Tag: Obstetrics

Pulling back the curtain on Canada’s rising C-section rate

Caesarian sections (C-sections) are among the most common surgical procedures performed on women of child-bearing age. Canada’s C-section rate has increased dramatically in the past two decades. The national C-section rate  has increased from 17% of all births in 1995 to nearly 27% in  2010. In Ontario, nearly 29% of births in 2011/12 were by C-section, with a similar rate in Alberta of…

Non-invasive prenatal testing and chromosomal microarray: changing the landscape of prenatal genetic testing

Prenatal testing is a routine part of pregnancy care in much of the world. Every pregnant woman in Canada is offered blood tests and ultrasounds to evaluate the health of her pregnancy. When testing suggests potential genetic abnormalities, doctors offer a further test such as amniocentesis to make a definitive diagnosis. While amniocentesis is very…

Cord blood banking in Canada

cord blood banking

Minutes after giving birth, blood from the umbilical cord is collected and sent off to a central cord blood bank to be cryogenically frozen.  Years later this cord blood could be used to cure some cancers and treat rare diseases. While to some this sounds like the stuff of science fiction,  the use of cord…

Maternity services disappearing in rural Canada

Maternity Services Disappearing rural Alberta

The plan to eliminate obstetrical care at Banff’s Mountain Springs Hospital, and to replace it with enhanced vascular and plastic surgery services, was labelled a potential “quick win” in a 2012 community and rural health planning document. Babies would no longer be delivered in Banff (population about 8,200) and instead obstetrical care would be “consolidated”…

Head first: birth centres in Ontario

Integrated Maternity Care

Ontario recently announced funding for two birth centres that will be led by midwives. The government has indicated it is opening birth centres partly to move care out of hospitals and save money. Although birth centres are probably safe and may improve maternity care, it is less clear whether Ontario’s birth centres will indeed reduce…

Why isn’t there a system of integrated maternity care in Ontario?

Midwives provide high quality care for normal, low risk pregnancy and child birth, but provide this care to relatively few women in Ontario. The demand for midwifery services is outstripping capacity.  The philosophy and actual practice of care provided by midwives and obstetricians is different. Obstetricians deliver many more babies, but obstetrician-led care is more…