BC Midwives Feeling Forgotten in Pandemic

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Ninety percent of BC midwives have reported an increase in the demand for home births and two thirds say they're working more during the pandemic. 

Aly Jones, Vice-President of the Midwives Association of BC, says the government hasn't offerred midwives any support. 

"That's one of the things where midwives as frontline workers have felt forgotten by the BC government and certainly are feeling very under valued by the health care system, because these additional pays or assistance around needing to be off, pandemic pay and support have not been given to midwives as well."

Jones says the increase in home births this year is likely from a fear of contracting COVID-19 in hospital, but says it is still safe to give birth in hospital. 

"It's a really weird thing to be told you can't see your friends or family and you can't be in anyone's house, and yet for your work you're frequently going into people's houses and being exposed."

Jones says people that are birthing aren't required to wear a mask increasing the risk of COVID-19 exposure for midwives, but she adds it would be wrong to ask a labouring person to wear a mask. 

In a recent survey, 79% of BC midwives reported their mental health has decreased during the pandemic, and the number looking to leave the professional has doubled to 18% since 2017.