PEI

Door could open for midwives with P.E.I. Registered Professions Act

If the Registered Professions Act passes in the P.E.I. Legislature next month more Island women could have a midwife provide their primary care during pregnancy.

'The Department of Health and Wellness recognizes that midwifery is a valuable service'

Midwives are educators, says Joyce England.

If the Registered Professions Act passes in the P.E.I. Legislature next month more Island women could have a midwife provide their primary care during pregnancy.

The act will regulate smaller professions, and the government says the Midwives Association on P.E.I. could apply.

"The Department of Health and Wellness recognizes that midwifery is a valuable service that is growing in popularity across North America," an official wrote in an email to CBC News.

"We continue to have ongoing conversations with the P.E.I. Midwifery Association and their membership."

Seeking regulation and funding

Under current legislation midwives can't deliver babies on P.E.I., although they can help out before and after delivery. Their services are not covered under the province's health care.

Joyce England, president of the Prince Edward Island Midwives Association, has been working for more than a decade to get midwifery regulated and funded on P.E.I. England said midwives perform a service beyond that offered in the current system.

Joyce England has been working for a decade to get midwifery regulated and funded on P.E.I.

"Midwives are educators really," she said.

"They spend a lot of time preparing families for a pregnancy, for the birth, and for a new baby coming home."

The BORN Co-operative, an advocacy group for midwives on P.E.I., launched an online petition two weeks ago asking all MLAs to support the new Registered Professions Act.

With files from Island Morning