Why is it important to support and promote midwives? Many people do not fully understand who midwives are and what they do. Beyond providing care and support to adolescent girls, women, and birthing persons across every stage of life, midwives are frontline defenders of women’s rights. They are always at the forefront of advocacy work and social change within the fields of gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, anti-racism and discrimination, and human rights.
Reshaping how people think about midwives will benefit society as a whole. Research from 2021 demonstrates that fully investing in midwives by 2035 would prevent roughly two-thirds of maternal deaths, newborn deaths, and stillbirths, saving 4.3 million lives per year.
The United States has adopted a largely obstetrician-led model of childbirth care, but most of the rest of the world primarily utilizes midwives as the primary care provider for perinatal care. Only eight percent of births in the United States are attended by midwives. By comparison, in many other countries, approximately two-thirds of births are attended by midwives.
Today and throughout the year, we are asking for you to help support, promote, and celebrate midwives and midwifery. If you’re a woman, mother/parent, birthing person, or a person who has received care from a midwife, please share your #MidwifeMemories on social media and blogs. Not sure what to share? Here are some ideas:
- Tell about a midwife in your life and a time they helped you feel relaxed, supported or empowered.
- If you’ve never used midwifery services but know of a midwife in your community doing great things, share about them.
- If you’re a doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional that works closely with midwives, tell how midwives are making a difference for the people in your practice.