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June 3rd, 2014

NDP tables bill to establish National Day of the Midwife

New Democrat MP Rosane Doré Lefebvre (Alfred-Pellan) tabled a bill in the House of Commons to declare May 5 National Day of the Midwife in Canada. The bill aims to show appreciation for the important role that midwives play in delivering thousands of Canadian babies each year.

“I believe it is important to spread public awareness about the contributions that midwives are making to maternal care, and the health of newborns and nursing infants,” said Doré Lefebvre. “I hope that by acknowledging this day, we will be able to contribute to promoting and improving access to midwives across Canada.”

May 5 has already been declared International Day of the Midwife, and in Canada, approximately 1300 midwives are currently practicing or studying in the field. Only 2 to 5% of Canadians have access to midwifery services, and several regions – including Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Yukon – offer no access to midwives. However, statistics from around the world have shown that midwives play an essential role in improving the quality of life of both mothers and babies.

NDP MP Peggy Nash (Parkdale—High Park) also stood up in support of the bill. “Midwives and midwifery services are a vital part of the maternity care system all across Canada,” said Nash.

“Here is Canada, midwives play a critical role in the delivery of primary health care services and national recognition is a way of acknowledging this important contribution,” said Joanna Nemrava, President of the Canadian Association of Midwives. “We feel that all parties can support this Private Members’ Bill.”