Today is International Day of the Midwife; a day to thank and recognise midwives for the incredible work they do every day, working with women and families on their life changing journey to parenthood.
Every woman needs a midwife. There are 300,000 births in Australia every year and a midwife is a part of every one of these journeys to parenthood, day and night. Even through workforce shortages, midwives are by a woman’s side.
Midwives are expert primary healthcare professionals who have a significant positive health impact on mothers, families and the long-term health of both mum (and partner) and our newest Australians. Midwifery care leads to the best possible outcomes for women and babies because midwives are educated and equipped to provide care, support and advice both before and throughout pregnancy, labour and birth and the postnatal period. And it is what women want.
Evidence from research shows us that the trusted relationship through midwifery-led continuity of care throughout, is the best care:
- Reduces rates of preterm birth by 24%, and by 50% for First Nations’ women
- Reduces rates of pregnancy loss/neonatal death by 16%
- Increases breastfeeding rates
- Increases workforce retention and satisfaction
- Costs 20% less than standard public fragmented care
Vice President of the Australian College of Midwives, Dr Zoe Bradfield is passionate about making midwifery led care the default in Australia.
“If you’re having a baby in Australia, the first decision you need to make is what type of care you want. Choosing midwifery care means from that point on you have an expert in maternity care to walk alongside you, answer all your questions, provide regular health assessments as well as essential education and advocate for you when you need it. Midwives will also arrange referrals and consultations with doctors or other health professionals if the need arises. Midwives prioritise partnership with women, to ensure you have the kind of experience you want.”
Happy International Day of the Midwife!