‘Midwifing the midwives’ addresses the empowerment, safety of, and respect for, the world’s midwives.
Introduction and context
Globally, the impact that regulated, competent midwives make on positive maternal and infant health outcomes is seen as central in efforts to accelerate progress toward the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. Skilled, empowered midwives earn respect from women and communities by providing competent, culturally sensitive care, but they do more than just contribute to safer childbirth. Midwives, especially those working in developing countries, are essential to ensuring access.
Enabling midwives through support and motivation
Midwives are on the ‘front line’, often referred to as the ‘backbone’ or ‘linchpin’ of effective maternal and newborn care. In many countries, the midwife is the decision maker, assuming total responsibility for the outcomes of care provided. Midwives also provide oversight and support to a wide cadre of other healthcare workers including nurses, community health workers, medical students, traditional birth attendants (TBA), and others. In many situations, this high burden of responsibility is
In conclusion, competent, skilled, empowered midwives earn respect from women and deliver quality care. But midwives cannot do this alone, nor can they sustain their efforts without support. Put another way. ‘Midwives need miswiring if they can achieve that all-important empowerment, safety, and respect – which enables them to provide competent compassionate care for the women, babies, and families of the world.
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