Around 50 tykes participated in their first mommy-and-me protest march over the Burrard Street Bridge yesterday in support of the University of B.C.’s midwifery program, which is facing funding cuts.
Sarah Munro, a doctorate student in public health at Simon Fraser University and one of the organizers of the march, said UBC’s four-year-program – which only admits 10 first-year students a year – may not be accepting new students in 2010.
“We need to continue to meet the needs of birthing mothers,” Munro said, adding that demand for midwives is such that the program needs to admit more students, not fewer.
“(Midwives) deliver 10 per cent of babies in the province and that number is steadily rising.”
Jen Closs, who is due to give birth on Dec. 30, said she was on a wait list for eight weeks before finding a midwife.
She said midwives have more time for their patients than busy doctors, and has found the experience more personal.
Lindsey Johnson, who gave birth to her son Colton a year ago, said she used a midwife so she could have a home water birth.
“It’s so nice for a woman to have an option and I would like to have that option when I have a second baby,” Johnson said.
“It’s really hard to get a midwife because there aren’t that many, and if they don’t train more, it’ll be harder.”