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FriMay 5

International Midwives Day – May 5, 2023

Since 1992, International Midwives’ Day has been held on May 5. This day is observed to honor midwives’ work and promote awareness about their importance in providing crucial care to mothers and their newborns. In addition, it is a chance for us to recognize their efforts towards making the world a better place.

History of International Midwives Day

Midwifery is defined as skilled, competent, and loving care for pregnant females, newborn babies, and families throughout pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and the early weeks of the child’s life.

Optimizing basic biological, psychological, and sociocultural processes of birth; prompt mitigation and management of risks and intervention through referring patients to other services are some of the core characteristics. Other characteristics include respecting their wards’ unique views and circumstances and encouraging them to take proper care of themselves and the family.

Midwives, student midwives, and maternity support staff have faced adversity and risked their lives to offer excellent care to families and communities over the years. This observance was created to honor them for their contributions to our communities and rally behind them in calls for the government to invest in maternity care.

The concept for a day to commemorate and acknowledge midwives arose from a conference held by the International Confederation of Midwives in the Netherlands in 1987. It was commemorated in Iran and New Zealand, among other countries, in 2014.

The release of the State of the World’s Midwifery Report (SoWMy) coincided with the International Midwives’ Day celebrations on May 5, 2021. The report featured information from 194 nations on the workforce in the fields of Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Adolescent Health (S.R.M.N.A.H.).

The United Nations Population Fund (U.N.F.P.A.), the International Confederation of Midwives (I.C.M.), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Novametrics collaborated on the report, which demonstrates growth since the first edition in 2011 and outlines obstacles and challenges to future progress. According to the research, there is a global shortfall of about 1.1 million S.R.M.N.A.H. workers, with midwives accounting for over 900,000.

On International Midwives’ Day, we celebrate midwives’ exceptional contributions to humankind while also emphasizing the accumulating statistics and proof that midwifery is a crucial component of healthcare.

International Midwives Day timeline

1987
The Concept of I.M.D. is Born

The concept of International Midwives’ Day is created during the International Confederation of Midwives conference.

1991
The First IMD Celebration

The inaugural edition of International Midwives’ Day takes place on May 7.

2011
The First SoWMy Report is Published

The State of the World’s Midwifery Report (SoWMy) is published for the first time.

2014
New Zealand and Iran Celebrate I.M.D.

Among other locations, New Zealand and Iran observe International Midwives’ Day on May 5.

International Midwives Day FAQs

What do midwives do?

The duties of a midwife include keeping track of their wards’ health from the moment the pregnancy is discovered, through the whole pregnancy, labor, and for a short period after delivery.

What is the average number of days that a midwife works?

Midwives work in a variety of settings and frequently advance their professional knowledge and education to higher degrees. Midwives provide woman-centered integrated care, which necessitates them working shifts seven days a week, including night and day duty.

Is it difficult to study to become a midwife?

A midwifery degree is one of the most mentally and academically demanding programs available. They are expected to work full-time hours, together with nights and weekends, while pursuing a BA or BSc degree, which is rather rigorous.

How to Observe International Midwives Day

  1. Learn more about midwifery

    Learning about midwifery and its role in homebirth is one of the greatest ways to commemorate International Midwives' Day. Recognizing their contributions to safe delivery is the first step towards appreciating them for what they do.

  2. Say thank you

    If you know a midwife or someone who assisted you in giving birth to your child, send a thank you gift or contact them to express your gratitude. A small gesture of thanks can go a long way.

  3. Help raise awareness

    Why not experiment with alternative methods of letting the public know about midwives? A marathon, a public performance, a march, or perhaps a rally are all examples of how to do this. Create a social media campaign as another alternative.

5 Important Facts About Midwives

  1. Superman’s got nothing on this

    According to the most recent edition of the State of the World's Midwifery report, increasing the number of midwives and improving the quality of care they give can save a projected 4.3 million lives annually by 2035.

  2. Better odds

    According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, women who employ the services of a nurse-midwife are much less likely to undergo interventions such as C-sections, induced labor, and anesthesia.

  3. A mother’s choice

    The frequency of midwife-attended deliveries in the United States has massively increased since 1991, according to a report by the American College of Nurse-Midwives published Midwifery: Evidence-Based Practice.

  4. Same difference

    According to the Cochrane Library, healthy women who have normal pregnancies are likely to have similar results as their equivalents who consult with an obstetrician.

  5. Certified practitioners

    While not all midwives are certified, a practicing midwife might choose from various qualifications and credential programs.

Why International Midwives Day is Important

  1. Midwives are real-life heroes

    Midwives not only save lives but also provide a variety of other vital medical services. Cervical and breast cancer screenings, as well as counseling, are also part of their contributions.

  2. Midwives are women’s rights advocates

    Midwives play a vital role in defending women's rights. They can help victims of gender-based abuse and assist in preventing female genital mutilation. The significance of their efforts should not be overlooked.

  3. It’s an important healthcare reminder

    International Midwives’ Day strives to re-emphasize the importance of health systems all around the world. It also serves as a reminder to all stakeholders to pay attention and act.

International Midwives Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 5Friday
2024May 5Sunday
2025May 5Monday
2026May 5Tuesday
2027May 5Wednesday

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