Rally supports midwifery care

A group gathered in front of Shuswap Park Mall Saturday for a rally and petition drive, and to call attention to the option of midwives

Making a statement: Supporters gather in front of the Shuswap Park Mall Saturday to lobby for greater access to midwifery care at the Shuswap Lake General Hospital.

Making a statement: Supporters gather in front of the Shuswap Park Mall Saturday to lobby for greater access to midwifery care at the Shuswap Lake General Hospital.

There were moms with babies snuggled against their chests, fathers wearing signs and children enthusiastically waving placards — all in support of increased midwifery care in Salmon Arm.

A group gathered in front of Shuswap Park Mall Saturday for a rally and petition drive, and to call attention to a birth option they would like to see embraced as a choice for pregnant women in this area.

The initiative has generated approximately 250 signatures to submit to Interior Health.

Midwifery is an accepted practice in B.C., with costs covered under the province’s medical services plan.

“We just want women to have the right to choose,” said rally organizer Holly Malashewsky. “The main argument against accrediting midwives from out-of-town is the distance they have to travel, but women in labour from Clearwater, Ashcroft and Merritt have to travel an hour or more to deliver their babies in hospital, so I’m not sure why a midwife having to travel 45 minutes is such a barrier?”

Midwives operate in many hospitals in the Interior including Royal Jubilee Hospital in Vernon and Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops; however, there are no midwives offering the services of a hospital birth at Shuswap Lake General. One midwife from Vernon and one from Kamloops will currently travel to Salmon Arm for home births only. A Vernon midwife is accredited with Shuswap Lake General, which would permit her to attend a hospital birth in Salmon Arm, but has told clients she would prefer them to give birth at the Vernon hospital where she is welcomed.

Malashewsky says Interior Health also denied issuing hospital privileges to a second Vernon-based midwife who requested them.

Becky Kuczwal came to show her support after giving birth to her first son with a doctor and her second with a midwife in the Vernon hospital.

“Having experienced both, I can say how much more personal the experience was with a midwife and how connected and caring the whole process was. I never felt rushed or not listened to.”

Feeling as though their birth experience was not satisfying was another reason women chose to attend the rally.

Megan Brooke says she wishes she had midwifery as an option, as midwives attend a client’s birth from pre-natal care, through labour, birth and after care.

At the birth of her second child, Brooke ended up being attended by an on-call resident doctor.

“She was rude to me and even got into an argument with my husband and doula when they tried to advocate for me.”

“Things went from bad to worse when I nearly bled to death following an emergency c-section,” she says.

“It took me months to recover physically after the birth and I would say that even after almost three years, I am still recovering emotionally. If I had the chance to do it again I would choose a midwife so that my chosen care provider could be with me when I needed her.”

Interior Health officials have previously told the Observer they are looking at options for midwifery care in the Shuswap. Peter DuToit, area director of acute care services, says meetings about the issue are ongoing.

A petition designed to demonstrate the desire for midwifery care options in Salmon Arm and calling for increased access to the option of Midwifery care at Shuswap Lake General Hospital is still available at the following locations in Salmon Arm: Growth Spurts – Gear for Kids, Snuggle Bugz Consignments, Dakshina Hot Yoga.

The petition can also be accessed online at http://www.petitiononlinecanada.com/petition/families-for-midwifery-care-in-the-shuswap/524.


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

Just Posted

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

Construction of the proposed Ross Street underpass may start in the spring of 2021. (City of Salmon Arm illustration)
Salmon Arm’s Ross Street underpass to go to tender but not without risk

City council gives nod to construction agreement after pondering insurance

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

A School District 83 trustee expressed concern regarding how employee and trustee expenses are reported during a review of the statement of financial information for the district's fiscal year end. (File photo)
Transparency concern raised over North Okanagan-Shuswap school district expenses

Employee and trustee expenses total more than $370,000 for fiscal year

Shuswap Theatre is seeking outdoor venues for its planned Dec. 18-20 performances of Once Upon a Time in the Shuswap. (File photo)
Shuswap Theatre focused on outdoor travelling Christmas show

Salmon Arm-based theatre troupe in search of possible outdoor venues

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Garage in Kelowna burns to the ground, blaze deemed suspicious

Fire crews responded to the scene just after 4:30 p.m.

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

(Ty Hainsworth / Facebook)
No injuries after fire rips through South Okanagan fruit stand

A fruit stand caught fire Tuesday afternoon, closing Highway 97 for two hours

A major reconstruction project on 32nd Avenue is nearing completion and the road is now re-opened to traffic between 33rd Street and 35th Street. (City of Vernon photo)
ROAD REPORT: More roundabouts coming to North Okanagan

New intersection lights up Dec. 13, 30th Street paving delayed, PV Road completed in Vernon

In this handout photo provided by the Philippine Red Cross, families stay at a temporary evacuation center at Catanduanes province, eastern Philippines, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, as Typhoon Goni hits the country. Families living near coastal towns have moved to evacuation centers as the strong typhoon makes landfall. (Philippine Red Cross via AP)
Okanagan community group organizes fundraiser for typhoon-hit Philippines

Over two million people have been affected by flooding, with about 500,000 forced to leave homes

Most Read