.

Want a homebirth? There isn't anyone who can help you unless you

A) choose a traditional birth attendant ("midwife" with no formal training) hugely controversial, underground, quasi-unassisted (how Graedy was welcomed into the world)

B) go unassisted, which means you deliver at home with no medical help

C) hire and import a midwife from another country or province. Big money. Bigger money that most NB women have or ever will have

D) relocate to another country or province for the late pregnancy/due months. Big money. Again, more than most can afford.

So, there you have it. I get so frustrated by the chapters and books that stress the importance of choosing your care provider wisely. WE DON'T HAVE THAT LUXURY! WE DON'T HAVE CHOICE!

That is NB for you. That is our reality.

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