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International Midwives Day 2023: Date, History, Facts about Midwives

Midwifery is defined as the provision of trained, competent, and compassionate care to pregnant women, newborns, and their families throughout pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and the infant's first weeks of life.

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International Midwifery Day has been observed annually on May 5 since 1992. This day is celebrated to honour midwives and raise awareness about their vital role in delivering care to mothers and infants. In addition, it is an opportunity for us to recognise their efforts to improve the world.

The Background of International Midwifery Day

Midwifery is defined as the provision of trained, competent, and compassionate care to pregnant women, newborns, and their families throughout pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and the infant’s first weeks of life.

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Core characteristics include optimising fundamental biological, psychological, and sociocultural processes of birth; prompt mitigation and management of risks and intervention; and referral of patients to other services. Additionally, they respect their wards’ distinct perspectives and circumstances and encourage them to take care of themselves and their families.

Midwives, student midwives, and maternity support personnel have faced adversity and risked their lives throughout the years to provide exceptional care to families and communities. This observance was established to recognise their contributions to our communities and rally support for their demands that the government invest in maternity care.

In 1987, the International Confederation of Midwives held a conference in the Netherlands during which the idea for a day to honour and recognise midwives was conceived. In 2014, it was commemorated in Iran and New Zealand, among other nations.

On May 5, 2021, the publication of the State of the World’s Midwifery Report (SoWMy) coincided with the celebrations for International Midwifery Day. The report included workforce data from 194 countries in the disciplines of Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Adolescent Health (S.R.M.N.A.H.).

The United Nations Population Fund (U.N.F.P.A.), the International Confederation of Midwives (I.C.M. ), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and Novametrics collaborated on the report, which demonstrates growth since the 2011 edition and identifies obstacles and challenges to future progress. According to the research, there is a global shortage of approximately 1.1 million S.R.M.N.A.H. personnel, with more than 900,000 midwives alone.

On International Midwives’ Day, we recognise the exceptional contributions midwives have made to humanity, while also highlighting the statistics and evidence that midwifery is a vital component of healthcare.

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5 essential facts about midwives

The most recent edition of the State of the World’s Midwifery report estimates that increasing the number of midwives and enhancing the quality of care they provide will save an estimated 4.3 million lives annually by 2035.

According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, women who use a nurse-midwife are significantly less likely to undergo interventions such as C-sections, induction of labour, and anaesthesia.

Midwife-attended births in the United States have increased dramatically since 1991, according to Midwifery: Evidence-Based Practise, a publication of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

According to the Cochrane Library, fit women with normal pregnancies are likely to experience the same outcomes as their counterparts who consult an obstetrician.

Although not all midwives are certified, a midwife in practise may choose from a variety of qualifications and credentialing programmes.


Year Date Day
2023 May 5 Friday
2024 May 5 Sunday
2025 May 5 Monday
2026 May 5 Tuesday
2027 May 5 Wednesday


Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan is a Commerce graduate who loves to write on general and trending topics.

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