The International Day of the Midwife (IDM) is celebrated on 5th May each year to highlight the important role midwives play in the health of mothers, children and their families. Over 340,000 women and over 3 million infants around the world die each year from preventable complications from pregnancy and childbirth. The majority of these deaths would be prevented if there were enough qualified and adequately resourced midwives available around the world. Midwives are skilled to provide up to 87% of childbirth-related services, making them the ideal health professional to support women through the maternity continuum of care.
This year's theme 'Midwives leading the way with quality care' highlights 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.
Watch a message from Elizabeth Iro, WHO's Chief Nursing Officer on why midwives are critical for the provision of quality care, read stories on quality midwifery care and learn more about midwife-led continuity of care here
Additional resources: Read more on the International Convention of Midwives website or see how the What Women Want campaign marks IDM