Midwifing the Midwives

Midwifing the Midwives

‘Midwifing the midwives’ addressing the empowerment, safety of, and respect for, the world’s midwives.


Introduction and context


Globally, the impact that regulated, competent midwives make to positive maternal and infant health outcomes is seen as central in efforts to accelerate progress towards 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 health-care 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 midwifing’ if they are able to 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.

‘Midwifing the midwives’: Addressing the empowerment, safety of, and respect for, the world’s midwives – ScienceDirect


midwifing the midwives