Midwife Mondays


My son, Jonah in the loving care of midwife, Louise McDonald.
My son, Jonah in the loving care of midwife, Louise McDonald.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about midwifery on my blog, but it’s a subject that’s near and dear to my heart, and never far from my mind. My homebirth baby, Jonah (pictured above) is now thirteen, and in 2016, my novel The Birth House (inspired by the midwife who once lived in my house) will be a decade old. Time flies!

In the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed there’s a new hashtag popping up in my Twitter feed, #MidwifeMondays. I have to say, I’m really enjoying reading the tweets from the Canadian midwifery community and beyond. They feature everything from links to birth stories, to messages of support for midwives, to calls for provincial action when it comes to expanding midwifery services and care.

The status of midwifery in this country still greatly varies from province to province. While some provinces offer midwifery services to all women as part of their health care system, other provinces have a long way to go before midwives are truly a part of the medical community at large. Nova Scotia took some important steps forward in 2006 with the Midwifery Act, but the implementation of the act has been (and is still) undergoing a long evaluation/testing process that has sadly resulted in limited services for many expectant mothers in the province. While the Midwifery Regulatory Council has done their best to see things through, there’s also been a fair bit of struggle and stress along the way. Discouraged by the current state of midwifery in NS, some midwives have given up their practices or left the province for greener pastures.

That said, the Midwifery Coalition of Nova Scotia presses on in their ongoing work to lobby on behalf of mothers, children, families and midwives, ever stalwart in their efforts to “convince various governments that midwifery is necessary, desirable and cost-effective care.” (Happy 30th anniversary MCNS. Thank you for your devotion to the cause!)

J. taking in Louise's words.  She spoke to him when he was in and out of the womb. :-)
J. taking in Louise’s words. She spoke to him when he was in and out of the womb. 🙂

To cheer our dear midwives of Canada on (as well as all those who support them in their efforts,) I thought I’d share an amazing video that was sent to me the other day. It comes from Aube Giroux, formerly of the Gaspereau Valley. She produces a gorgeous food blog for PBS called Kitchen Vignettes and recently she featured her sister making a “groaning cake” (a la The Birth House)  to celebrate the birth of her baby! It’s a beautiful tribute to the traditions, anticipation and joy surrounding childbirth.

Here’s the video (and check out the end of this post for a link to her blog.)

Resources and People related to this post:

CBC Radio’s Dr. Brian Goldman of “White Coat Black Art” recently devoted an entire episode to discussing the state of midwifery in Canada. It’s worth a listen. “Haves and Have Nots: Midwifery in Canada” 

If you value midwifery in Nova Scotia, contact the Midwifery Coalition of Nova Scotia to see how you can help.

To read Aube’s full post on Groaning Cake (including her delicious recipe) and to discover my new favourite food blog, visit Kitchen Vignettes .

Happy #MidwifeMondays !


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