Alberta's midwives are getting ready to sign a new contract with the province, hoping to increase funding so they can help more women.
Right now, midwives cover about four percent of all births in Alberta, about 2,300. But 900 women are on waiting lists for a midwife.
The Alberta Association of Midwives is working on a plan to help them. A committee is meeting in Calgary, preparing to negotiate a new contract with the province.
Association president JoanMargaret Laine said the goal is to have 20 percent of births in Alberta attended by a midwife by 2020.
“I think we're making good progress,” she said. “We would like to expand our services, of course, and the women in Alberta would like us to expand our services.”
She says there are enough midwives, they just need more funding.
“Some of the midwives we currently have don't have as many women as they'd like to care for, and then we have brand new graduates too. And we'll have new students as well next year, and we'll no doubt have more international graduates as well.”
Midwifery has been funded in Alberta since 2009. The last contract, which expires next spring, was worth about $37 million.