Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization extended the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife into 2021 in Europe, to celebrate and recognize the hard work of nurses and midwives fighting the pandemic. The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) supports this decision and hereby extends this recognition to the United States.
The COVID-19 pandemic has showcased the critical role midwives play in keeping people healthy across the lifespan. It has also exposed the weaknesses in our healthcare systems and the enormous challenges midwives face every day, as well as shined a light on their incredible commitment and courage. Finally, it has given us the opportunity to reconsider and explore models of care that center midwifery care. As the world’s oldest profession, midwives must play an integral part in the future of the world’s healthcare.
2021 also kicks off the Decade of the Midwife
(2021-2030), an initiative led by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM). We are at a pivotal point in history, and the actions we take over the next ten years will determine the future direction of healthcare. This initiative will aim to highlight the role of midwives as gender champions in their communities and disseminate evidence about the vital need for midwives to transform quality sexual and reproductive healthcare for a sustainable future.
“We are thrilled to extend the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife and kick off the Decade of the Midwife,” stated ACNM President, Cathy Collins-Fulea, DNP, CNM, FACNM. “Given the critical roles midwives have played in the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever there is a need to celebrate, uplift, and center midwives in the conversation about improved healthcare.”
ACNM’s goals for the Decade of the Midwife center around four categories: practice, education, research, and policy. This initiative will integrate seamlessly with our strategic goals, mission, campaigns, and contributions over the next ten years. By focusing on how we can center the midwife in the fight for equitable and sustainable global healthcare, we can work to achieve sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.