Expectant moms in three areas of Nova Scotia will soon have access to publicly funded midwifery services. The province announced that Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority, South Shore District Health Authority and the IWK Health Centre will participate as model sites for a phased-in approach to integrating midwives as part of the maternity care team at hospitals. “Midwives can play a key role in a multi-disciplinary team approach by collaborating with family physicians and obstetricians,” said Health Minister Chris d’Entremont. “An excellence in maternity care already exists in Nova Scotia and adding midwives to maternity care teams will further enhance that.” In the coming months, the district health authorities and the IWK will prepare to fill the seven full-time equivalent positions. It will be up to individual health authorities to decide the combination of full and part-time services they require. “South Shore Health is in a perfect position to be a model site because of the tremendous support we have from our community and health-care providers,” said Sandy Christie, vice-president of clinical services at South Shore District Health Authority. “We are pleased to have this opportunity to explore how midwifery can contribute to, and further enhance, the care of women and children in our district.” It is expected that the midwifery model for each participating district health authority and the IWK may vary based on the individual needs of the community it serves. Over the next 18 to 24 months, work will continue on developing models of care, policies and protocols governing the practice of midwifery. Each model site will nominate representatives to work with the Department of Health Midwifery Integration Committee to help ensure the success of the integration process. District health authorities not participating as model sites are also invited to have a representative on the integration committee. The committee will provide valuable information to help all district health authorities integrate midwifery into primary maternity care teams in the future. Midwifery legislation was passed in November 2006. Since then, the Department of Health has been developing regulation and licensing guidelines necessary for the act to be proclaimed. Once proclaimed, the act will allow midwives to practice as a regulated profession.