The MaternityCare Consumers of Alberta Network Report

Why is Maternity Care in Alberta in the news?

On November 5, a very important report was released by the MaternityCare Consumers of Alberta Network (MCAN). MCAN advocates for Alberta women’s rights to make informed choices and have equal access to publicly funded, quality maternity care of their choosing in their community (whether provided by midwives, physicians or obstetricians).MCAN conducted an online survey garnering over 1200 responses, organized and ran 9 focus groups as part of our listening campaign, and held our annual Face-to-Face with MCAN's Leadership and stakeholders.

What was the outcome?

The highlighted portion of report’s Executive Summary reads:

The MaternityCare Consumers of Alberta Network (MCAN) conducted a Listening Campaign from April through August, 2014, involving almost 1,400 Albertans and found that:

    • Alberta’s maternity care system is in the midst of a crisis, unsustainable (particularly in rural and remote settings), and not meeting families’ needs.
    • There are not enough low risk maternity care providers to meet the demand.
    • Universal rights of childbearing women are not always being acknowledged and supported.

MCAN is calling for the development and implementation of a maternity care strategy for Alberta.


Alberta spoke and maternity care in Alberta is in crisis. Women are unable to choose the providers they wish as well as where they want to birth freely. Rural Albertans are much more limited services than urban although all of our systems are under stress. Without more low-risk care providers, more women are forced to see high-risk caregivers who are then carrying much fuller patient loads. Low risk pregnancies under the care of high-risk providers lead to higher numbers of interventions during pregnancy and labour.

What can you do?

Read the full report!! Respond to the report!

Share your thoughts, experiences and solutions with your MLA. MCAN has done a phenomenal job making it very easy for you to do this. On their website is a template letter as well as a link to find who your MLA is if you don’t know. Send in your emails and letters now while the report is fresh. CC our Premiere, our Minster of Health and MCAN.

Join the MCAN Facebook group and follow @MCAN_Tweets #MCAN on Twitter.

Share your story!

There are many amazing care givers in all fields of maternity care as well as some that are not. I personally gave birth to both of my children in Fort McMurray. I had no choice of care provider either time and both resulted with an OBGYN for prenatal care. I spent a minimum of an hour to sometimes 3 hours waiting for my prenatal appointments. Both of my babies were delivered by wonderful nurses as the on-call OBGYNs was either not at the hospital or busy. I spent a wonderful hour with my second before any procedures on my newborn occurred. Sadly, it was spoiled somewhat by an out of town doctor yelling at my nurse because he missed the birth of the baby as I birthed the placenta. With our first baby, we had no knowledge of doulas. We took a basic Alberta Health childbirth class. I knew what an epidural was, but I had no idea about what went along with one. I struggled with breastfeeding our first. I struggled with post partum depression (PPD) for over a year. A public health nurse was helpful in identifying the PPD, but not until about 6 months. I did receive lovely treatment. Our second birth was so different as we empowered ourselves with knowledge from outside of the health system. We took back control. My only regret is not being part of a mother focused prenatal care system.

In order for change to happen, for a mother focused care system to become part of the foundation of our health care system, we need to speak out. We need to ask for change. We need to ask for help. The more support from Albertans that MCAN receives, the more powerful their voice becomes. We each have a voice, let’s use it in unison for change.

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Have you sent a letter? What was your response to the report? Please comment below and continue the conversation!


With Love and Light,


November 11, 2014 by Laurie McGowan
previous / next

Leave a comment