TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 4, 2011) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press.

Tomorrow at Queen's Park, midwives will launch a campaign gearing up for the October provincial election by urging political parties to support the expansion of midwifery through the development of birth centres.

According to Tom Closson, President and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association, "Birth centres can give midwives the opportunity to work to their full scope of practice, give low-risk mothers better access to maternal and newborn care, and enhance health care by making services more readily available and closer to home."

"Birth centres provide an innovative solution to improve care for women and newborns in Ontario while cutting costs," says Katrina Kilroy, Midwife and President of the Association of Ontario Midwives. "Giving birth is the leading reason for the hospitalization of women in Ontario. Birth centres can safely divert healthy women from hospital to community-based care."

Increasingly, women and families are looking for care that supports normal birth. Alarmingly, almost 1 in 3 women in Ontario deliver by c-section. Innovative solutions such as birth centres will go a long way towards supporting normal birth and reducing unnecessary and costly interventions.

Speakers at the launch will include Kilroy, Vicki Van Wagner, RM and member of the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health and Julie Maher, Provincial Director, Ontario Women's Health Network.

In addition, midwives, pregnant women and newborns will be available for interviews and photographs.

About Midwifery in Ontario

There are more than 500 registered midwives in Ontario, serving communities in 85 clinics across the province. Midwives have privileges at most Ontario hospitals. Since midwifery became a regulated health profession in 1994, more than 100,000 babies have been born under midwifery care, including more than 23,000 births at home.

A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary care to women with low-risk pregnancies. Midwives provide care throughout pregnancy, labour and birth and provide care to both mother and baby during the first six weeks following the birth.

The Association of Ontario Midwives is the professional organization representing midwives and the profession of midwifery in Ontario.

Event details:
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Press Conference: 9:15 am, room 148
International Day of the Midwife announcement – 11:00 am, legislature
MPP Luncheon: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm, room 230
Related Links: (live May 5)

Contact Information:

To attend the event, for further information or to arrange
interviews or photos with midwives or with midwifery
clients, contact: Association of Ontario Midwives
Joanna Zuk, Senior Communications Officer
Tel: 416-425-9974 x2261 or Cell: 416-704-7452 /