Celebrating the invaluable contribution midwives make to the world
Today is International Day of the Midwife, a day to acknowledge the incredible work of midwives throughout history and their ongoing dedication to ensuring safe and healthy pregnancies, childbirth, and postnatal care.
The day was first celebrated in 1991, after being established by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) at their conference in the Netherlands. Since then, it has been observed annually in over 50 nations worldwide.
Midwives have been an integral part of society for thousands of years, with the practice of midwifery being traced back to the Palaeolithic era (40,000 BCE). These environments were challenging and often life threatening, so women would assist each other using shared knowledge.
Today, midwives continue to be essential healthcare providers for pregnant women and their families. Their expertise guarantees that mothers and newborns get the best possible care. Midwives work in various settings, from hospitals to birthing centres to private homes, across the country.
This year, the theme is Together again: from evidence to reality, a nod to the upcoming 33rd ICM Triennial Congress, where the global midwifery community will come together for the first time in over five years, and recognise the efforts of midwives and their associations to create meaningful action on evidence like the State of the World’s Midwifery (SoWMy) report.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises midwives as a crucial component of health services, through reducing maternal and infant mortality rates. Midwives have also played a huge role as advocates for women’s reproductive rights, working to ensure that women have access to safe maternity care.
We pay tribute to the incredible contribution midwives have made to the world.