Midwives – and people with midwifery skills – are the main caregivers for women and their newborns during pregnancy, labour, childbirth and in the post-delivery period. Skilled midwives are the difference between life and death for hundreds of thousands of women and infants every year.
Yet there are massive midwife shortages around the world. UNFPA works at the global, regional and national level to scale up midwifery services, supporting training efforts and providing supplies and materials to midwifery institutions. "Since 2009, UNFPA has worked with partners to support over 600 midwifery schools, educating more than 80,000 midwives," said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin in his statement for the day.
The theme of this year's International Day of the Midwife is: Midwives, Mothers & Families: Partners for Life! With this theme, UNFPA is celebrating midwives’ contributions towards the miracle of birth – and the countless other things they do every day to contribute to the well-being of women and children around the world.