The Alberta government announced Friday that midwifery services would be available to expectant families at the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital.

Officials said seven midwives hold delivery privileges at the hospital now.

Midwives work with expectant mothers with low-risk pregnancies; their care starts during pregnancy, and continues after birth.

“More women in Alberta are choosing a midwife to support them both before and after a baby is born,” Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said.

“The support midwives provide makes a tremendous difference to new moms and dads and I’m proud we’re investing in a service that helps so many newborns get a good start in life.”

The change is part of millions of dollars allocated for midwifery services over the next three years – a total of $49 million has been budgeted for this.