Doha, 13 June 2023: The Midwifery professionals from Women’s Wellness and Research Center, Al Wakra and Al Khor hospitals and The Cuban Hospital, are proud to celebrate this year’s International Day of the Midwives (IDM) under the theme: “Together again: from evidence to reality”.
They have again this year joined the global midwife community to advance the profession of midwifery globally by promoting autonomous midwives as the most appropriate caregivers for childbearing women and in keeping birth normal, in order to enhance the reproductive health of women, their newborns and their families.
The ceremony held at the Itqan Clinical Simulation and Innovation Center, was attended by HMC senior leaders comprising Mr. Ali Al Janahi, Acting Assistant Managing Director and Chief of Tertiary Care Group, Dr. Abdulla Al Ansari, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hilal Amin Al Rifai, WWRC Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director, Ms. Mariam Al Mutawwa, Acting Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Ms. Saadiya Al Hebail, A/Executive Director of Nursing, WWRC and ACC, Dr. Nabeela Al Meer, Dean of College of Nursing, Qatar University.
The event featured a variety of activities showcasing the success and expansion of midwifery in Qatar. Abstract presentations, research, and personal stories from women enriched the event, illuminating the vital role of midwifery in women's healthcare. Ms. Al Hebail said the goal of these activities was to continuously improve skills and knowledge of nurses and midwives, ensuring high-quality patient care and promoting evidence-based practice within the HMC network.
Emphasizing the crucial role that midwives play in antenatal care, Ms. Soumaya Sellami highlighted the influence of cultural and social traditions on the practice of midwifery. Despite regional differences, she noted that midwife-led continuity models offer significant benefits, including increased spontaneous vaginal births, increased breastfeeding, and lower rates of preterm birth.
The celebration also offered a platform for expressing gratitude towards midwives across HMC, with leaders like Ms. Mariam Al Mutawa, the Acting Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, emphasizing their extended societal roles. Dr. Hilal Amin Tawfik Al Rifai, WWRC's CEO and Medical Director, commended the midwives' significant contributions to maternal and newborn health, recognizing their resilience and commitment in overcoming challenges. He lauded their role in humanizing the childbirth experience.
The event served as a testament to the fruitful collaboration between doctors and midwives, as articulated by Dr. Abdulla Al-Ansari, the Chief Medical Officer of HMC. Three midwifery-led research projects were presented during the celebration, contributing to the knowledge exchange objective of the event.
Further enriching the celebrations were activities like an interprofessional quiz competition, a lively debate on home versus hospital birth, a cake-baking contest, and an award for the best speaker, added to the excitement.
“The main purpose of organizing different activities as part of our celebrations of the International Midwives Day at HMC was to enable nurses and midwives to continually update and renew their knowledge and skills, enhance evidence-based practice, and ultimately ensure that they are able to meet patient needs and in a constantly changing practice environment,” says Ms Saadiya Al Hebail A/Executive Director Of Nursing, WWRC and ACC.
Women’s Wellness and Research Center (WWRC) has pioneered the first-of-it-kind in Qatar midwifery led antenatal services aimed at normalizing pregnancy and birth. Antenatal care, also known as prenatal care, is a type of preventive healthcare to provide regular check-ups that allow doctors or midwives to identify, treat and prevent potential health problems in pregnant women.
“The midwives have been at the fore front of providing this unique antenatal clinic and unit, which is currently located in the labor and delivery ward and caters to women whose pregnancies have remained low risk until they go into labor. Our midwives attached to the MLAC offers support to low risk women during the antenatal period once they are referred from the primary care, private care or other health care facilities to the WWRC,” explained Ms. Sellami, IDM Chairperson and Director of Midwifery.
In addition, she said throughout the world, midwifery has been practiced for centuries and has features and characteristics that have evolved differently according to local or regional cultural and social traditions and knowledge. “Research indicates that midwife-led continuity models of care are associated with benefits for mothers and newborns, such as reduction in the use of epidural anesthesia, fewer episiotomies and instrumental births, and increased spontaneous vaginal births and increased breastfeeding. Women were less likely to experience preterm birth or lose the baby before 24 weeks gestation,” she noted.
Ms. Sibongile Marufu, Clinical Midwife Specialist Lead stated that according to the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), midwives provide care for women and childbearing families with respect for cultural diversity while also working to eliminate harmful practices within those same cultures. “The ICM encourages the minimum expectation that no woman or girl should be harmed by conception or childbearing in addition to responding to the psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of women seeking health care, whatever their circumstances (non-discrimination),” she added.