International Day of the Midwife is an annual event celebrating midwives around the globe.
But when does it take place, how can you get involved and what is this year’s theme?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is International Day of the Midwife?
Every year since 1992, the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) has lead a day of global recognition and celebration of the work of midwives.
The event is observed by more than 50 nations and is coordinated by the ICM in partnership with its member organisations.
The ICM supports, represents and works to strengthen professional associations of midwives throughout the world, with 143 Members Associations representing 124 countries across every continent. Together, these associations represent over 1 million midwives globally.
When is International Day of the Midwife?
International Day of the Midwife takes place annually on 5 May.
What is this year’s theme?
This year’s International Day of the Midwife theme is ‘Follow the Data: Invest in Midwives.’
The ICM said: “We look forward to coming together as a global midwife community to advocate for investment in quality midwifery care around the world, improving sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health in the process.”
The ICM also said that this year's theme is timely because International Day of the Midwife will coincide with the launch of the 2021 State of the World's Midwifery Report.
This report - co-led by UNFPA, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and ICM - provides an updated evidence base and detailed analysis on the impact that midwives have on maternal and newborn health outcomes, and the return on investment in midwives.
How can I get involved?
ICM has an International Day of the Midwife resource pack, which will help you plan your own celebration. It contains:
- Key messages
- Tips for planning your virtual event or activities
- Instructions on how you can utilise social media to your advantage
- Downloadable social media graphics for you and your association's use (HERE)
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says that although people are unable to hold celebratory events in person due to the Covid pandemic, it is taking everything online and encouraging both its members and the general public “to share kindness and joy across social media”.
RCM says: “We encourage you to get involved in the celebrations and show your support for the people behind the masks.
“We’ll be sharing as much as we can to spread the empowering solidarity of midwives across the nation.”
The RCM notes that although it encourages people to celebrate, it is still important to continue social distancing to ensure the safety of yourselves, colleagues and women.
The RCM has created an easy guide for members with some ideas for International Day of the Midwife celebrations.
You can also send your pictures/videos and a short paragraph about your celebration/event along with the name of your branch to [email protected]
Best midwifery quotes
‘Good midwifery is a combination of art, science, experience, and instinct’ - Jennifer Worth
‘It's not just the making of babies, but the making of mothers that midwives see as the miracle of birth’ - Barbara Katz Rothman
‘In all cultures, the midwife's place is on the threshold of life, where intense human emotions, fear, hope, longing, triumph, and incredible physical power-enable a new human being to emerge. Her vocation is unique’ - Sheila Kitzinger
‘Whoever heard of a midwife as a literary heroine? Yet midwifery is the very stuff of drama. Every child is conceived either in love or lust, is born in pain, followed by joy or sometimes remorse. A midwife is in the thick of it, she sees it all’ - Jennifer Worth
‘Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers’ - Barbara Katz Rothman
‘I am just one of many many thousands of midwives, who are devoted to saving lives gently’ - Robin Lim
‘We should work to guarantee that there is a midwife or health worker by every woman's side during childbirth’ - Liya Kebede