Alberta Health Services is reminding expectant mothers to be careful when engaging the services of birthing attendants after two recent incidents in the Calgary area prompted officials to contact police.
The incidents involved non-certified birthing attendants assisting in labour and delivery in private residences, AHS said.
“Both incidents are of concern from a health perspective,” AHS said in a release, adding that patient confidentiality prevented officials from releasing any details.
AHS says only doctors, registered midwives or nurses, or emergency medical staff are allowed to manage labour and delivery.
“All of these health professionals are governed and regulated by various health discipline associations, and Albertans should consult with those associations or AHS when engaging individuals in their care,” AHS said.
A quick online search found a "labour coach," who says she has studied midwifery and offers "non-medical birth support."
Diane Rock, president of the College of Midwives of Alberta, said she makes sure every registered midwife in the province is properly trained in all aspects of labour and delivery.
"I had been aware previously of incidents. And when the AHS warning came out, I was quite pleased," she said.
"We don't know what their training is. We know they don't have access to the hospital. They don't have access to the drugs. They sometimes pick up the equipment – it's not that hard to do –but you also need to know how to use it."