A Framework for Sustainable Rural Midwifery
The Rural Midwifery Pathways toolkit is targeted at midwives, administrators, and rural communities that have expressed an interest in rural midwifery practice. Underpinning this toolkit is the belief that our responsibility as health care providers is to meet the needs and desires of birthing women. If rural women are requesting local midwifery services, service planning needs to take into account the factors that make rural midwifery practice feasible and sustainable – for the birthing community, midwives, and other maternity care providers.
We need to move past the cycle of “pilot projects” that have limited long-term results and little adaptability for other regions. For the growth of rural midwifery to be sustainable, the decision making process in a rural community should be inclusive, shared, and long-term. Additional steps are included for Aboriginal communities. The toolkit has 5 phases:
- Starting the process (engaging in a community needs assessment)
- What will the model of care look like?
- Preparing for midwifery in your community
- Integrating midwifery into the community