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When is International Day of the Midwife?

May 5th is International Day of the Midwife.

What is International Day of the Midwife?

Mothers and babies have the right to choose high-quality medical care. Midwives deliver positive birth experiences to women around the world, and International Day of the Midwife promotes global access to quality midwifery for all women.

Birth is beautiful and difficult, so it’s fitting that we would try to create the best experience for every delivery. Respect and dignity, clear communication, and mobility during labor are just a few elements of care women should expect in a quality birth experience.

According to the World Health Organization, women whose care is predominantly midwife-led—from initial appointment through early infancy—report higher rates of satisfaction with their birth experience. One study showed that this model of care results in 24% fewer preterm births and 16% fewer losses of the baby than other models of care.

Any kind of medical care is challenging in impoverished areas with unsanitary hospitals  and living conditions. For many midwives, that’s the greatest obstacle to quality care. Globally, 35% of midwifery facilities don’t even have access to water and soap to wash hands.

International Day of the Midwife raises awareness about the advantages of using qualified midwives and the need for better access in developing parts of the world.

Fun facts about International Day of the Midwife!

Some midwives attend homebirths, but many work in midwifery-friendly hospitals.

Many forms of U.S. insurance cover midwife services.

There are several different kinds of midwives, all with different levels of training and credentialing.

Doulas are not midwives; they are non-medical professionals trained to provide physical and emotional support during labor and delivery.

The 1987 International Conference of Midwives first proposed the International Day of the Midwife. More than 50 countries have celebrated it since the first official day in 1991.

How to celebrate International Day of the Midwife:

Volunteer your time and funds to organizations who support midwifery around the world.

Thank a midwife. If you used a midwife for the birth of your children, or if a midwife attended your birth, send them a note expressing your gratitude for their work.

What’s the hashtag for International Day of the Midwife?

Use #InternationalDayoftheMidwife on social media to share your support for midwifery.