Understanding the challenges and opportunities in communicating vaccine risks and benefits to midwifery clients

Studies have shown that vaccinating pregnant mothers protects both mothers and children. Yet, recent surveys suggest that one third of Canadian parents are unsure about vaccinating. Mothers often decide how they feel about vaccines during pregnancy, and healthcare workers play an important role in helping them make these choices. More and more new parents in Canada choose to give birth with the help of a Registered Midwife (RM). Unlike other healthcare providers, RMs, following the guideline of Informed Choice, encourage their clients to make choices for themselves using the best available information. Because of this, some RMs feel that they should not make a strong pro-vaccine recommendation. This research project will focus on creating midwife training resources that are compatible with the model of Informed Choice. Using interviews with midwives, educators, and professional associations, we will develop tools for continuing education adapted to the RM profession. By better understanding the challenges midwives face when talking about vaccines, this study will help RMs enable their clients in BC and Canada to make better informed decisions about vaccination.