International Day of the Midwife: what is it, date, this year's theme - how to get involved in RCM celebration

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International Day of the Midwife is dedicated to supporting and advocating for midwives worldwide

International Day of the Midwife has arrived, an annual holiday that is dedicated to celebrating and advocating for midwives worldwide. It is observed by by more than 50 nations and is led by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM).

The event first started on 5 May in 1992 and has been celebrated on that date ever since. To make each year special, there is always a different theme which helps highlight the everyday issues midwives are facing.

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So if you are looking to get involved and celebrate International Day of the Midwife, or simply want to find out more about the event, here is everything you need to know.

What is the history and meaning behind International Day of the Midwife?

International Day of the Midwife falls on Friday, 5 May in 2023 - Credit: AdobeInternational Day of the Midwife falls on Friday, 5 May in 2023 - Credit: Adobe
International Day of the Midwife falls on Friday, 5 May in 2023 - Credit: Adobe | Adobe

International Day of the Midwife was first celebrated in 1992 and is celebrated annually on 5 May. It was established by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) which co-ordinates the day in partnership with member organisations.

Around 50 nations across the world get involved in the event. It is seen as a chance to honour, celebrate and pay homage to midwives, advocate midwifery and raise awareness of any issues they face.

Explaining the celebration, The Royal College of Midwives website states: "This time of celebration honours the efforts of midwives and their associations to action critical evidence like the State of the World’s Midwifery (SoWMy) 2021 towards meaningful change for our profession and the women and families we care for. We hope that midwives, maternity support workers and student midwives across the globe celebrate in unison.

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"Over the past two years, midwives, maternity support workers and student midwives have met extraordinary circumstances and risked their lives to provide excellent care to women and their families. Now is the time to not only celebrate how they’ve been there for our communities throughout the pandemic, but to show up for them in calls to the Government to put money where it counts and invest in maternity.” 

What is the theme for International Day of the Midwife 2023?

The 2023 theme for International Day of the Midwife is 'together again, from evidence to reality'. The RCM explains that the theme "honour[s] the efforts of midwives and their associations to action critical evidence towards meaningful change for their profession and the women and families they care for.”

How to celebrate and get involved in International Day of the Midwife?

International Day of the Midwife is celebrated in maternity units and through virtual events and showcases across the globe. A popular way to commemorate the day is by partaking in the Virtual International Day of the Midwife (VIDM) which is an annual online conference that takes place on or around 5 May.

VIDM runs for 24 hours and consists of a number of different topics and speakers. To take part, it is completely free-of-charge and tickets can be booked via the official VIDM website.

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According to the RCM, you can celebrate International Day of the Midwife by doing the following: RCM bunting, RCM knitting pattern and IDM posters. Visit the RCM website for more information - where you can also register your own event.

The RCM are also asking anyone who wishes to celebrate the big day to request their local town hall, civic building or landmark to be lit up in RCM colours on the 5 May.

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