May the 5th was The International Day of the Midwife, celebrating the excellent work done by men and women around the world
Bringing Attention to International Midwives This May
The midwife is one of the oldest professions for the human race and is the most valuable role to ensure safe pregnancies and births around the world. Having the support of a midwife at birth is something taken for granted by many, but every year thousands of women across the globe give birth alone. This cuts them off from the knowledge and expertise that a midwife can provide. Because of this a staggering 350,000 women world die during pregnancy and birth every year due to complications and lack of basic care, mainly in the developing countries. International Day of the Midwife brings attention to these facts, promoting international training and the importance of midwives when it comes to women’s health. They also focus on the UN Millennium Development Goals relating to maternal health, which include:
- Reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters between 1990 and 2015
- Achieve universal access to reproductive healthcare
Whilst maternal mortality rates have fallen by a third, more work needs to be done to ensure that this trend continues. Just as important is ensuring that women have necessary support during and after their pregnancy and the birth of their baby.
Midwives Matter in The UK – Both Through the NHS and Independent
In the UK we are currently experiencing a lack of trained midwives delivering intra partum care and also pre and especially postnatal care. And latest government proposals relating to insurance for health practitioners could make independent midwives uninsurable, effectively wiping out the practise altogether. This would be a traumatic loss to the UK and would only serve to put additional stress on the already stretched NHS. If this trend continues then we could experience poor care for those expecting babies and even potentially allowing women to slip through the net that need additional care and assistance.
The International Day of the Midwife was on the 5th of May but you can still stand up and support midwives in this country – independent or otherwise – and all over the rest of the world. To do this you can check out the International Day of the Midwife Facebook page for more information and information will be posted here regarding the on-going situation for midwives within the United Kingdom. You can also be involved in conversations regarding International Day of the Midwife by going onto twitter and using the hashtag #midwivesmatter. Midwives offer a vital and very tangible benefit to society and, for many women, contemplating a pregnancy and birth without one is a very real problem. Support mothers, fathers and babies by supporting midwives during International Day of the Midwife.