International Day of the Midwife

A blog by Dr. Georgina Sosa

Midwives across the world are celebrating International Day of the Midwives 5thMay 2020. This year is extra special as 2020 has been dedicated as the Year of the Midwife and Nurse too. The main themes are Celebrate being a midwife and what we do; Demonstrate initiatives we have done; Mobilise as in sharing how we make change happen; and UNITE showing we do not work in isolation. Today I UNITE with Aneeta Prem and Freedom Charity to celebrate the work we have accomplished together!

Midwives care for women in pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatally. Midwives are experts at understanding when things are normal, but we are also trained to recognise when things are not normal and provide care in emergency situations. 

International Day of the Midwife is a time to recognise all the initiatives and care midwives do. There is loads of research evidence that globally midwives make a difference, they save lives of mothers and babies.  Pregnancy, birth and parenthood can be a joyous experience for women and their families. For other women however pregnancy can put them more at risk of anxiety and abuse as research has shown that pregnancy can be a trigger for domestic abuse to increase. Additionally, pregnancy can put women’s lives at risk of [dis]-honour-based violence if the pregnancy is outside of marriage. Women can be anxious too if they have female genital mutilation as they fear midwives will not know what to do to help assist their birth. 

I say to all childbearing women; ‘please go and see your midwife or get referred to a midwife if you have not been referred already, because we can help in all these situations’. We do not work alone, so we will be able to support you on so many different levels.  We are brilliant listeners and we always try to understand the context of your life fully so we understand the choices you make and how we can support you. 

I have worked for many years with Aneeta Prem as part of the Freedom Charity events to help educate health professionals in Norfolk. This ensures that when women approach midwives, general practitioners, health visitors, teachers and social workers they will be able to listen and work out a supportive package of care. I have also followed Aneeta to Parliament to bring FGM to Ministers’ attention to provide education about FGM in schools. Midwives cannot work in isolation we need to work with professionals who have experience and are part of the community. Thank Aneeta for being a passionate force to support vulnerable women. I wear my Red Triangle with pride!

I ask you today 5th May 2020 International Day of the Midwife to think how midwives could or have helped you and join with us to celebrate the creation of life and birth and the making of new families where midwives share your journeys. 

Dr Georgina Sosa (Gina) Midwife for 24 years