Facebook page helps midwives get protective equipment during COVID-19 pandemic

Hannah Garnett / May 14th 2020

The process of making the sewn masks
(Masks to Midwives/Facebook)

COVID-19 has had a negative impact on millions, with the number increasing each day. Whether it be financial, emotional, or physical damage, it is rare to see someone unaffected by one of those three during this pandemic. COVID-19 has also put a heavy strain on supplies in the economy, especially personal protection for healthcare workers. Masks are priority for nurses and doctors, leaving other healthcare professionals left out. However, after Allison Campbell, a midwife in Vancouver, noticed a lack of Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, for midwives, she created a Facebook page for the community to come together and support local midwives during this time.

So I was really aware of how challenging it is for them to access PPE, the personalized protection equipment that they need for working in the community. They have it at the hospitals, but when they’re going into people homes during home births and home visits and postpartum visits and stuff, they didn’t have any, and I just saw it as a real need, and something that I could do to help, would be to just take that off the plates of my Midwifery colleagues and just say, look, i’ll try to source PPE for everybody.” – Allison Campbell, “Masks to Midwives,” page admin and Vancouver midwife

The page is called, “Masks to Midwives,” and their main goal is to ensure all midwives in Vancouver have the PPE needed to work through this pandemic. The Facebook page works by allowing members to post what they have for admins to collect, whether it be already made masks, or fabrics to make masks out of. The admins, Campbell and a few others, will then go and collect the supplies from doorsteps across Vancouver. After gathering the donations, the group will put the fabrics to use by sewing masks out of them. The PPE will then be donated within a few days after researching where the equipment is needed by midwives.

Some statistics about midwives across B.C.

“We have so far been able to provide every midwife in Vancouver with PPE, so around 100 midwives just with the Facebook page.” – Allison Campbell, “Masks to Midwives,” page admin and Vancouver midwife

The sewn masks ready to be delivered to midwives across Vancouver!
(Masks to Midwives/Facebook)

The page has received nothing but positive feedback from their efforts and new people join the group daily looking to help midwives in need. Rachel Rees, a midwife from Vancouver that has received PPE for herself, has been very thankful for the group. Rees says that it is important to help the midwives, like herself, because they’re in such close contact with different people every day. She also explains that the group has been a great help in spreading awareness and getting midwives the gear they need during such difficult times. Campbell also explains all the appreciation she has gotten from the community, including a touching story about an independent midwife finally receiving PPE and feeling supported for the first time since the outbreak.

“It felt very community building, and it helped me feel even more appreciated than the 7 o’clock clapping out the window. That’s nice, but having things that are tangibly helpful is much more meaningful.” – Rachel Rees, Vancouver midwife

“Masks to Midwives,” is now working on providing midwives in Vancouver with other equipment, like scrub caps and gowns.