Back 5 May 2016

ICM's Message on #IDM2016

Every year, millions of women and newborns around the world are cared for by skilled midwives. Every day, thousands of babies are born, mothers are taken care of and lives are saved – by midwives.

Every May 5th, we dedicate one day to remind the world of these everyday achievements. On the International Day of the Midwife, we celebrate the successes of midwives and focus on recognizing the importance of midwifery. It is also a day to reiterate and call attention to the improvements still needed to ensure that all women have access to a qualifed midwife.

This year the theme of the International Day of the Midwife is “Women and Newborns: The Heart of Midwifery”. To a midwife, what is more important than making sure that each wom- an and newborn has access to the best possible care before, during and after pregnancy and childbirth? And to a woman who is pregnant or giving birth, is there a better partnership than one with a skilled midwife? This is something that every woman must have access to.

The women and newborns of the world need midwives now and in the future. Midwives have a key role to play as the global community strives to achieve the Sustainable Devel- opment Goals of reducing maternal and newborn mortality and ensuring universal access to healthcare services. To ensure that there are enough quali ed midwives to care for all women and newborns, countries must continue to increase investments in the education of midwives and growing the midwifery workforce.

International Day of the Midwife Message from Frances Day-Stirk, ICM President and Frances Ganges, ICM Chief Executive

You can view the videos on this YouTube link ICM Presient YouTube video and ICM Chief Executive 

Watch a video from Aberdeen Student midwives YouTube Video

Thank you for your continued efforts in increasing awareness of the role of midwives and advocating for increasing access to evidence-based, quality care focused on the needs and desires of women and their families. The 2016 International Day of the Midwife is a great opportunity for midwives, midwives’ associations, partners, friends and families around the world to focus on the very best outcomes for all women and their newborns. They are the reason why we are midwives—women and newborn are indeed the heart of midwifery.


See message from one of our partners, UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin

 Midwives: health heroes for women, adolescent girls and newborns

 International Day of the Midwife 2016

 Statement by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director

UNFPA, The United Nations Population Fund

 5 May 2016

On this International Day of the Midwife, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, salutes the contribution of midwives to saving the lives of women, adolescent girls and newborns, sometimes under very difficult circumstances, in hard-to-reach communities, in humanitarian emergencies, and in fragile and conflict-torn countries.

Well-trained and supported midwives working in communities are uniquely positioned to provide the compassionate, respectful and culturally sensitive care a woman needs during pregnancy and childbirth. Midwifery is equally important for newborns during the critical first month of life, and is a significant contribution to sexual and reproductive health in general.

Midwives are, therefore, essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In the past 25 years, the world has almost halved maternal deaths, but every year, some 300,000 women still die during pregnancy and childbirth, and almost 3 million babies do not survive their first four weeks of life. A vast majority of these largely preventable deaths take place in developing and crisis-affected countries. If deployed in larger numbers, trained midwives could avert approximately two thirds of these deaths. Significant investments in midwifery are essential if the world is to achieve its ambitious goals of reducing maternal and newborn deaths.

UNFPA is helping train and support thousands of midwives in more than 100 countries. A recent survey estimated that in 57 of these countries, UNFPA has trained 66,000 midwives over the past seven years. These critical health-care providers can help more than 11 million women to give birth safely each year, but much more needs to be done. 

On this International Day of the Midwife, we at UNFPA renew our commitment to working with global partners and countries to strengthen midwifery skills and capacities. We call on countries to acclaim and reward midwives who are working in challenging and hard-to-reach areas, where their services are most needed. We also urge countries to invest in quality training, good working conditions, decent salaries, adequate workforce policies and possibilities for professional growth.

Midwives are our heroes and the backbone of sexual and reproductive health. Let us support them and the women and newborns at the heart of their care.


Yours sincerely,

Frances Ganges

ICM Chief Executive 

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International Day of the Midwife