Prince Rupert Advocates for Midwifery are hosting their first community event on March 9 at the Prince Rupert Regional Library. (Black Press file)

Midwifery advocates host first community event in Prince Rupert

Northern Health to review the need for midwives in the region over the summer months

Advocacy for bringing midwifery services in Prince Rupert continues to press on.

“In the new year we’ve been focusing on continued engagement with the Midwives Association of BC to gather information and figure out the next steps,” said Jessica Hawryshyn, founding member of the Prince Rupert Advocates for Midwifery.

She has also been focusing on community outreach, and stirring interest in the advocacy initiative.

This Saturday, March 9 from 2-4 p.m., the Prince Rupert Advocates for Midwifery are hosting their first event at the regional library.

One of the presenters will be Katherine Puchala, a midwife from Terrace who is hoping to receive her privileges through Northern Health soon. Currently, the nearest midwifery service is in Hazelton.

The Advocates for Midwifery formed in November 2018, and they have since gathered more than 80 members online. The group has started the discussion with local officials and Northern Health on how to expand maternity care services in the Prince Rupert area.

Puchala will speak on what midwifery is, and dispel some of the common myths.

“A lot of people automatically assume if you have a midwife you’re having a home birth, and many people also conflate midwifes and doulas and they are two very separate practices, both are important and both have an important role to play,” she said.

READ MORE: Advocacy grows for midwifery services in Prince Rupert

She also wants people to know that midwives practice evidence-based care.

“People don’t know that midwifery is a regulated profession and that it’s integrated in the existing health care system so that means we are covered by MSP so women don’t have to pay out of pocket. We are like any other health care provider. As long as you have a B.C. care card you can have midwifery care, with some exceptions,” Puchala said.

Midwives care for women who are healthy and low risk. When more care is required, physicians will get involved. But Puchala said women classified as high risk could benefit from midwifery care in the postpartum period.

The event will also screen A Mother Is Born, an educational documentary about women-centred care.

A Mother Is Born – Trailer from The Number on Vimeo.

Upcoming midwifery review

Members of the Prince Rupert Advocates for Midwifery group met with North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice in November, who is of the opinion that this is a service that can be provided in the northwest.

Since then, Northern Health has commissioned a needs assessment for midwifery in the health authority’s region.

Eryn Collins, media relations for Northern Health, said the midwifery review will be done over the summer months and is expected to be completed this fall.

“We’ll be talking to a variety of stakeholders. The review will look at demographics, demand for service, the need for midwives and other care providers in the perinatal services to work collaboratively and any recruitment planning considerations that we would need to take a look at,” Collins said.

The review will also ensure that any new midwifery and perinatal services are stable and sustainable.


Shannon Lough | Editor
Shannon Lough 
Send Shannon email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED- More wolf sightings – numerous encounters

Avoid attracting wolves with food sources and keep pets inside

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue explains BBQ blaze fire safety

Outdoor cooking safety needs fires extinguishers ready

Cloak-and-dagger ninja deliveries

Whining kids at home may be creating the need for wining moms at home

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Smithers woman awarded $55K in RCMP excessive force suit

Irene Joseph alleged false arrest and assault and battery related to a 2014 incident in Smithers

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read