Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

BRACEBRIDGE — Muskoka moms and babies will be happy to hear the province is expanding funding for midwives.

With more than 140,000 babies being born each year in Ontario, families are looking for more options when it comes to choosing their care, says the province.

Tuesday, July 9, Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norman Miller announced the government is providing an additional $410,776 this year to support midwives in Parry Sound-Muskoka.

Midwives of Muskoka (located in Bracebride) will receive $356,744; and Midwives of Georgian Bay (in Parry Sound) will receive $54,032.

Midwives representatives could not be reached Tuesday evening for comment.

Muskoka midwives, base in Bracebridge, will receive almost $357,000.
Midwives of Georgian Bay will receive just over $54,000 from the province, said Miller in the annoucement.

Miller says it is part of the government’sinvestment of an additional $28 million to expand midwifery services across Ontario, which will help up to 3,400 more families access additional choice in primary care during a pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

“Our government is protecting what matters most by ensuring families across Ontario have more choices when it comes to delivering their babies,” said Miller.

“This additional funding will mean more families in Parry Sound-Muskoka will be able to access quality care from a midwife during pregnancy, labour and birth, as well as six weeks of support once their baby is born.”

A release says Ontario is providing $178 million for midwifery services this year, supporting up to 35,000 families.

Midwives offer a choice in birth settings, including home, hospital or midwifery-led birth centres in Toronto and Ottawa. Midwifery care results in fewer medical and surgical interventions, higher breastfeeding rates and shorter hospital stays.

“I know how important this investment will be to families. Some of my grandchildren were born under the care of Midwives of Muskoka,” said Miller

Ontario is also working to responsibly expand the scope of practice for midwives to allow them to prescribe more medications to clients. This change will provide greater choice and convenience for families and reduce time that patients wait for medications and therapies.

These new investments across the province will also:

  • Support up to 90 new midwifery graduates entering the field;
  • Increase access to culturally appropriate midwifery care by expanding Indigenous midwifery programs;
  • Ensure midwifery practice groups can update their technology to continue providing quality services; and
  • Commit to ongoing funding for a Mount Sinai Academic Family Health Team pilot program to ensure their patients can receive ongoing midwifery care.

“Our investment in midwifery services is part of our government’s commitment to focus health care dollars where they will have the most impact and do the most good for Ontarians — on frontline care,” said Miller.

Investing in midwifery services is part of Ontario’s plan to create a modern, sustainable, and patient-centered public health care system.