Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)

South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Willow Community Midwives is returning midwifery care to the South Okanagan after having to shut down their services in winter. Things are going to look a little bit different than usual for the first while but they are happy to offer their health services once again, they announced on their website.

They will re-open in August and ready to take clients with due dates in late September and beyond. They are currently booking clients due in September, October, November, and December.

With some of their midwives currently on leave, it will be a small practice of two midwives and they won’t be able to provide care for everyone just yet, but they have plans to grow in the new year.

“We would like to honour the previous Willow Midwives for establishing midwifery services in the South Okanagan, for forming community, building trust and creating the space that we are grateful to now be part of—thank you,” was a statement on their website.

After 12 years of bringing hundreds of babies into the world, Willow Midwives had to close its doors due to a shortage of midwives.

According to the Midwives Association of B.C., midwives help with one-quarter of the province’s births. But the association says it is at a tipping point right now without government support. Midwives don’t receive provincial benefits like other health professionals.

A petition to Penticton MLA Dan Ashton had 3,000 signatures in less than one week and a Summerland councillor also spoke out, after having two home births with Willow Midwives.

“Willow Community Midwives catch 30 per cent of the babies in our area,” wrote Coun. Erin Carlson on her personal Facebook page.

READ MORE: Midwife shortage forces closure of South Okanagan’s only midwifery

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


 

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