International Day of the Midwife 2023

5 May is the International Day of the Midwife – a day where we recognise and celebrate the work of midwives in the UK and around the world. This year, we’re highlighting the amazing work our Tommy’s midwives do, and celebrating the support they give to so many in our community.

A day of celebration 

International Day of the Midwife is a day to recognise the work of midwives in the UK and all over the world. The event is led by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and observed in over 50 countries. On this day, midwives, maternity support workers and student midwives join together to celebrate.  

Together again: From evidence to reality

This year’s theme is Together again: from evidence to reality. Translating research findings into positive changes to maternity care and practice is something that we and our team of midwives are passionate about.

We know that Black women experience higher risks of complications during pregnancy – for example, our research shows a 40% higher risk of miscarriage compared to White women – and also often have poorer maternity and birthing experiences.

In response to this, we recognised the need for extra pregnancy support for these communities and in September 2022, we set up a Specialist Support Service for Black and Black Mixed-Heritage women and birthing people, which we’re now partnering with FiveXMore on. This new service provides a 1-1 video or phone callback service and a safe space to offer advice and support with any pregnancy concerns, so that people are able to make their own evidence-based, informed choices.

We have already supported more than 220 Black and Black Mixed-Heritage pregnant people through this service and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Our midwife Alanna, who is one of the midwives on the line, said:

Quote marks Created with Sketch.

““I wanted to use my skills in a new and different way. Usually I’m face to face with people, but my experience as a midwife and all the different areas I’ve worked in means I can use those skills on the helpline. Whether it’s via Zoom, social media, phone or emails, I aim to give the reassuring outlook and comfort needed, whatever someone is going through."

Celebrating our midwives

Since the pandemic, midwives have been through extraordinary circumstances, risking their lives to support and care for women, birthing people and their families. This year, we're proud to celebrate our midwives and their specialisms. We're so grateful for their hard work and the support they provide. 

Kate, Midwifery Manager
Quote marks Created with Sketch.

“I’m Kate, the joint Midwifery Manager at Tommy’s. I’m a qualified midwife and health visitor with special interest in public health, mental health and pregnancy after loss.” 

Amina, Midwifery Manager
Quote marks Created with Sketch.

“I’m Amina, the joint Midwifery Manager at Tommy’s. I also work as an antenatal care specialist midwife in the NHS and as a Research Midwife focusing on accessibility and equity in lactation services.  I’m passionate about ensuring that everyone has equity of access to the knowledge that can impact their pregnancy, birth and postnatal journey – however that may look for them with evidence based, compassionate and person-centred care."

Jules, midwife
Quote marks Created with Sketch.

“I’m Jules and most of my work has involved caring for women and birthing people in the community setting. I am also a qualified personal trainer, I provide exercise advice, support during pregnancy and help improve physical recovery following birth.” 

Alanna, midwife
Quote marks Created with Sketch.

““I’m Alanna and I’m one of the midwives for our Tommy’s Specialist Support Service for Black and Black Mixed-Heritage women and birthing people. I am a Senior Birth Choices midwife in my NHS role and additionally teach private antenatal classes. I am passionate about continuity of care and improving postnatal services.” 

Sophie, midwife
Quote marks Created with Sketch.

“I’m Sophie, I help run the Tommy’s Midwife email inbox and helpline service. Outside of Tommy’s I work at a large NHS London teaching hospital where I mostly care for those having Elective Caesareans or shortly after birth with their babies on the Postnatal ward. I specialist in caesarean birth, baby massage, water birth and bereavement midwifery.” 

Juliette, midwife
Quote marks Created with Sketch.

“I'm Juliette and I’m a Specialist Pregnancy after Loss Midwife and part of the Rainbow Clinic Team. I offer specialist support in pregnancies after late miscarriage, stillbirth and when a baby has died shortly after birth. As Midwifery Lead for triaging all referrals into the Pregnancy after Loss service I ensure that women & birthing people are offered the most appropriate pathway of care in their new pregnancy. I believe combining parents’ knowledge and lived experience with skilled, compassionate clinical care offers the best and safest possible care in pregnancies after loss.”

Alicia, Midwife
Quote marks Created with Sketch.

“I’m Alicia and I strive to make pregnancy and baby loss support services accessible and equitable. I also founded the first ever Black Baby Loss Awareness Week to raise awareness of these vitally important services needed among the Black community.” 

Tina, midwife
Quote marks Created with Sketch.

“I’m Tina, Clinical Research Midwife within Fetal Medicine and Women’s Health Research at Imperial London.  I'm currently a co-applicant for a national NIHR funded study, collaborating with national maternity leaders, evaluating how we implement complex interventions such as Continuity of Care in Maternity and Tommy’s is leading on the patient and public aspect of this research study.”