WE DID IT!
I am super pumped and so very very proud of every single person who spoke up in favor of our midwives! It was largely due to our collective voices that the province heard us and made our midwives a fair offer!
With the offer that was made, our current midwives can continue working, doing the job they so passionately love, and it puts their pay closer in line with other jurisdictions. This will hopefully encourage our existing midwives to stay in Manitoba and help us recruit and retain more midwives. They have also guaranteed more funding for the education program at the U of M. This is very good news for Manitoba families currently under midwifery care, as well as families who would like access to midwifery care in the future! There will be no strike!!
There is still a lot of work to be done though. With the election in full swing in Manitoba, now is a HUGE opportunity for us to keep the discussion going. To keep this issue on the front lines for our respective candidates. If you haven't yet, send messages to your candidates and ask them where they personally stand on midwifery care in Manitoba. The only one of my 3 candidates that responded to me claims he knew nothing of the current state of affairs, so I enlightened him. I also asked him to get back to me with where his party stands on supporting this essential service. I am still waiting on that response from him, as well as any response what-so-ever from my other 2 candidates. But I will keep pushing.
Our goal now is to change public opinion. We need to alter the way the general (usually misinformed) public views midwifery care. We need to make it known that it is not some crunchy/hippy girl catching a baby in a field of flowers (although I'm sure it would be possible if that's what you really wanted...). These professionals are highly trained, and highly skilled in all things from holistic labour & birth practices and support to infant resuscitation. They know how to draw, process and interpret lab tests and results. They need to be therapists (in my case, as I had some pretty serious fears to overcome) as well as a primary care provider through out pregnancy, labour & birth, all the way to 6 weeks post partum, among too many other things to list here.
Midwifery care should not be considered (as one nameless internet troll referred to it as) the "country club" of prenatal care, but rather as the standard of care to which standards are based on. It's time that having a baby was treated like the state of health that it is, rather than a medical situation that needs to be dealt with. It's time we empowered mothers and families to stick up for themselves and their rights. It's time that parents were allowed to make informed decisions based on shared knowledge and information.
I am going to keep fighting. I am going to keep spreading awareness. I will do so by continuing to contact MLA's, candidates, Health Ministers and whoever ends up being our next Premier. I AM GOING TO VOTE. I am going to continue on with my blog series "A Testimonial to Manitoba Midwives" and I have plans in place to start a series of interviews with our midwives themselves.
You may think that you are only one voice and that you couldn't possibly make a difference. You would be wrong. Because it was your one voice, combined with all the other people who thought that they were also just one voice, that made positive changes actually happen in Manitoba. And for that I thank you. In the words of Dr Seuss and The Lorax.....
Stay tuned friends and fans. Keep fighting the good fight.