Three midwives groups in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent will share more than a million dollars in funding to support expecting mothers.

The Midwifery Collective of Essex County is getting $344,016 from the provincial government.

Officials say $348,489 will go to the Midwives of Chatham Kent and $370,386 will go to Midwives of Windsor.

The funding is part of Monday's announcement, where the Ford government announced it would continue a commitment by the previous Liberal government to spend $28 million this year to expand midwifery.

Health Minister Christine Elliott estimates the funding will give up to 3,400 more families access to midwifery services.

"Investing in midwifery is smart and moves us closer on the path of health reform that seeks to provide quality, cost-effective care that delivers excellent outcomes. Midwifery is an excellent example of care that supports seamless transitions between community and hospital, is available 24/7, and provides care that places the patient at the centre," said Elizabeth Brandeis of the Association of Ontario Midwives.

The government is also expanding the scope of practice for midwives to allow them to prescribe more medications to clients.

"The Midwives of Chatham-Kent Inc., the Midwifery Collective of Essex County, and Midwives of Windsor all do fantastic work getting families off to a great start with new children,” said Rick Nicholls, the Progressive Conservative MPP for Chatham-Kent Leamington. “This additional funding will mean more families in Chatham-Kent, Leamington, Essex, and Windsor will be able to access quality care from a midwife during pregnancy, birth, as well as six weeks of support once their baby is born.”

“The Chatham-Kent midwifery clinic was one of the very first midwifery practices to open its doors in Ontario in 1996. The midwives of Chatham Kent deliver on average 20 to 25 per cent of babies born in our region," said Isabelle Milot of the Midwives of Chatham-Kent.