CANBERRA’S midwives are today (May 5) being celebrated for International Day of the Midwife, an occasion recognising the profound role they have in supporting mothers and families.
“Midwives contribute to the wellbeing of society in such an important way,” says Joanne Gray, president of the Australian College of Midwives.
A midwife herself, with more than 30 years experience, Ms Gray says: “What we know as the gold standard of evidence throughout the world and Australia, is that when a woman has a midwife throughout her pregnancy to her birth she achieves better outcomes – both for herself and for her child.
“It’s so important for women to understand the choices they have, and having a day like this helps make women more aware of midwives and helps achieve these better outcomes.”
This year’s theme for the day is “Follow the Data: Invest in Midwives”, with a focus on using the resounding evidence that demonstrates the benefits of midwifery to help generate more awareness and advocacy.
Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith says that here in the ACT there are 725 registered midwives.
“Between 5000 and 6000 babies are born in the ACT each year, with around 30 per cent involving midwifery continuity of care in the public health system – one of the highest proportions in Australia,” says Ms Stephen-Smith.
“This year’s theme emphasises how important it is that we invest in quality midwifery to improve maternal and child health care and to achieve the best possible outcomes for mothers and babies.”
The International Day of the Midwife kicks off a week of celebrations for the ACT’s midwives and nurses.
Tomorrow (May 6) will mark the ACT Nurses and Midwives 2021 Excellence Awards and the week will conclude with International Nurses Day on May 12.