today is the 18th international day of the midwife:
This years’ theme “The World Needs Midwives Now More than ever” has been developed as part of the World Health Organisations Millennium Development Goals in response to the overwhelming evidence that midwives are the key workforce in the drive to improve outcomes for mothers and babies. This year’s theme specifically links to the goal to the ability of midwives to significantly reduce mother and baby mortality.
New Zealand College of Midwives CEO Karen Guilliland says “New Zealand is fortunate to have a strong maternity system with a one on one, twenty four hour maternity service from pregnancy test to six weeks post partum. This service involves the whole family in focusing on the woman and baby’s needs at a very personal level. Over 85% of New Zealand women choose a midwife as their lead maternity carer and where the LMC is a doctor there will also be a midwife involved in every birth in every birth setting”. Karen adds “the latest reports from the Ministry of Health indicate that New Zealand is also one of the only countries in the world to achieve the same excellent outcomes for both rich and poor mothers and babies.”
so, on this day, i'd like to acknowledge the two wonderful midwives that helped me deliver my children. each of them was supportive, and i loved the process of discussing how i wanted the birth to be ("drugs, i want drugs, i want all possible drugs at the earliest possible moment" - yup, i'm a total wimp and not ashamed to admit it!). the post-natal care was also great.
i know it's not every person's experience, but i love the system as it is in new zealand (except that we need more midwives!) and i was lucky to have good support around me. so here's to midwives, the women who get up at all hours and work miracles every day.