Wednesday, 09 May 2012 08:38

Families celebrate benefits of Cypress Health midwifery program

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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Cypress Health Region midwife Maud Addai (centre) meets up with former patients Kim Lambe with Sophia (at left) and Jana Stoll during the International Midwifery Day potluck that took place at St. Joseph School on May 5. Cypress Health Region midwife Maud Addai (centre) meets up with former patients Kim Lambe with Sophia (at left) and Jana Stoll during the International Midwifery Day potluck that took place at St. Joseph School on May 5.

The success of the Cypress Health Region's midwifery service was evident at a potluck lunch in Swift Current on May 5, where happy parents and their young children came together to celebrate the International Day of the Midwife.

Cypress Health midwives Maud Addai and Arian Navickas were also present at the event, which was scheduled for Riverdene Park but moved indoors to St. Joseph's School due to rainy weather.
For the two midwifes it was an opportunity to catch up with the families and to see how their young clients have grown.
“It was so exciting that some of the babies are walking and talking now,” Addai said. “And I see that some of my patients are pregnant again.”
Cypress Health was the second regional health authority in Saskatchewan to offer midwifery care. Addai was hired in March 2009 as the midwifery project coordinator. She trained and worked as a midwife in the United Kingdom for 17 years before she and her family moved to Canada in 2007.
Kim Lambe was the first participant in Cypress Health's midwifery program. Her daughter Sophia is now almost two years old.
“I felt a midwife could be more supportive than say a doctor who had maybe different ideas of what should be done,” she said. “So I just wanted to have more control over it myself.”
Jana Stoll said she had a great experience with the midwifery program. Her second son, 14-month old Dane, was born with Addai's help.
“I was seeking out a midwife to assist me in having a natural birth and having the birth the way that I wanted to have it,” Stoll explained.
She was impressed with the quality of care she received from Addai, who spent a lot of time with her.
“A doctor is so busy, they have so many different things they have to take care of,” she said. “I just felt rushed and more pressure with a doctor and with Maud it was just relaxed and calm and beautiful.”
Becky Adrian, whose son Kaleb is almost nine months old, also enjoyed the personal interaction with a midwife in a relaxed setting.
“You don’t have to go to a waiting room and sit around a bunch of people that are there because they’re sick,” she said.  “You’re just there to have a baby and she makes the experience an amazing experience.”
Husband Randy Adrian agreed it was the right choice for them to use a midwife. He was present during the delivery of their son.
“She seemed to know how to coax the birth along so that it didn’t happen too fast,” he said. “I remember Maud making some comment about you have to give the woman’s body time to work its way around the baby.”
Blair Simpson had a similar experience with the birth of his third son, seven-month-old Blake. He felt the education they received through the program helped them to be better prepared for the birth.
“The relationships were already build with the midwives, so everything was comfortable during the birth,” he explained. “The experience with the doctors and nurses weren’t bad at all, but it was a different feeling just with the relationships itself. With the midwives I would say it felt like family, it felt like home, and everybody was comfortable.”
The midwife program expanded in August 2011 when Arian Navickas came to the Cypress Health Region from the United States, where she has been a midwife since 2007.
She decided to come to Canada while she was practising in Minot, North Dakota in 2010.
“I had a lot of phone calls from women in Manitoba and Saskatchewan who were looking for a midwife,” she said.
She became a midwife after the birth of her son 12 years ago, when she received care from a midwife.
“I felt that was a really powerful way to help people with their own healthcare and I wanted women to keep having that choice,” she said.
According to Navickas the six weeks care after a baby is born is an aspect of the midwifery program that is often a pleasant surprise to their clients.
“I hear a lot of women say 'Wow I didn’t expect this, this was great,'” she said. “But in general women really like to have the choices. They like to feel empowered, they like to know all the options and get to make the choices that work for them without pressure.”
The province currently provides annual funding of $1.7 million for midwifery services in the Cypress, Regina and Saskatoon regional health authorities. Health Minister Don McMorris announced on May 3 that the province will invest and additional $500,000 to ensure more women have access to midwifery services.

Read 5399 times Last modified on Wednesday, 09 May 2012 09:42

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