The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) celebrated International Midwives' Day (IMD) this year by acknowledging the important role midwives play in improving maternal health in Australia and throughout the world.
Ged Kearney, ANF Federal Secretary, said that International Midwives Day focuses attention towards the contribution and commitment shown by midwives to the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies.
"Every year Australia's midwives expertly assist mothers to safely birth their babies, caring for mothers, their newborn and families with professional kindness and skill. The World Health Organisation recognises midwives as the most appropriate health professionals to safely manage a mother's maternal care and the birth of their babies. Their incredible contribution should be applauded by government, the media and the community."
The ANF pointed out that although the contribution of Australian midwives is well recognised, particularly following the recommendations in the federal government's maternity services review, Australian midwives still need action to enable mothers and babies to receive the full benefits of their professional skills.
"Australia has some wonderful examples of midwifery services that are collaborative and use a multidisciplinary approach to maternity care;" Ms Kearney said. "These models of care must be available to all mothers and their babies for the benefit of all communities."
"Midwives make a significant contribution to the maternity care and education of families in Australia. It is essential that all mothers and babies benefit from this care, particularly in rural and remote areas. Australia needs the skills of midwives now more than ever."