Demand for midwifery-led births in Alberta, Canada, increased in 2020

on 29 April 2021

The Alberta Association of Midwives has seen an increase in midwifery-led births in 2020, and a spike in women choosing homebirths compared to 2019.

In the Province, there were 4,478 midwifery-led births in 2020, in comparison to 3,673 in 2019.

President of the Alberta Association of Midwives, Chelsea Miklos, said a number of factors caused this such as the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in midwives in the Canadian Province.

“With the pandemic people are making healthcare choices differently. There is this totally massive added layer of going to the hospital and being in the health care setting and knowing who’s around in those settings.

“I don’t think people make the choice because they are afraid of the hospital. I think they make the choice because they think, ‘do I need to be here?’”

During the COVID-19 pandemic Alberta Health continued to provide labour and birth services to women. However, statistics from Service Alberta has shown the number of births in the Province has been declining since 2015.

Speaking to CTV News, Kinga Kovacs gave birth in March 2020 and had concerns about delivering her baby in a hospital.

She said: “I was a little concerned with contracting COVID-19 with our little baby I was never nervous with that. I didn’t know what that would look like.”

In the end Kinga Kovacs had a midwifery-led homebirth following a quick labour.

“I have a number of girlfriends that were also having babies at the same time as us and they talked a lot about having a home birth actually and none of them would have considered it prior to COVID-19.”

According to the Alberta Association of Midwives pregnant women have also been asking their midwife about getting the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy.

In Alberta, pregnant women are eligible to receive the vaccine under Phase 2B.