Midwife practice subject of documentary film and discussion

Kicking Horse Movies is scheduled to air “Birth Story”, a documentary about midwives and choices that women have for maternity care.

Kicking Horse Movies is scheduled to air “Birth Story”, a documentary about midwives and choices that women have for maternity care. Following the presentation, registered midwife Kyra Warren will be giving a presentation on the subject.

Warren has been a midwife since 1999 when she earned her certification in New Zealand. She worked in New Zealand for several years before ultimately returning to Canada and practicing in Kelowna and Vernon. She opened her own practice in Invermere two and a half years ago, giving that community access to a service that previously wasn’t there, as is the case in Golden now.

“Some women from Golden travel to me, and they come to see me. So it means that they don’t birth in their own community,” Warren said. Many rural communities across B.C. have to deal with the same issues as Golden, with access to midwives being especially low in smaller centres.

According to Warren, a lot of misconceptions exist today with regards to midwives. For example, midwives can deliver in hospitals as well as in homes and can also prescribe pregnancy related medication and order ultrasounds. While midwifery remains strong in many areas of the world, the practice has suffered in North America.

“The medical system kind of took away the traditional birthing attendants, just for financial reasons. In other parts of the world, that didn’t happen,” said Warren. Midwives continue to be viewed as a mainstream part of the birth process in many places such as England and the Netherlands, whereas in Canada and the U.S. they are seen as alternative.

Because Warren has a solo practice, she is unable to conduct home births at the moment. Her practice is growing, however, and she says her work remains steady for most of the year. Her service begins as soon as she is contacted by a pregnant mother and lasts for up to six weeks following the birth. Midwives believe that it is very important for pregnant women to build a good relationship with their caregivers, and vice versa, and that home birth should be used when possible for low risk clients.

Birth Story and Warren’s presentation is scheduled for Oct. 26 at 3:30 p.m.