Even today, whenever women choose to give birth at home, which is a less common occurrence but still happens, these midwives play a crucial role in ensuring that the delivery takes place smoothly.
International Day of Midwives 2020: Let’s honour and show our respect to midwives across the world! Each year, May 5 is marked as the International Midwife Day in order to recognise the contribution of midwives. The day has been celebrated by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) since 1992. Midwives are women who possess practical knowledge about helping pregnant women during childbirth. When the world did not have hospitals and adequate healthcare facilities for pregnant women, it was the midwives who helped them give birth to their infants at home.
Even today, whenever women choose to give birth at home, which is a less common occurrence but still happens, these midwives play a crucial role in ensuring that the delivery takes place smoothly. It is to recognise these brave women and raise awareness about their status and the vital role they play in the lives of new mothers and infants that the ICM comes up with a unique campaign theme every year.
For the International Day of Midwives 2020, the ICM decided the theme to be Midwives with women: Celebrate, demonstrate, mobilise, unite – our time is NOW. In a statement announcing this year’s theme, the ICM stated that it would focus in deeper detail on how women and midwives can work together to demand a gender-equal world.
The organisation further gave suggestions on how the occasion can be observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the IDM is typically marked by holding large events for the community, this year, keeping in mind the dangers of large gatherings, several alternatives have been suggested.
- Reaching out to women’s groups: The movement largely depends on women from various fronts standing in solidarity with each other. Women have been encouraged to contact any women’s groups they know of and persuade them to use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness about the day.
- #IThank Campaign: The organisation has also launched a #IThank campaign for social media, in which women are requested to identify the midwife who helped them give birth by tweeting #IThank followed by the name of the midwife.
- Creating a video: Women have also been encouraged to make short videos highlighting the issues faced by the midwives in their areas and uploading it on YouTube or other social media platforms.
The aim of IDM is to inform people about the crucial role that midwives play in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, since their role in healthcare is often undermined and underappreciated. It also aims to celebrate the achievements of midwives in terms of their contribution towards improving the reproductive, sexual, newborn and maternal health outcomes. Moreover, it also aims to urge the policymakers to support the profession by lobbying resources for midwives.