Midwives in NSW recognised for tireless work

Midwives at a previous International Midwives Day celebration. Photo: File.
Midwives at a previous International Midwives Day celebration. Photo: File.

Celebrations were held across NSW on Friday for International Midwives Day, held to champion the tireless work of midwives.

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association said in a statement events included everything from morning and afternoon tea parties, ‘walk with midwives’ marches and midwifery conferences to making birth kits for women in developing countries.

In the past decade, over 90,000 babies have been delivered in NSW each year, keeping registered midwives busy around the clock in hospital labour wards, birth centres, delivery suites, homes and the occasional footpath or front seat.

Despite the physical and emotional strength required, all midwives agree their profession is the most rewarding in the world, the association said.

Jacquie, a midwifery parent educator, transitioned into the role from cardiothoracic nursing and hasn’t looked back: “It’s such a great job, midwifery ticks all the boxes. I’ve had the pleasure of delivering babies and sharing new life with the woman and her baby. You’re involved in their new family straight away, mothers remember who you are and the impact you had on their lives, it’s beautiful.”

Jan, a midwifery educator, said she couldn’t imagine doing anything else: “Being a midwife, you’re involved in their care from antenatal right the way through to postnatal care. You’re giving these women the best possible start at motherhood and giving them the education to raise their precious baby. It’s about love and being involved with the mother and their family and extended family. The only job is to be a midwife.”

The association’s general secretary, Brett Holmes, said the day was also an opportunity to highlight the increasing demand being placed on registered midwives, with ongoing workforce shortage issues throughout NSW.  “The NSW Government needs to deliver a sustainable midwifery workforce and ensure measures are in place to support our midwifery profession into the future. Midwifery isn’t a 9-5, Monday to Friday job, it demands highly skilled professionals to be responsive under a whole raft of evolving circumstances. Maternity wards must have the correct skill mix to ensure midwives are supported across every shift, of every day.”