FREDERICTON (GNB) – The official opening of the midwife services demonstration site in Fredericton took place today.

“We were proud to establish the first demonstration site for midwives in New Brunswick and we are incredibly thrilled to continue our support for this team,” said Health Minister Benoit Bourque. “Midwives provide an important service to New Brunswickers and give families more options when it comes to making important choices around pregnancy and childbirth.”

Improving access to primary care by maximizing the use of health professionals such as nurse practitioners, advanced care paramedics, pharmacists and midwives is a priority for government.

The demonstration site, which is managed by Horizon Health Network, was announced in December 2016 and began offering services to prenatal clients in October 2017. The midwives delivered their first baby on Nov. 30, 2017, and since then they began taking on clients. To date there have been 15 midwifery-assisted deliveries, including four home births.

“Horizon Health Network is pleased that our registered midwives have settled into their permanent location,” said Geri Geldart, vice-president Clinical. “This new space will provide our clients with a comfortable and welcoming environment for their care.”

The demonstration site currently employs three midwives, a practice manager and an administrative assistant. A fourth midwife is expected to be hired in the near future.

The new location for the Fredericton Midwifery Centre is 528 MacLaren Ave.

Anyone interested in obtaining the services of a midwife can call 506-452-5896 as soon as they know they are pregnant. A referral from a family doctor or nurse practitioner is not a requirement to seek midwifery service.