Joyce Totton recently joined forces with four physicians to provide midwife support at the Golden Medical Clinic and the Golden and District Hospital. Sarah Wegelin/Star Photo

Midwife service adds to maternity group

By Sarah Wegelin

Licensed midwife, Joyce Totton, joins four physicians, doctors of medicine Jessica Chiles, Allison Clare, Virginia Clark, and master of science Meghan Guy in the maternity service group providing services at the Golden Medical Clinic and Golden and District Hospital.

The addition of Totton to the team increases in-home post natal care for moms and babies, and brings in a new perspective to pre and post natal services.

“It’s a big change,” says Guy, adding that the addition of Totton to the team increases the continuity of care in a patient’s home after a woman has a baby.

“As doctors, we’re trying to be more like midwives,” she says, adding that medical training and midwifery training are similar in skillsets.

Midwives are trained specifically to the natural process of pregnancy and delivery and devote their time to that.

Totton joined the maternity service group at the Golden Medical Clinic in early January. She says the collaborative approach offers the best of everything for moms and their new babies in terms of services and skill.

The addition of Totton to the team creates additional services for women in the community. Services include more post natal visits in the home for moms, dads, and babies. Guy explains Totton’s role is beneficial to the collaborative approach the team takes to deliver babies in the community. As they examine the services they are providing to expecting women in the community, they are exploring the possibilities of changes to those services based on what women want.

In addition to new services, the team works together to find out about women’s maternity care during pregnancy and delivery by providing an opportunity to share their experiences in questionnaires and community surveys.

The survey also includes questions for fathers to gain perspective on their needs as well.

“There’s a desire to deliver services in a different way,” Totton explains.

The team has addressed the need for more post-partum care for women in the community. They will offer home visits with Totten in addition to public health home visits and post-partum care by a physician in the clinic, increasing the support for new moms.

The team is also looking at other possibilities like group prenatal visits that give women the opportunity to connect through their experiences; opportunities to do their own swabs; and potential workshops.

“There’s a difference between someone who has been supported in their pregnancy and after delivery and someone who hasn’t been,” Totton says.

Feedback from talking with clients who have had little support show there can be a tendency for them to feel disempowered. Research shows this can contribute to post-partum depression and a sense of low confidence as a new mom.

Totton explains research shows that one on one non-medical support for women reduces the need for C-sections, epidurals, vacuums, and triceps during delivery.

Heidi Perren delivered her second child, Amelia Adams, four months ago with Totton at the Golden and District General Hospital, she says her experience working with the maternity services team helped her feel confident she had the delivery she was hoping for and the additional support through increased home visits was needed.

“Even as a second-time mom, the support was needed. It was February and it was nice to not have to take both the kids to the clinic and to have my check ups done at home in a comfortable environment,” Perren explains.

Totton says the team is working “really well together” as they look for ways to further increase services in maternity care for women and men in the community.

A community survey was launched last week for moms and dads who have had a baby in the last five years.

The survey can be found on Survey Monkey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/YS6369N.

“This is definitely not a one-time survey,” Totton said, adding that the team will continue to reach out to community members to find out about the needs in the community.

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