INMO sends best wishes to all Midwives on International Day of the Midwife
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), as a member of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the worldwide body for midwives, sends best wishes to all midwives today, the International Day of the Midwife, which is celebrated on May 5 every year. The theme for the day is “Midwives leading the way with quality care”.
The International Day of the Midwife is an occasion for every individual midwife to think about the many others in the profession, to make new contacts within and outside midwifery, and to widen the knowledge of what midwives do for the world.
This year's theme resonates with the first of ICM's three Strategic Directions, established in the 2017-2020 Strategy as Quality, Equity, Leadership. Midwives leading the way with quality care is significant in highlighting the vital role that midwives play not only in ensuring women and their newborns navigate pregnancy and childbirth safely, but also receive respectful and well-resourced maternity care that can create a lifetime of good health and wellbeing beyond the childbirth continuum.
The INMO and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) run an all-Ireland conference for midwives for every year and the bonds between the two organisations and their friendly relationship have always been strong. This year saw both organisations sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which marks a unique international partnership between the two midwife representative bodies. Under this Memorandum of Understanding the organisations will effectively agree to adopt the members of their sister organisation when they are working, on a temporary basis, in the jurisdiction of the other representative trade union.
This partnership represents a unique initiative between trade unions across borders. In the context of Brexit it will strengthen the ability of midwives to practice and educate regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations. Midwives who are members of the INMO, under a licence agreement which is part of the Memorandum of Understanding, will now have a gateway into the massive repository of midwifery research and education, provided by the RCM, for members. 2018 is the centenary year of the first all-Ireland Midwives Act and the launching of the partnership is the first of a series of celebrations of the midwifery profession on the island of Ireland throughout the year.
The quality of a midwife’s care is of paramount importance. Midwives who are educated, trained, licenced, and regulated to ICM standards work beyond the parameters of just one situation, one setting, one community or one country: they are able to lead the way towards improved maternal and newborn health outcomes locally, nationally and globally. The dedication of midwives to women is renowned. They provide appropriate education, counselling and antenatal care that is adapted to the specific needs of the woman.
INMO President, Martina Harkin-Kelly, speaking on the International Day of the Midwife said:
“It remains the absolute conviction, of the INMO, that midwifery standards and, best practice, are being increasingly pressurised due to our continuing high birth rate against a background of a shortage of midwives. Immediate action is now required on recruitment and retention of midwifery staff to ensure that the National Maternity Strategy is implemented in full with ratios of 1 Midwife to 29.5 Births.”