The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”, in honor of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.

The year 2020 is significant for WHO in the context of nursing and midwifery strengthening for Universal Health Coverage. WHO is leading the development of the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report which will be launched in 2020, prior to the 73rd World Health Assembly.

Last time midwifery was on such an international recognition level was in 2014 when the Lancet Journal’s Midwifery Series. The essential needs of childbearing women in all countries, and of their babies and families, are the focus of this thought-provoking series of international studies on midwifery. Many of those needs are still not being met, decades after they have been recognized. New solutions are required. The Series provides a framework for quality maternal and newborn care (QMNC) that firmly places the needs of women and their newborn infants at its center. It is based on a definition of midwifery that takes account of skills, attitudes and behaviors rather than specific professional roles. The findings of this Series support a shift from fragmented maternal and newborn care provision that is focused on identification and treatment of pathology to a whole-system approach that provides skilled care for all. If you haven’t seen these amazing articles, I strongly encourage you to visit this website: https://www.thelancet.com/series/midwifery

Take advantage of this great international marketing campaign occurring about midwives. Talk to everyone you know about this phenomenon recognition and what midwifery means to our communities! Take the leap and start your business and expand into a new service like a birth center this year. This midwifery momentum will really increase awareness to our valued services!

I can’t wait to see what this year holds to each and every midwife across the country. We are here to stay and continue to grow as an options for everyone women wanting personalized, normalized women’s health care and birth. Continue to fight the fight protecting normal birth experiences, women empowerment about her body, and breastfeeding support. Write your political representative about the importance of midwifery. Reach out to your local hospital and set up a friendly collaboration meeting to discuss this amazing honor midwives have in 2020. We are the champions for healthy moms and babies. Don’t ever forget that!

Please pass along to one midwife you know the WHO and ACNM marketing campaigns about 2020: YEAR OF THE NURSE AND MIDWIFE. There are so many opportunities for midwives to flourish in the United States. With rising cesarean section rates and pitiful long term breastfeeding rates here, midwives are desperately needed to change our maternity culture back to supporting, rather than medically managing families. I am beyond excited to help midwives grow their dream of business ownership in 2020.