Moncton mother calls for expanded midwifery care in New Brunswick
A Moncton woman says the province needs to expand its midwifery care services.
Chrissy Lorette gave birth to her 13-month-old son, Eliot, in Fredericton because that’s the only location in New Brunswick that offers midwifery care.
“We received phenomenal care. The midwives did an amazing job, and it was just a very positive, very positive birth experience,” she said. “We wanted a home birth, it was important for us, we had a healthy pregnancy and so we were able to find someone who generously let us (rent) their home in order for us to have a midwife-assisted home birth in Fredericton.”
The province officially opened doors to the Fredericton Midwifery Centre in April 2018.
But as Lorette thinks about having another baby in the near future, it’s a frustrating thought knowing that she could yet again have to travel to the capital city if she wants to be considered for midwifery care.
“What we’d really hope for would be to have this birthing experience in our home in Moncton, assisted with midwives,” she says.
The Horizon Health Network says midwives have assisted 95 births since November 2017.
But despite hiring four full-time, permanent midwives, the health authority confirms they’re currently down to one full-time midwife and one part-time midwife as a result of “various leaves.”
That could be a contributing factor to a waitlist that currently represents 83 people hoping for midwifery care.
Lorette says the option should be made available to families across the province.
“I think it’s… a good political choice, I think it’s a good health choice for our province and I think it’s important for families to have that choice,” she says. “That’s probably one of the most frustrating things for me right now, is that it’s not accessible to everyone and the choice isn’t available.”
Lorette says she and her partner decided the distance made it too difficult to travel for postpartum care and hopes she’ll have more of a choice when she gives birth to her second baby.
But, Horizon says they’ll only accept clients within roughly 100 kilometres of the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital.
The Department of Health did not respond to a request for comment about possibly expanding the services beyond Fredericton by deadline.
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