Our club was so excited to welcome Rotarian and Midwife Andrea Cassidy to speak to us this past week! She is a part of the Midwifery Collective of Windsor-Essex and a Board-certified lactation consultant.

She believes that it’s important to teach women, especially new mothers, mindfulness and self-compassion. teaching women to be kind to themselves.
The biggest issue facing Midwives in Ontario is that they are underseen and undervalued. A midwife isn’t always an option that’s offered to pregnant women even though it can be a great option for expecting mothers and for postpartum support, plus they’re free!
Andrea believes that rural women deserve the same access to care as urban women and it’s one of the reasons that she loves what she does. What differentiates a midwife from traditional care is that they see pregnancy as a normal life process as opposed to a condition to be managed.
They call the people that they care for clients because they want pregnant people to feel in control of their care and it creates an important dynamic in their relationship. “Their body, their baby, their choice,” explains Andrea.
Working with a midwife means you have longer appointments, health education and teaching, greater continuity of care, resources in the pregnant person's native languages and the involvement of both partners, choice of birthplace (hospital, home or birthing center). Midwives also work with lots of marginalized women, Canadians who have no access to OHIP, illegal immigrants. Many of them choose home births because it’s the more economical option.
Andrea explained their community needs as the following:
  1. Birthing rooms – the health care industry doesn’t treat birth as the sacred moment that it is. However, hospice rooms are very homey.
  2. Support for low-income moms – the need is unseen, often the most marginalized population
  3. Peer support for breastfeeding – after 3 months only 36% are still breastfeeding. Only lactation consult
She says, “We can do birth differently, we can make it sacred and it starts when moms walk in the room.”