Doha, 13 May 2023: Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is proud to join the international community in celebrating International Day of the Midwife (IDM) under the theme: “Together again: from evidence to reality”. By recognizing this day, Qatar supports the international efforts to advance the profession of midwifery globally, particularly in promoting autonomous midwives as the most appropriate caregivers for childbearing women. A benefit of midwifery case is the aim to promote normal birth practices where possible as well as to enhance the reproductive health of women, their newborns and their families.
“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,” explains Ms. Mariam Nooh Al-Mutawa, Acting Chief Nursing Officer, Corporate Nursing and Midwifery Department, HMC.
She says 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. “Midwives encourage the minimum expectation that no woman or girl should be harmed by conception or childbearing in addition to responding to their psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual needs,” she notes.
Ms. Al-Mutawa explains that other midwives’ roles include education about the safest practices for conception or childbearing, in addition to acting as effective role models of health promotion for women throughout their life cycle, for families and for other health professionals. HMC employs over 130 highly qualified nurse-midwives.
“Midwives make use of up-to-date, evidence-based professional knowledge to maintain competence in safe midwifery practices in all environments and cultures. They also actively seek personal, intellectual and professional growth throughout their midwifery career while also integrating this growth into their practice. Here at HMC we employ only certified nurse-midwives with years of professional practice to support the women during their perinatal journey,” she added.
Across HMC, the number of midwives catering to the needs of pregnant women and others of child-bearing age is growing in recognition and demand for these services. The midwifery led antenatal clinic (MLAC), the first-of-it-kind in Qatar, was established at the Women’s Wellness and Research Center (WWRC) in 2020.
Since it opened, the clinic has seen over 2060 women and provided over 6400 consultations to women whose pregnancies have remained low risk until they go into labor. A team of Clinical Midwife Specialists (CMS) and midwives in 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, in addition to the WWRC.
“At their initial appointment in WWRC, a detailed and holistic assessment is undertaken to identify any risk factors that may be present at the time. Based on the findings of the assessment, women are then categorized as either low risk requiring midwifery led antenatal care, or high-risk requiring consultant/obstetric led antenatal care. Women classified as low risk are then cared for by a team of CMS and midwives in MLAC,” she adds.
International Day of the Midwife is organized annually on May 5 to ensure midwives have the resources and support needed for the life-enhancing work they provide and to fulfil the full scope of midwifery care.