Who We Are

ICM has been the global voice of midwives and midwives’ associations for more than 100 years. The midwifery model of care is based on respect, dignity, compassion, and the promotion of human rights for all. This includes the right to access quality care from autonomous midwives. Midwives have a broad role in providing universal sexual reproductive health service according to the ICM Definition and Scope of Practice of a Midwife.

Our Work

We currently represent over 136 midwives’ associations (MAs) in 117 countries – more than one million midwives globally. We are a trusted partner for technical consultations, capacity building, knowledge sharing, promoting human rights and sustainability.

ICM is an accredited non-governmental organisation registered in The Netherlands. We have a large geographic scope and networks in sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and rights.

Our Vision

We envision a world where every childbearing woman has access to a midwife’s care for herself and her newborn.

Our Mission

Our mission is to strengthen midwives’ associations and to advance the profession of midwifery globally by promoting autonomous midwives as the most appropriate caregivers for childbearing women and in keeping birth normal, to enhance the reproductive health of women, their newborns and their families.

Head Office Team

Our Head Office Team are midwives and other professionals from around the world. This team of passionate experts works together to uplift midwives’ associations globally. While our office is in The Hague, Netherlands, many members of the team work from their home countries. The ICM Board oversees the work of the Head Office team.

Our History

For over a century, ICM has been a leader calling for the global recognition of midwives, and for the right to quality, respectful, and accessible reproductive health services. We influence major global organisations to improve the health of women, gender diverse people and newborns through strengthening midwives and midwives’ associations.

ICM’s work began in Europe, where midwives held their first international meetings in the early 1900s. In 1922, they founded the International Midwives’ Union (IMU) in Belgium. In 1954, the IMU changed its name to the International Confederation of Midwives, with its head office in London, United Kingdom. The ICM office moved to The Hague, Netherlands in 1999 and has been there ever since.

Although ICM’s work began in Europe, it quickly grew to include midwives’ associations (MAs) from all around the world. By 1939 it included members from North Africa, North and South America, India, and China.

ICM has been in official relations with the WHO since 1957, and has had consultative status with UNICEF since 1960.