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A pregnant woman lies on a couch holding her belly. Her other hand is outstretched, held by a midwife as another midwife supports nearby.

Midwives, faced with gaps in Canada’s maternity care, say they could be doing more to close them (Globe and Mail)

Reporting by Carly Weeks and Chloë Ellingson, photography by Chloë Ellingson/Globe and Mail, May 10, 2024

Photo: On a February day, Carmi Magnaye went into labour at home, supported by midwives Mahnaz Donyadideh-Torei and Mary Dirmeitis, along with her husband and two children.

As provinces across the country contend with an ongoing shortage of family physicians and an overwhelmed hospital system, a growing chorus of medical experts who specialize in pregnancy care and childbirth say midwives are in a unique position to alleviate some of that strain on the system while providing high-quality care. But some midwives say they aren’t being properly utilized and can’t work to their full potential because they aren’t always recognized or compensated in the same way as other health professionals.