The International Day of the Midwife (IDM) is celebrated on May 5 each year to focus on the role of midwives and midwifery.
Midwifery is "skilled, knowledgeable and compassionate care for childbearing women, newborn infants and families across the continuum throughout pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, birth, postpartum and the early weeks of life. Core characteristics include optimizing normal biological psychological, social, and cultural processes of reproduction and early life; timely prevention and management of complications; consultation with and referral to other services; respect for women’s individual circumstances and views, and working in partnership with to strengthen women’s own capabilities to care for themselves and their families.” Lancet Series on midwifery (June 2014).
A midwife is a person who, having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational programme, duly recognized in the country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery. (ICM 2005)
A skilled birth attendant is an accredited health professional — such as a midwife, doctor or nurse — who has been educated and trained to proficiency in the skills needed to manage normal (uncomplicated) pregnancies, childbirth and the immediate postnatal period, and in the identification, management and referral of complications in women and newborns. (WHO/ICM/FIGO 2004)
Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services. These are the people who devote their lives to caring for mothers and children; giving lifesaving immunizations and health advice; looking after older people and generally meeting everyday essential health needs. They are often, the first and only point of care in their communities. The world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.
That’s why the World Health Assembly has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.
The theme for this year's celebration is Midwives with women: celebrate, demonstrate, mobilise, unite – our time is NOW. The focus is on how midwives can partner with women and women’s groups to mobilise and unite towards a shared goal of gender equality.
The case for midwifery : the potential of midwives for improving quality of care
Source : WHO