Rally for midwives

by Karen Janigan

Supporters of South Shore midwives are keeping the pressure on to hire a fourth midwife with a rally planned on Valentine's day in Liverpool.

Artist Astrid Pickens said while they are happy the Nova Scotia Health Authority is hiring a third midwife for the South Shore program, they want to "keep the pressure to have a fourth midwife added.

"In order for the midwifery program to be sustainable we need at least four... we still have to keep our voice strong because three is not sustainable. It doesn't leave room for someone to be on vacation or take time off because there needs to be two midwives to attend a home birth."

The rally is also to show solidarity with Liverpool women who have to travel to Bridgewater to give birth without the midwife program. The program is suspended for now because one midwife is on medical leave and the other is taking time off because she's overworked.

Pickens said she's happy that Lunenburg West MLA Mark Furey is also pushing for a fourth midwife, but the rally will keep the pressure on.

The organizers ask those who rally to assemble at 10 a.m. at 21 Bristol Ave, Liverpool in the parking lot next to Lane's Privateer Inn and walk to Conservative MLA Kim Masland's office.

Organizers ask participants to wear red or pink to show support for the midwives these past nine years and to bring "a love letter to your midwife" to leave at the MLA's office.

Pickens said she delivered her two children at home using a midwife and called it the "best experience ever" especially given that she had a fear of hospitals. "Having the option to have kids at home made it successful and relaxed and enjoyable."

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