All posts tagged: midwifery

Let’s Talk Equality: Midwives of the World – Part 1

In order to reach a completely equal society, all basic human rights need to be secured. One of these is maternal health. The success of a country can often be traced back to successful maternal health programming. Therefore, my project partner Anna and I decided to create a documentary series about midwives around the world. To create this documentary and to get a fair picture of the situation for mothers and midwives around the world, we have collaborated with the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA). The WRA is an incredible organization for maternal health, and a network for volunteers  from all over the world. We decided to focus on White Ribbon Alliance Indonesia, or “APPI” (Aliansi Pita Putih Indonesia), and visited their team in Jakarta earlier this year. With the three parts of our documentary, we hope to do two things. One is to present a fair picture and comparison of the maternal health situation in Sweden and Indonesia. The other is to inspire people to make a change in their local communities, just like the volunteers …

Celebrating Midwives with Voices from Around the World

Illustration for Girls’ Globe by Laiza Onofre Today is the International Day of the Midwife and we’ve collected voices of women and midwives from around the world to celebrate the important work midwives do as health professionals, leaders and partners, and in safeguarding the human rights of women and girls. “I think midwives are women’s best friends – wanting every woman to feel free, strong and beautiful through every stage of life and womanhood.” – Caroline, Mother, Sweden “I love it as a midwife when I help women deliver safely until both mama and baby are discharged home both healthy. Maternal death and stillbirths, although relatively rare, just break my heart.” Malerotholi, Midwife, Lesotho “My midwife was fantastic and I hope to meet her and tell her. She is responsible for making the welcoming of our daughter a calm and safe experience where I felt that she would do anything for me and our baby and she also made the father feel safe and included.” – Sofi, Mother, Finland “There are so many ways that midwives partner with …

Celebrating Midwives & Partnerships that Matter

The lifetime risk of a woman dying from pregnancy and childbirth related complications in Kenya is high, at 1 in 55. According to latest data by UNICEF, the maternal mortality ratio in Kenya is 488 per 100,000 live births is unacceptably high. Only approximately 44 per cent of births are assisted by a skilled health worker, mainly a nurse or a midwife. Skilled attendance and particularly the role of the midwife continues to be advanced as a global priority and effective intervention for safer motherhood. The International Day of the Midwife, May 5th, is a day to celebrate the wonderful work midwives are doing around the world. I, Felogene Anumo, a Girls Globe Blogger had the opportunity to speak to Rachel Odoro who has over sixteen years of midwifery practice and is currently the Assistant Chief Nurse at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). She shares the highs and lows of her career and offers crucial perspectives on this year’s theme Midwives, Mothers and Families: Partners for Life! What inspired you to be a midwife? If a …

White Ribbon Alliance: Passionate Citizens Changing Communities

Girls’ Globe bloggers have had the opportunity to meet with and speak to Midwives and Citizen Journalists from Uganda, Malawi and Zimbabwe, who are working with White Ribbon Alliance to strengthen the rights and health of women and children, and to change communities so that they thrive. Caroline Maposhere, Zimbabwe Caroline Maposhere is a Registered Nurse, nurse midwife and a public health nurse with Bachelor of Theology and Master of Science in Counseling studies. She has extensive experience working in reproductive health including counseling young people, parents and religious leaders on sexual diversity and training health care providers on how to be sensitive to the needs of LGBTI people. Caroline has vast training experience including being US Peace Corps Pre service Technical Trainer in more than 10 countries. She is well-known as “Aunty” on radio, TV and church programs for sexual and reproductive health in Zimbabwe and is a member of the Board of Trustees for White Ribbon Alliance Zimbabwe. Elman Nsinda, Uganda A journalist and advocate for women’s and children’s health and rights, Elman Nsinda has been involved in safe motherhood advocacy campaigns across the Uganda …

