Midwifery in Saskatchewan

Midwives provide a high standard of care for individuals and their families. Midwifery care is an important part of maternity care and is a choice that should be available to all families in Saskatchewan.

What is a Midwife?

A midwife is a licensed and registered health care professional who provides primary care to low-risk clients and their babies throughout pregnancy, birth, and for six weeks postpartum.

Our Scope

Midwives specialize in normal, low-risk pregnancy and birth. We assess and monitor clients and their babies during pregnancy, labour, birth and for six weeks post partum. We can provide primary care to clients who choose to birth in hospital or at home.

Throughout your pregnancy, midwives are able to order tests and assessments, such as routine blood tests and ultrasounds, as well as standard blood tests for newborns. Midwives are also able to prescribe and administer many common drugs used during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

Your midwife will provide continuous care and support during labour and birth, and the immediate postpartum.   A second attendant, either a midwife or another qualified care provider, will also attend the birth to assist as needed.

Should a complication arise at any point during your pregnancy, birth, or postpartum, the midwife will consult with specialists such as obstetricians and pediatricians.

Our Expertise

Registered Midwives who are trained in Canada have completed four years of university education that includes academic studies and extensive clinical experience through midwifery and inter-professional placements.

Midwives who are trained outside of Canada may be able to have their skills and experience assessed through an assessment program such as the International Midwifery Pre-registration Program (IMPP) or the Multi-jurisdictional Midwifery Bridging Program (MMBP).  Upon completion of an assessment program the candidate would be eligible for registration with the Saskatchewan College of Midwives.

The Saskatchewan College of Midwives (SCM) governs registered midwives in the province. All registered midwives in Saskatchewan must satisfy the entry and practice requirements of the SCM in order to practice midwifery.

Midwives are trained to manage emergency situations associated with labour and delivery. They carry emergency equipment to home births, including resuscitation equipment and medications. They maintain certification in:

  • adult and newborn resuscitation (CPR)
  • newborn resuscitation (NRP)
  • emergency obstetrical management through programs such as More OB (Managing Obstetrical Risk Efficiently) or ALARM (Advances in Labour and Risk Management) 

Did You Know?

Midwifery is safe
Midwifery has been shown to provide safe care for uncomplicated births. Midwives provide informed choices in pregnancy and birth including a choice of birthplace.
Midwifery provides comprehensive primary health care services
Midwives offer community-based care throughout pregnancy, labour and birth and for six weeks following birth. This includes well-women gynaecological and maternity care; pre- and post-natal education and counseling; parenting and breastfeeding education and care of the newborn.
Midwives are specialists in the care of healthy clients and normal childbirth
“As experts in normal pregnancy and birth, midwives offer an expertise that doctors, whose medical training is disease orientated, do not.” —Dr. Murray Enkin, retired obstetrician and professor, McMaster University
Midwives practice as part of a health care team
As primary health care providers, midwives practice collaboratively and consult with other health care professionals when necessary to ensure the best possible care for their clients.
Midwifery is cost effective
By improving birth outcomes, reducing the number of premature and low birth-weight babies and reducing the number of medical interventions in childbirth, midwifery is cost effective in both the long and short term.
Midwifery care is flexible
Midwifery services can be provided in a variety of settings, including hospitals, birth centres and homes.
Midwives offer ongoing support to mothers, babies and families
Midwives provide continuity of care throughout pregnancy, birth and the post-natal period.
Midwifery is family centred
Midwives welcome the participation of family members in the childbearing process. Midwifery care respects cultural diversity.
More families would like the opportunity to choose midwifery care
Across Canada the demand for midwifery care exceeds the number of midwives available to practice.

History of Regulated Midwifery in Saskatchewan

There is a rich history of Indigenous midwives providing traditional birth practices and knowledge to their community members for centuries. When settler midwives arrived they brought their own traditional practices and knowledge. As hospital birth with physicians became the norm, the use of and access to traditional birth attendants diminished. As families began to desire increased birthing options, the need to restore midwifery care became apparent.

1987 The Midwives Association of Saskatchewan formed for mutual support and self-regulation and to lobby for funded and regulated midwifery

1987–1999 A few midwives in Saskatchewan practiced in a legal ‘grey area.’

1999 The Saskatchewan Legislature passed the Saskatchewan Midwifery Act

2006 A Transitional Council was formed as a precursor to the Saskatchewan College of Midwives to begin the implementation process.

2008 In March the government proclaimed the Act and later that year the first Registered Midwife was licensed and hired in Saskatoon.

2009 Midwives were legally allowed to deliver babies for the first time.

2010 In Swift Current the first midwife attended delivery was June 10th , while the official opening of the service was October 18. In September the first midwife was hired in Regina.

TODAY Midwifery practices are established in Saskatoon, Regina, Fort Qu’Appelle and Swift Current. Indigenous midwives are working to return birth to their land and restore traditional birth practices and knowledge.

What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?

A doula is someone who provides non-clinical care to a individual during childbirth and the postpartum period. Doulas can be a positive addition to the birth team, working with a midwife or doctor and nurse, providing continuous emotional and physical support to the labouring woman. Doulas working within their role and within the law do not deliver babies or provide clinical care.

Midwives have extensive training and education in order to provide comprehensive clinical health care to healthy low-risk mothers and babies. The Midwifery Act in Saskatchewan recognizes "midwife" as a protected title and prohibits persons who are not registered midwife members or licensed physicians from using the title “midwife”. Persons who are not registered midwife members or members of a regulated profession whose scope of practice includes the performance of an authorized practice, are prohibited from performing any of the authorized practices of midwifery.