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Mount Royal University births first class of midwifery grads

File photo: A midwife tends to a pregnant woman. Global News

CALGARY – Eight students from the inaugural class of Mount Royal University’s Bachelor of Midwifery program are now graduates. The students walked the stage Thursday after completing over 3,000 clinical hours during four years of studies.

“We are now competent in skills like neonatal resuscitation and emergency skills similar to what nurses, physicians and obstetricians would have in hospitals,” said Stephanie Martens, a graduating member of the class and one of seven students who have already found employment in midwifery.

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Demand for midwives has grown in Alberta since the province began publicly funding the service in 2009. Currently, there are about 70 registered midwives in the province.

“That’s not enough to meet the demand from mothers and from families here,” said Chad London, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Community Studies at Mount Royal. “There are 55,000  births a year (in Alberta) and midwives provide care for 4 per cent of those. In B.C. and Ontario, midwives provide care for about 15 per cent, so there’s a lot of room for growth.”

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The university’s Bachelor of Midwifery program admits just 12 students each year, but London hopes the program will expand to accommodate more students in the future.

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