International Midwives’ Day (May 5th), Celebrating the Critical Role of Midwives


Learn about the history of International Midwives’ Day, why it’s important, and how to observe it. Join the global movement to recognize and celebrate the critical role of midwives on May 5th and beyond.

International Midwives’ Day is a global observance held annually on May 5th to recognize and celebrate the critical role of midwives in maternal and newborn health. It is a day to raise awareness about the important work of midwives, their contributions to improving maternal and newborn health, and the challenges they face in providing quality care. The day is also an opportunity to advocate for the recognition of midwifery as a profession and to support efforts to improve midwifery education, training, and resources worldwide

History of International Midwives’ Day

International Midwives’ Day was first established in 1992 by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), a non-profit organization representing midwives and midwifery associations from around the world. The day was created to coincide with the ICM’s triennial congress, which takes place every three years and brings together midwives and other stakeholders in maternal and newborn health.

The first International Midwives’ Day was celebrated on May 5, 1992, and has been observed annually ever since. The date was chosen to honor the birthday of the pioneer of modern midwifery, Florence Nightingale, who was born on May 12, 1820. While Nightingale is more widely known for her work as a nurse, she also played a significant role in advancing midwifery practices during her lifetime.

International Midwives Day


Since its inception, International Midwives’ Day has grown into a global event, with midwives and their supporters organizing a wide range of activities and events to raise awareness about the importance of midwifery and to celebrate the contributions of midwives. These activities include conferences, workshops, seminars, marches, and social media campaigns, among others. The theme for International Midwives’ Day changes every year, with each theme focusing on a specific aspect of midwifery or maternal and newborn health.

How to Observe International Midwives’ Day

There are many ways to observe International Midwives’ Day and show your support for the important work of midwives. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Attend an event: Look for events in your local area that are organized to celebrate International Midwives’ Day. These may include marches, rallies, seminars, workshops, and other activities.
  2. Share on social media: Use social media to raise awareness about International Midwives’ Day and the work of midwives. Share posts, photos, and videos using the hashtag #InternationalMidwivesDay, and tag organizations that support midwifery.
  3. Thank a midwife: If you know a midwife or have been cared for by one, take the time to thank them for their important work. This can be done in person, over the phone, or through a card or message.
  4. Donate to a midwifery organization: Many organizations work to support midwifery and improve maternal and newborn health around the world. Consider making a donation to one of these organizations in honor of International Midwives’ Day.
  5. Learn about midwifery: Take the time to learn more about midwifery and the role of midwives in maternal and newborn health. Read articles, watch videos, and listen to podcasts about midwifery and the challenges and opportunities facing midwives around the world.

Why International Midwives’ Day is Important

International Midwives’ Day is important for several reasons:

  1. Recognizing the importance of midwifery: Midwives play a critical role in promoting maternal and newborn health, yet their work is often overlooked or undervalued. International Midwives’ Day provides an opportunity to recognize the important contributions that midwives make to maternal and newborn health and to advocate for their work to be better supported and recognized.
  2. Raising awareness: International Midwives’ Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges that midwives face, including issues related to access to education, training, and resources, and the need for improved policies and regulations to support midwifery practice.
  3. Advocating for change: International Midwives’ Day provides a platform for midwives and their supporters to advocate for change and to push for policies and programs that support midwifery and improve maternal and newborn health.
  4. Celebrating midwives: International Midwives’ Day is also a time to celebrate midwives and their important work. By recognizing their contributions and thanking them for their dedication, we can help to build a more supportive and empowering environment for midwives and the families they serve.

Overall, International Midwives’ Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness, advocate for change, and celebrate the critical role that midwives play in improving maternal and newborn health around the world.

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