“Burnout is Real”: A SWOT Analysis of Albertan Midwives’ Perspectives on Providing Midwifery Care

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Tiffany Boulton
Deepali Upadhyaya
Erika Pichette
Joanna Rankin

Keywords

Midwifery; Midwives; SWOT; Burnout; Continuity of Care; Interviews

Abstract

Midwifery has been publicly funded since 2009 in Alberta, Canada. However, significant barriers to accessing midwife-led care, interprofessional challenges, lack of funding, and the demanding role required of midwives raise issues regarding sustainability. The findings presented in this paper are based on in-depth interviews with 16 midwives in Alberta, Canada. This paper discusses the findings based on a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis framework. The SWOT analysis identified the following major themes: Strong connections to the profession and clients, barriers to work-life balance, strategies for sustainability, and difficult working conditions combined with limited funding. The findings highlight an urgent need to address the difficult working conditions and high levels of burnout described by Alberta midwives. The midwives’ commitment to the profession and their relationships with clients run deep; however, this did not offset the challenges and barriers to having a long career working as a midwife. Our findings suggest that there are opportunities to make midwifery more sustainable, but this will require the healthcare system in Alberta to prioritize funding for midwifery services to ensure the midwives who provide this care are valued and supported.

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