Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence
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  Proceedings from THE MIDWIFERY WAY
A National Forum Reflecting on the State of Midwifery Regulation in Canada July 22 - 23, 2004


Full Report ENG (.pdf) 6.1MB

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Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence
56 The Promenade
Winnipeg, MB
R3B 3H9

The research and publication of this study were funded by the Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence (PWHCE). The PWHCE is financially supported by the Centre of Excellence for Women's Health Program, Bureau of Women's Health and Gender Analysis, Health Canada. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the PWHCE or the official policy of Health Canada.

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Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women's Health
Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence


It is a pleasure for the Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence and the Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women's Health to present the proceedings from the Midwifery Way Forum we co-hosted in July 2004. We trust that readers will find within the proceedings a celebration of past achievements and considerations of how to ensure that midwifery is not only sustainable, but is supported in continued growth, for midwives and their clients.

The key objectives from the Midwifery Way Forum were:
  • To explore the lessons learned thus far in Canadian jurisdictions that have legislated midwifery and translate those lessons for the not-yet-regulated provinces;
  • To identify current best practices for advancing a midwifery regulatory framework that is particularly inclusive of marginalized or vulnerable populations including single mothers, teenage mothers, low income women, immigrant women, Aboriginal, visible minority women, women with disabilities and lesbians.
The challenges of building an inclusive midwifery model of practice - one in which services are provided by and to women who have been under-represented or under-served by the health care system - have been formidable. It is our hope that these proceedings will contribute to the development of inclusive strategies in those provinces that have regulated midwifery, and ensure that they are built into any new regulatory proposals.

Our shared ultimate goal is to work toward improving maternity and newborn services across Canada so that all women have access to a comparable quality of women-centred care, no matter where they live or who they are. We believe that there is ample research, as well as first-hand accounts, that demonstrate the value of midwifery for advancing such an agenda. It has never been more imperative to ensure its integration into the publicly-funded health care system - a time when we face a maternity care crisis.

We are very pleased that such a range of contributors (midwives, other health care practitioners, government bureaucrats, community leaders, consumers, activists, scholars, students, and others) shared their work for these proceedings. We want to thank all of our presenters, and roundtable participants for agreeing to participate in the Forum and to those who were able to share their work here. Due to the busy lives of midwives, not all presentations are represented in this document. Many of the presentations had to be altered because of the personal nature of photographs that were shared. Special thanks also to Rachel Rapaport Beck for liaising with contributors and editing, Pamela Chalmers for her formatting work and to Shelly Martin (assistant coordinator) who was absolutely indispensable in dealing with the multitude of details that ensure a smooth and enjoyable event! It is an exciting time for midwifery supporters and practitioners in Canada. As is clear from the contributors in this document, a great deal of research has been produced in the last ten years. It is conclusive: we are no longer debating the value or safety of midwifery care. This is a major accomplishment. But we must move the agenda forward. It is our hope that the Forum and these proceedings will contribute to and strengthen the midwifery movement in Canada.

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