Midwives lead the way with quality care

Our mothers start caring for us as soon as we’re conceived. And there’s another special group of women who begin caring for us before we’re born too; midwives.

On International Day of the Midwife (IDM), May 5 2018 we ask all Australians to take a moment to reflect on this important profession and the remarkable women that likely assisted their entry into this world.

Midwives lead the way with quality care. They are highly educated, highly skilled health professionals who work in partnership with women to give support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the post partum period. They are able to provide comprehensive care to healthy women and work collaboratively to provide midwifery care to women whose pregnancy requires medical input.

Australian College of Midwives President Terri Barret says “the World Health Organisation has identified that midwives are the key to achieving reductions in maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities.”

Globally over 340,000 women and almost three million infants die each year, as a result of preventable pregnancy and childbirth complications. Most of these deaths would be prevented if there were enough qualified and adequately resourced midwives.
“Well resourced maternity care is critical for pregnancy and birth, but it can also create a lifetime of good health and wellbeing,” she continued.

ACM supports a continuity of care model where pregnant women receive care from the same midwife throughout their pregnancy, during labour and the postnatal period, advocating that every woman has a known midwife.

“We know that women who receive continuity of care from a known midwife are more likely to have a normal birth, breastfeed their babies and cost the health system less. Their babies are more likely to be born healthy and at term. Midwives lead the way, ensuring women and their newborns navigate pregnancy and childbirth safely,” Ms Barrett concluded.

Australian women who do not or cannot choose this model of care, suffer unnecessarily high rates of intervention. ACM CEO Ann Kinnear says, “many young women fear childbirth and it has become a source of significant anxiety. We need to change this paradigm in order to achieve the best outcomes for mothers and babies.”

Show your support for Midwives this IDM and join a Walk with Midwives. Walks all around the country are listed on the ACM website www.midwives.org.au with all proceeds from walk registration going to the Rhodanthe Lipsett Midwifery Charitable Fund which provides scholarships for Indigenous women to become midwives.