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International Day of the Midwife

May 5 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT

May 5 is the internationally recognised day for highlighting the work of midwives. ICM established the idea of the ‘International Day of the Midwife’ following suggestions and discussion among Midwives Associations in the late 1980s, then launched the initiative formally in 1992. 

On May 5 each year we ask the world to focus on the role of midwives and midwifery. Each year ICM comes up with a campaign theme to provide motivating call to action for all of us to get involved and champion our work. The International Day of the Midwife is an occasion for every individual midwife to think about the many others in the profession, to make new contacts within and outside midwifery, and to widen the knowledge of what midwives do for the world. In the years leading up to 2015, ICM is using the overarching theme “The World Needs Midwives Today More Than Ever” as part of an ongoing campaign to highlight the need for midwives. This reflects the WHO call for midwives and the need to accelerate progress towards MDGs 4 and 5.

The theme for 2018 in three languages

– Midwives leading the way with quality care

– Sages-femmes, ouvrons la voie avec la qualité des soins

– Matronas liderando el camino con un cuidado de calidad 

Marking IDM with a Keynote Activity

Each year local midwives, Midwives Associations and supporters of midwifery globally develop their own keynote activities for the International Day of the Midwife to suit their  particular circumstances and resources. In 2014 midwives are encouraged to incorporate singing or music leading up to the world record of midwives singing together at the start of the ICM Triennial Congress in June.

Examples of ways in which midwives can make the day special include:

  • Organising a concert, singing contest, karaoke
  • Organising a march, run, street parade and rally in a public place
  • Setting up stalls in a market-place or other popular area to publicise midwifery services and to offer information and advice
  • Holding a meeting, workshop or conference to hear about new developments in midwifery and exchange news with other midwives in the region
  • Inviting a government minister, NGO representative or a celebrity to speak or open an event

Midwives are encouraged to let local or national media know about what they’re doing, well in advance, so that publicity can be gained as widely as possible. The International Day of the Midwife is an opportunity for every midwife to think about others in the profession, to make new contacts within and outside midwifery and widen the knowledge of what midwives do for the world!


May 5
8:00 am - 5:00 pm