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Examination of midwifery services, clients, and associated outcomes in New Brunswick 

Category(s): Health, Social Policy
Status: Active
Principal: Chris Folkins
Project Number: P0111
Year Approved: 2023

Project Description

​​​Midwives are licensed health care practitioners who provide care to mothers and newborns throughout pregnancy, labour, and postpartum, including delivery of babies in both hospital and home settings. Midwifery care has been demonstrated to be safe and associated with positive outcomes including reduced rate of medical interventions, increased likelihood of sustained breastfeeding, and high satisfaction rates and positive birth experiences for clients. Midwifery care has also been demonstrated to be cost-effective and associated with cost savings in both hospital and home settings compared to physician-assisted hospital births. 

​Midwifery services have become available to New Brunswickers only relatively recently, with NB being one of the last Canadian provinces to legalize and implement them. As of January 2023, the Fredericton Midwifery Centre, established as a demonstration site in 2017, is the only site offering midwifery care in the province. 

​This project will undertake a preliminary examination of midwifery services in New Brunswick using administrative data accessed via NB-IRDT. Research objectives include describing midwifery services currently performed in NB, characterizing midwifery clients, and describing select outcomes in midwifery clients compared to a similar, non-midwifery client group. The goals of this work are to gain a baseline understanding of the practice of midwifery in NB, and to establish methods for studying midwifery using NB administrative data. It is anticipated that this work will facilitate further research on the topic, and support the inclusion of midwifery in the broader picture of health research in NB.​