Challenging Old Truths: Putting Research into Practice

“Knowledge is power and we need that power to change practice”. With those strong words, keynote speaker professor Cecily Begley,  Chair of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin, started off the second day of the Nordic Midwifery Congress (NJF). Her message was clear: the work of midwives must be evidence-based and reflect on the interventions that they carry out on a daily basis.” Evidence-based practice is the key to excellent midwifery-care” Cecily Begley stated and encouraged everyone in the audience to reflect on what future midwifes will say 20 years from now about today’s midwifery-practice. Looking back at this year NJF Congress, I am struck by how wide and varied the field of midwifery is. The presentations during the three-day Congress have covered subjects from how to manage postpartum hemorrhage to describing Danish first time fathers perceptions of the postpartum body. The congress is a great opportunity for professionals to meet and discuss how new research may be implemented in their own workplaces. The Congress has also given me a painful insight into how unequal maternal healthcare is worldwide.  While the Nordic countries face problems such as an overuse …

The Importance of Information During Pregnancy and the Role of Midwives

Today most women have access to the Internet. According to midwives Maria Bjelke and Anna-Karin Martinsson who presented their study at a session titled “Information / Education During Pregnancy”, 95% of pregnant women in the south of Sweden use the Internet to find information about pregnancy and birth. Of the women who turn to the Internet as a source, 64% experience anxiety after reading information online. According to a study carried out by Bjelke and Martinsson, there is a significant correlation between women accessing information about pregnancy and birth online and consequently contacting healthcare services. How should I, as a midwife work with this information? With the widespread access to the Internet, it is important for midwives to inform expectant mothers about reliable sources on the Internet that they can trust, and also to properly inform them that a lot of the information online about pregnancy and birth is unreliable and often simply untrue. I also believe it’s important to assure pregnant women of the fact that most women go through their pregnancy without complications and …

Overmedicalization of Childbirth is a Breach of Women’s Human Rights

Professor Cecily Begley opened the second day of the Nordic Midwifery Congress with a challenging speech, asking the midwives in the audience what they will be criticized for when women and health professionals look back at them in 30 years time. Yet, Begley shared heartwarming research results showing the importance of evidence-based, natural, midwifery care during childbirth. Begley mentioned that medicalization in childbirth is a growing problem everywhere, and although the Nordic countries have lower levels of C-sections and instrumental vaginal deliveries, there is still a rising trend, which needs to be halted. She inspired the sea of midwives from Nordic countries and beyond to use the latest research in their work and to share it with their colleagues. She also mentioned the importance of informing and educating women, so that we, together, can improve childbirth practices for all women in our communities. I had the privilege to speak with Cecily Begley after her keynote address. After our interview she also asked me about my birth story and left me encouraged and told me that if I ever have …

Nordic Midwifery Congress Tackles Challenges and Unites for Action

The Nordic Midwifery Congress 2016 opened with more than 800 midwives from the whole Nordic region and beyond, gathering together to share research, best practices, experiences and inspiration. Leaders in midwifery, sexual, reproductive and maternal health opened the Congress. Girls’ Globe had the opportunity to speak with them directly. The Presidents of Midwives united in the messages to empower midwives to take action. “There is no place for complacency” said Frances Day-Stirk, President of the International Confederation of Midwives, and the Keynote Speaker at the opening of the congress. Girls’ Globe had the opportunity to speak with these inspirational leaders. Mia Ahlberg, President of the Swedish Midwives Association   Hildur Kristjánsdóttir, President of the Nordic Federation of Midwives   Frances Day-Stirk, President of the International Confederation of Midwives   Kristina Ljungros, President of RFSU   Girls’ Globe is at the NJF Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden. Follow the conversations here on girlsglobe.org and through the hashtag #midwives4all on Twitter and Instagram. Learn more through the following links: NJF Congress, 2016 The Swedish Association of Midwives Midwives4all

How Can Midwives Support Overweight Pregnant Women?

The first day of the Nordic Midwifery Congress in Gothenburg is complete. Health during pregnancy has been one of many subjects discussed and I had the privilege to be in the audience during this seminar. Overweight during pregnancy is a risk factor and presenters spoke about this growing problem in Sweden and the other Nordic countries. Overweight during pregnancy is associated with increased risk for both the mothers and child. It’s a risk for developing preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, increased emergency Caesarian sections and stillbirths. These risks increase with an increased BMI. One of the speakers, Anna Dencker, talked about Mighty Mums, which is a project in East Gothenburg that was started to help overweight pregnant women. The study presented was a follow-up of what had been helpful for these mothers. The women in the study have had a BMI of 30 or more during their pregnancy 3 years earlier. What they found were that during pregnancy, women are more motivated for making healthy changes. The main motivation is the child. Most pregnant women want to give their child the best …