Friday, May 1, 2009

May 5th: International Day of the Midwife

The International Confederation of Midwives has chosen May 5th to celebrate midwives and midwifery — the International Day of the Midwife. Commemorating the day this year is the start of their campaign, “The World Needs Midwives Now More Than Ever!” By 2015, the ICM hopes to have 350,000 more midwives in practice, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where the high maternal-infant mortality rate continues. The ICM is working hard to make midwifery an active agent of change in the UN’s Millenium Development Goals , which seek to end hunger, poverty, disease, and barriers to education and equality. Focuses on Maternal and Child health are major components of the UN’s goals.

As I continue to consider midwifery as a career, I’ve been completely absorbed in the politics of Massachusetts midwifery, comparing and contrasting my training options and how each would effect my family, and asking myself if I am ready to make the committment. Me, me, me, me, me.

But only now, as I read about the International Confederation of Midwives and the UN Millenium Goals, do I get a global appreciation for midwives and the critical role they play all around the world for women’s health.

Maybe I will celebrate International Day of the Midwife by sending a card to my midwife, thanking her (again!) for the amazing care she provided for me in my most recent pregnancy; I could send out a prayer of hope and gratitude for the women who are practicing midwifery in conditions of poverty and want that I cannot even begin to imagine; and maybe, just maybe I will make the final decision to answer the ICM’s call to be one of the 350,000 midwives the world needs by 2015.

(this has been cross-posted on the Massachusetts Friends of Midwives blog.)

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