International Day of the Midwife

Happy Midwives day to all the midwives who give families the true midwifery model of care. We must keep this wonderful tradition alive! Today is a day of celebration and recognition for the work that we as midwives do.

Today is a very important day in the midwifery calendar – it is International Day of the Midwife. The International Day of the Midwife was first elebrated on May 5, 1991, and has since been observed in many nations around the world. The idea of having a day to recognize and honour midwives came out of the 1987 International Confederation of Midwives conference in the Netherlands. There are many celebrations being held in support of midwifery throughout the world. It is a great opportunity for fundraising, raising awareness and raising the profile of midwifery through media releases and news coverage.

The term “midwife” originated in England between the 1250-1300′s. It is translated from the words “mid” meaning “with” and “wif” meaning “woman,” so it literally means “with woman.” A midwife is someone who supports a woman to birth a baby. The role of the midwife is more than just birth support, it involves antenatal education and assessment, labour care, birth care and postnatal care. There is also a responsibility to advocate for women and corporately work together to rectify injustices and unsatisfactory conditions and outcomes for birthing women in different communities around the world. It is for this reason that the Internanational Confederation of Midwives (ICM) fought for this day.

ICM has encouraged midwifery groups around the world to “take to the streets” and organise a walk in their local communities to highlight global midwifery issues. ICM’s ongoing theme, that started in 2008, is: “The world needs midwives now more than ever.” ICM called on the midwives of the world to attend the triennial ICM Congress to be held in Durban, South Africa in June 2011. The ICM also called on associations to organize 5 kilometer walks in cities and towns across the world on International Midwives Day, May 5. On June 18 when the midwives of the world gather for the ICM Congress, they will complete the walk into the city of Durban in celebration of their commitment to improving maternal and newborn health globally. This is the first time in the ICM’s history that the Congress is being held in Africa. This is an opportunity for ICM to bring visibility to midwives.

So congratulations to all midwives for the amazing, important, life changing, world changing job you do. I wish you all a wonderful day. The world need midwives now more than ever. Let us all celebrate this wonderful day.

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