TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 31, 2011) - Midwives and supporters will rally at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow at Queen's Park to raise awareness about pay equity. A recent Ministry of Health-funded independent report found that midwifery compensation leaves midwives trailing far behind that of other health care providers.

"Midwifery has been regulated in Ontario for 17 years," said Katrina Kilroy, RM, president of the Association of Ontario Midwives. "For 11 of those years, midwives received zero pay increase. We are rallying to let the government know that midwives want pay equity, and that midwives are worth it. Increases since that time have consistently been less than comparative professions and have resulted in midwives falling behind by more than 20%."

Midwives produce excellent health outcomes and significant system wide savings for the health care system. Because midwives provide care in the community and in a woman's home, women in midwifery care have fewer visits to emergency rooms and short, if any, hospital stays. Midwives are experts in supporting normal birth and women in midwifery care have half the rate of c-sections.

"The time to stop taking midwives for granted is long overdue. We are primary care providers and the value we provide to women and their families, as well as the health care system as a whole, must be reflected in fair compensation," said Ms. Kilroy.

Midwives will be providing belly checks to pregnant women and weighing babies on the south lawn of Queen's Park on June 1 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to raise awareness about the need for government action on pay equity for midwives.

About Midwifery in Ontario

There are over 500 Registered Midwives in Ontario, serving communities in 85 clinics across the province. Midwives have privileges at most Ontario hospitals. Midwives have provided care to over 100,000 mothers and babies in home, hospital and the community since 1994. 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.

Members of the media are invited to attend this event. Interviews and photographs with clients and midwives can be arranged.

Contact Information:

Association of Ontario Midwives
Sabina Hikel
Acting Senior Communications Officer
416-425-9974 x2261 or Cell: 416-871-5817