Today is the International Day of the Midwife

News article

05 May 2023

We are celebrating the essential service midwives provide to pregnant people and their whānau.

Midwives are the health professionals who provide essential care to pregnant people throughout their pregnancy, labour, birth, and for six weeks after the birth of their babies. Midwives ensure the health and wellbeing of pregnant people and their pēpē, both in their community and in primary, secondary or tertiary maternity facilities.

Every year in New Zealand, about 60,000 babies are born. The busiest time of year for midwives is usually spring – particularly towards the end of September and beginning of October.

Today is an opportunity to thank the amazing midwives who have supported you or your whānau, and the Ministry of Health also thank all past and present midwives for their invaluable work.

We are also supportive of all future midwives – both current students and those who are considering enrolling. Midwifery is an exciting career with plenty of opportunities.

In 2021, the Ministry of Health launched Te Ara ō Hine – Tapu Ora programme which aims to increase the number of Māori and Pacific midwives in New Zealand by supporting these students to complete their studies. Recruitment and retention of Māori and Pacific midwifery students is a vital step in addressing inequities in health outcomes. This programme continues under Te Whatu Ora.

The Kahu Taurima Programme is a priority within Te Pae Tata and presents numerous opportunities to address issues and challenges across the maternity system. Kahu Taurima is the joint Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora approach to maternity and early years (pre-conception to five years old, or the First 2,000 Days of life) for all whānau in Aotearoa New Zealand. Kahu Taurima is the change programme to move the settings and redesign the model of care and service delivery models to ensure health is making its greatest contribution to eliminate inequitable outcomes. Our midwives play a very important role in this work.

Once again, we would like to thank midwives for the essential work they do with whānau and we wish them an enjoyable day of celebration.

Back to top