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Friday, July 25, 2014

Choose home birth assistance carefully

AHS reminds Albertans to take care in selecting individuals to assist with home births

 Following recent incidents in the Calgary Zone involving home birthing attendants or “traditional home delivery providers,” Alberta Health Services (AHS) is reminding expectant mothers to check credentials before engaging the services of non-regulated individuals, such as home birthing attendants.

AHS has reported two recent incidents to the Calgary Police Service involving non-certified birthing attendants assisting in labour and delivery in private residences. Both incidents are of concern from a health perspective; however, AHS is unable to discuss specifics of those cases for reasons of patient confidentiality.

In order to ensure the safety and health of mothers and babies, managing labour and delivering a baby are activities restricted by law and can only be performed by registered physicians, registered midwives, registered nurses, or emergency medical services staff during emergencies.

All of these health professionals are governed and regulated by various health ‎discipline associations, and Albertans should consult with those associations or AHS when engaging individuals in their care.

Albertans who are planning a home birth are encouraged to ensure that their birth attendant has the formal training and necessary certification.

For a list of registered midwives in Alberta, contact the College of Alberta Midwives at (403) 474-3999 or visit http://www.college-midwives-ab.ca/

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta: public inquiries: 1-800-561-3899 or email publicinquiries@cpsa.ab.ca

To find a midwife or for more information about midwifery and home births, visit the Alberta Association of Midwives website: http://www.alberta-midwives.com/

For 24/7 health advice provided by registered nurses and other health-care professionals, call Health Link Alberta toll-free at 1-866-408-5465 (LINK).

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