As I read the latest Executive Summary on Global Maternal Health from The Lancet’s Series, I (as I am sure all other midwives did) wondered how we could improve the health of women around the world.
There is indeed a countdown to 2030 to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and nutrition around the world. #IC2030. I have been working toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 (reduce child mortality) and 5 (improve maternal health) through research and by supporting midwives to be the very best they can be. Yet I am well aware that there is still so much work to be done, and midwives are in the very best position to do it.
The current challenges to address:
- Lack of evidence-based guidelines
- Lack of equipment, supplies, and medicines
- Inadequate numbers of skilled providers
- Women delivering alone
- Lack of emergency medical services and delayed interfacility referrals Too much, too soon
- Unnecessary caesarean section
- Routine induced or augmented labour
- Routine continuous electronic fetal monitoring
- Routine episiotomy
- Routine antibiotics postpartum
Women often left out of good quality care:
- Adolescents and unmarried women
- Refugees and internally displaced women
- Indigenous women and ethnic or religious minorities
- Women living in poverty
- Women living in informal urban settlements
- Women living in fragile states
- Women affected by humanitarian crises
Whilst reading the reports, I saw that a number of global experts had been invited to share, build and deliver new innovations. This is wonderful. However, we as midwives are right at the mouth piece of change. We are there at the beginning of new life. This is a time where the opportunities for change are most prevalent. People are looking to bring new life into a better world, and we are a part of that. How amazing!
And so looking at the challenges listed, what will you tackle or address? Women and their babies trust us, they are ready to be led toward a brighter future…they look up to us..Being able to influence change at the very start of human life is a both a gift and a super power.
Midwives are superheros…what is your superpower?
With Fab Change Day coming up on the 19th October 2016…there has never been a better time to make your pledge for change (however big or small)!
(Please note that although this post is predominantly about midwives, obstetricians and other birth attendants are also a huge part of the superhero team!)
You may think that you are a small fish in a small pond, but I am telling you that there is a global pond where you, as either a small or big fish, can make a real difference!
One charity (close to my heart) is really making a difference to mothers and babies around the world ->> Maternity Worldwide. I often give them a shout out, because they really are awesome (and a fun bunch too!)…#GetInvolved with them here and here -> @.
I will continue to contribute towards evidence based guidelines and research in my quest to improve the well-being of women, babies and midwives around the world. So until next time, be the superheros I always knew you were 💛💙💜💚.