18 Ways to Celebrate National Midwifery Week
National Midwifery Week is an opportunity to call attention to the importance of the work you do. Your local activities can encourage your community to learn about who you are, what you do, and how you can help-as well as empower women to take an active role in their own health.
Below are examples of activities and events that will encourage people to learn more about midwifery. Involve everyone you can. Adapt them for your community. And don't forget to let us know what you do by sending an e-mail to [email protected]
- Contact your clients and host a birthday party for the babies whose births you attended during the past year. Gather all the children together for a group photo and send it with a news release to local papers.
- Ask administrators to announce National Midwifery Week in departmental meetings, and offer to come in and do a presentation on your role as a midwife.
- Organize an afternoon of free services: free Pap smears, cholesterol and blood pressure checks, breast exams, etc. for local women, during which musicians, local artisans, and other community people are present. Perhaps incorporate a brief lecture on the history of midwifery.
- Conduct a poster contest for clients' children. They could draw pictures, or otherwise be creative working with mom for National Midwifery Week. A panel of judges could select winners and award ribbons.
- Encourage your mayor to proclaim National Midwifery Week. Work with your mayor to invite as many civic and health care leaders as possible to the signing of the proclamation and release a photo of the event to local newspapers.
- Organize storytelling groups of women who would like to share their childbirth experiences. This is helpful to women who are expecting their first child to remove fear and inspire them.
- Enlist volunteers to help your local food bank collect donations or deliver meals to pregnant women in low-income areas, or to assist with community information displays.
- Secure permission to use a vacant store window, library or hospital display case, or other appropriate space to create a public display of midwifery information and photos of mothers with children. Encourage other women's health groups to participate on a local level and offer them display space as well.
- Charge up next year's Blankets for BabiesSM effort with a drive to collect new, unwrapped blankets. Disseminate blankets among local birth centers, or continue gathering through the ACNM Annual Meeting.
- Arrange for a community theater group or college drama club to perform a midwifery-focused play, or arrange for a free public showing of a film with a midwifery or childbirth theme.
- Ask a local college or high school for an opportunity to serve as a guest speaker for a women's studies and/or nursing class to recruit students to midwifery and promote the profession.
- Request your local librarian to create a special display of available books about women's health, childbirth, and midwifery.
- Create a community quilt by asking individuals (clients, other midwives, physicians, nurses, etc.) to bring a scrap of fabric and host a quilting party. In a larger community, midwifery practices across the area could each take responsibility for a section of the quilt. The finished product might be presented and permanently displayed in the public library or rotated among hospitals and birth centers.
- Conduct a midwifery workathon, acknowledging every birth attended by a midwife during the week with a special letter, gift pack, and "I was born during National Midwifery Week" t-shirt.
- Plan a breakfast or dinner to celebrate and officially inaugurate National Midwifery Week in your community. Consider honoring a local midwife who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
- Send press releases to all local media including information about each of the local activities you have planned. Be sure to provide the name and phone number of a contact person.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper explaining how midwives have impacted American culture and why it is important to celebrate National Midwifery Week.
- Ask to exhibit at a local health fair. The community section in your local newspaper will usually have a list of ones in the area. Or, call your local hospital's community relations office to inquire about exhibiting in their main lobby or other high traffic area.