Midwifery Care in Ottawa

The Midwifery Consumers Group is dedicated to providing the women of Ottawa better access to midwifery care.  You can visit their site at: http://www.midwiferyconsumers.org.

If you are so inclined, please help our cause by taking the time to write a letter. Even if you have not or will not use the midwifery model of care, you can support the choice of Ottawa women for where and with whom they birth their babies.  Your children may want that choice!

Our Ottawa midwives need our help and support!

Join the Letter Writing Campaign in support of Midwifery Care,
May 5th – May 19th

Thank you taking the time to read this very important message about the future of midwifery care in Ottawa.

The four midwives of the Ottawa Valley Midwives need our help in establishing more hospital privileges for midwives at the Queensway Carleton Hospital.  Currently four midwives have hospital privileges there – this does not begin to meet the demand for midwifery care in Western Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley.

New Midwives Need Jobs

When midwifery students graduate, they need hospital privileges to begin practicing.  If the Queensway Carleton Hospital does not extend hospital privileges to new midwives, then they cannot practice in Ottawa.  Six midwifery students who have had placements in Ottawa will be graduating this spring and we want them to stay in Ottawa so that midwifery care can grow in our community.

Letter Writing Campaign

Please join our letter writing campaign to urge Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman and decision makers at the Queensway Carleton Hospital to increase hospital privileges so new midwives can practice there.  It makes no sense to have unemployed midwives when we have an obstetrical crisis!

Put Your Support For Midwifery Care Into Action

You may be receiving this message because you birthed your children with midwives and know just how special and extensive midwifery care is.  Maybe you birthed your children at home and you realize that in order to attend homebirths, midwives need hospital privileges.  Or perhaps you are pregnant and are wondering why all the practices in Ottawa have such long waiting lists.  Or maybe you have children and you would like them to have access to midwifery care when they are older.  Unless hospitals increase midwifery privileges now, it’s unlikely our children will be able to access midwifery care when they need it.

Whatever your reasons for supporting midwifery care, we urge you to put your support into action.  We realize that many of you who are participating in this campaign are busy parents of young babes.  We deeply appreciate your time and efforts and have tried to make this process as easy as possible for you.

Writing and Sending Your Letters

Following this message, you will see two sample letters.  One is for the Honourable George Smitherman, Minister of Health for Ontario.  He is very supportive of midwifery care and is in the position to pressure the Queensway Carleton Hospital into policy changes.

The other letter is addressed to Dr. Andrew Falconer, Chief of Staff at the Queensway Carleton Hospital and to Kathleen Nunn, the Director of the Childbirth Centre at the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

Personal letters have a far greater impact than form letters.

Please take the time to personalize your letter, include your own birth story, your own reasons for supporting midwifery care or your own story of frustration at not being able to access midwifery care.  Following the letters, we have included facts about midwifery care that you may use to personalize your letter.

We are providing e-mail addresses where possible.  We have been told by hospital admin that the doctors we are sending letters to do not read their own e-mail, so snail mail will be much more effective at getting a strong message across.

Please send your letters to:

The Honourable George Smitherman, Minister of Health for Ontario

George Smitherman is very supportive of midwifery care and is in the position to pressure hospitals to offer more privileges to midwives.

Dr. Andrew Falconer, Chief of Staff
Queensway Carleton Hospital
3045 Baseline Rd
Ottawa, ON
K2H 8P4

Kathleen Nunn, Director of the Childbirth Centre
Queensway Carleton Hospital
3045 Baseline Rd
Ottawa, ON
K2H 8P4

Sample Letters

Dear George Smitherman sample letter

Dear Dr Andrew Falconer and Kathleen Nunn sample letter


Additional Facts About Midwifery Care – for personalizing your letters

Midwife-attended births are cost  –effective for the health care system.  This cost-effectiveness is a  result of fewer interventions, such as c-sections and episiotomies, as well as  shorter hospital stays and lower re-admission rates to hospitals.

In August 2004, Health Minister  George Smitherman said, “What better way to invest our precious health care  dollars than in support of the midwives who help to bring us such  wonders.”  The province needs to focus on sustaining the profession to  allow women to benefit from midwifery care.

Because midwives continue to  provide round-the-clock care for women and babies during those first few  critical weeks of life, women are 60% less likely to be re-admitted to  hospital.

Pre-natal visits with midwives are  typically 45 minutes long, so clients have time to ask questions, consult with  their midwife about nutrition, bring family members with them to appointments  and build a relationship of trust with their midwife.

Midwives see birth as a natural  process

Midwifery has a clear record of  growth when there has been an overall decline in the numbers of maternity care  providers.  Granting more hospital privileges gives midwives the ability  to continue to increase their role in providing critically needed maternity  care to women in Ottawa

The demand for midwifery care is  outpacing the number of midwives in the city

The Queensway Carleton Hospital’s core  values are:  Accountability, innovation and respect – values that are in  keeping with midwifery care

Childbirth Services is one of the  QCH’s cornerstone programs

There is a high population of  young families in Western  Ottawa

For more information,

Please contact Kathleen Wilker of Consumers Supporting Midwifery Care:   kathleen_wilker@hotmail.com

The following websites also offer great information about midwifery care:

Consumers Supporting Midwifery Care:  www.midwiferyconsumers.org
Association of Ontario Midwives:  www.aom.on.ca
Ottawa Valley Midwives:  www.ottawavalleymidwives.com