Midwife supports study in the hope of helping young moms-to-be

July 6, 2015

midwifeAs a midwife in the Okanagan Valley, Suzanne Lobb sees pregnant women who fit every description – from younger to older, from poor to wealthy, and from many different cultural backgrounds. But regardless of their background, each woman receives the same initial message. “We give everyone a card and encourage them to call public health,” Lobb says. “Once they’re out of our care — six weeks after they deliver — it’s easier for them to stay connected to services in the community if they have a stronger connection to public health.”

In the Okanagan Valley, Lobb works with a number of women who are either “young, transient or single parents.” The key issue she identifies is solo-parenting, sometimes because the women’s partners need to leave the community to find sustainable jobs. “There’s also a large number of very young, very transient women who are single parents,” she says, referring to women who often have to move from place to place because they have no home of their own. “And a lot of dads are in and out of the picture,” she adds. Apart from everything else, this often means that the women don’t have the emotional support they need.

That’s one of the reasons why Lobb is a big believer in the BC Healthy Connections Project. “I support the study because I think it’s important to know whether Nurse-Family Partnership is effective,” she says. In her own practice she’s noticed that young women who sometimes have to miss midwifery appointments can often still attend support groups offered by other community-based organizations. “That kind of support is really valuable to those young women,” she says, adding that one-on-one assistance provided by a nurse might be even more effective.

As a mother of three, herself Lobb delivers almost 50 babies each year. She wants to see all of them grow into healthy, happy adults. “I really want to see the study succeed,” she says.

Note that Nurse-Family Partnership is available only through the BC Healthy Connections Project for the duration of study recruitment. Practitioners or young pregnant women can click here for more information.