International Day of the Midwife

Celebrating International Day of the Midwife 2024

The International Day of the Midwife will be celebrated on 5 May 2024 to recognise the work of midwives, maternity support workers and student midwives all across the globe.

On 5 May every year since 1992, the International Confederation of Midwives hosts a global day of recognition for midwives all over the world.

This year the theme is all about climate change and COP28, highlighting the strategies to improve the health and status of women.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says that midwives are the defenders of women’s sexual and reproductive health. 

The RCM said: “Midwives are key players in designing resilient health systems capable of withstanding the worst impacts of climate change, delivering environmentally sustainable health services and empowering women to make decisions that benefit themselves, their families and the planet.”

Midwifery associations are calling for policies to include midwives in climate action planning and to invest in sustainable midwife-led care models. 

There are currently 1,534 midwives working in Greater Manchester to safely deliver over 34,000 babies every year. 

In the last 18 months, 55 of those midwives have been recruited from overseas.

Fataneh Hakimifard is the first midwife to be recruited internationally at Wrighton, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL).

Midwife Fataneh
Midwife Fataneh

She said: “Working for the NHS gives me great opportunities to develop my skills in different areas of midwifery. I have loved my time here. 

“The thing I enjoy most is that I get to be part of the most special moment in someone’s life. I love supporting women and families throughout their entire delivery journey.

“I received such a warm welcome from my colleagues at WWL when I joined. Everyone has been amazing and has given me lots of support with my studying, in caring for expecting mothers as well as helping me outside of work to feel more settled in my new home.”

Eleanor is a midwife at Stockport Foundation Trust and she supported mum Sarah, who is autistic, in birthing her fifth child in 2022. 

Midwife Eleanor
Midwife Eleanor with baby Arlo

Eleanor worked closely with Sarah to create her personalised care and support plan so that her care was centred around her individual needs and circumstances.

Sarah said: “I don’t like hospitals as they make me feel very anxious and overwhelmed, which is why my first choice was to give birth at home.

“My midwife came to my house to help me make my personalised care and support plan. 

“We went through it all together and I felt listened to and able to make informed choices about my care.

Sarah continued: “I felt in control and listened to throughout the whole process. I can’t thank my midwife, Eleanor, and the rest of my care team for a truly positive experience and the care and compassion that me and my family received.”

Chief midwifery officer for NHS England Kate Brintworth is encouraging midwives to take part in their local parkrun to celebrate International Day of the Midwife. 

President of the ICM Sandra Oyarzo Torres said: “This year, we are shining a light on the role midwives play in addressing the greatest health challenge of our time – climate change. #IDM2024 is both a celebration and a call to action for our planet and for midwifery.”

You can find more information from the ICM here.

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