PRESS RELEASE, Friday, May 3rd, 2013
- Forthcoming Annual Conference to debate midwifery staffing levels in Ireland.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), as a member of the International Confederation of Midwives, the worldwide body for midwives, celebrates the International Day of the Midwife on this Sunday, May 5th. The theme for the day is “The world needs midwives, now more than ever.”
Over 287,000 women and over 3 million infants around the world die each year as a result of preventable pregnancy and childbirth complications. Most of these deaths would be prevented if there were enough qualified and adequately resourced midwives.
The shortage of midwives is not, in the view of the INMO, confined to other countries and is a reality here in Ireland.
Against this background the Annual Conference of the INMO, which is being held in Letterkenny next week, will debate the following motion:
“Conference deplores the unsafe midwife staffing levels which now exist, in most maternity units across the country, despite our very high birth rate and the increasing complexity of managing the mother and new born. In that context, conference directs the Organisation to immediately seek the establishment of a review of current midwifery staffing and practice, chaired by an independent expert, with a view to establishing international best practice and standards, with regard to staffing levels and practice in all of Ireland’s maternity hospitals and units.”
It remains the absolute conviction, of the INMO, that midwifery standards and, best practice, are being increasingly pressurised due to our continuing high birth rate against a background of a shortage of midwives, a recruitment moratorium and service wide cutbacks.
Research and clinical practice has confirmed that midwifery-led services are efficient, effective and preferred by women who have a normal pregnancy. The policy goal in this country, should, therefore, be to extend and expand these high quality midwifery-led services and the INMO will be seeking this as part of on-going service reconfiguration.
INMO General Secretary, Liam Doran, speaking ahead of the International Day of the Midwife, said:
“Midwives make a positive difference to pregnancy and childbirth. The world needs midwives, now more than ever, as all research shows their care and expertise bring positive outcomes. This day should generate positive actions, both here and abroad, to realise this essential goal.”