Midwife Karen Robb calls a new Dartmouth health clinic “the birth of a new profession.”
“It’s an important beginning,” she said last week during the grand opening of the Community Midwives Clinic at 99 Wyse Rd. It’s part of the IWK Health Centre and is one of three sites in the province selected to add midwives to their primary maternity care teams.
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Robb is one of four midwives hired by the Halifax-based children’s hospital in early April to work out of the new clinic. Although small in size, the clinic was bustling with big excitement Thursday as the first family to use its services, including a gurgling 10-week-old Linnea Isabella, stopped by for the official opening ceremony.
New parents Karin Wallace and Terry Murray-Arnold said they chose to use a midwife before, during and after giving birth to Linnea for “continuity of care.” The Clayton Park couple said working with midwife Kelly Chisholm was much more than what they expected.
“When we first told people, I think they thought I was having a home birth and burning incense,” Wallace said. “I always planned a hospital birth, but what I wanted was a professional that would not only deal with my physical health, but all of the questions that I had surrounding it.”
Murray-Arnold said he’s concerned that there are only four provincially funded midwives in the Halifax area. “There’s going to be such a demand when parents find (out) that the service is available.”