Celebrating midwives

The World Health Organisation has declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

It's time to celebrate midwives in New Zealand and around the world, and the vital role they play in our healthcare system.

International Year of the Midwife

The International Year of the Midwife focuses on:

  • Celebrating the work of midwives globally.
  • Demonstrating through evidence the impact of midwives and the case for investing in midwives.
  • Mobilising Midwives, midwives’ associations, women’s groups and the wider global community to advocate for midwife-led care.
  • Uniting midwives and women towards a common goal of gender equality.

For more information, see the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) website.

Not only do we want to celebrate midwives and let New Zealanders know more about the profession, but we are also using 2020 to showcase midwifery as an incredibly worthwhile and rewarding career choice.

Impact of COVID-19

Midwives around the world have been part of the frontline response to COVID-19. In New Zealand community midwives continued to provide face-to-face care in women’s’ homes and services (such as home birth) that have been discontinued in other parts of the world. Hospital based midwives have worked to support their community midwifery colleagues, as well as working with the hospital multi-disciplinary teams to plan and provide care for women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Events that were planned to share the ICM themes of: Celebrate, Demonstrate, Mobilise and Unite have been cancelled, postponed to 2021 or celebrated virtually. The ICM Triennial Congress and the New Zealand College of Midwives Biennial National Conference where our midwives in New Zealand present research have been postponed to 2021.

International Day of the Midwife

Each year since 1992, the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) has lead the global recognition and celebration of the work of midwives on 5 May. The theme in 2020 was midwives with women: celebrate, demonstrate, mobilise, unite – our time is now!

Video messages to our midwives

The 2020 International Day of the Midwife on 5 May fell during Covid-19 Alert Level 3 in New Zealand. This meant that celebrations for this event were virtual. Check out some of the video messages supporting and celebrating our midwives from around the country:

Postcard testimonials

There are lots of people across New Zealand who want to show their support for all of our amazing midwives.


I am so proud to call myself a midwife and stand beside so many amazing midwifery colleagues who make a positive difference for women, everyday - Alison Eddy, NZ College of Midwives
My midwife transformed childbirth from something I was terrified of to something that was empowering and wonderful. I'm forever thankful I had so much knowledge and support in the room with me - Alison Pugh, Reporter
Ko Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, Te Tau o Te Ao Kaiwhakawhānau hoki. Karawhuia! - Corrina Parata, Midwife
Every day I hear about the wonderful work of midwives. I've been so lucky to have been suported by many midwives in my life - they made me the mother I am and they inspire me in everything I do - Emily Writes, Author
I relied on my midwife throughout and after my pregnancy and am proud to support the International Year of the Midwife - Julie Anne Genter, Associate Health Minister
My heart swells when I remember the birth of our moko Blaire. Watching my daughter Bec and her midwife working together to have our baby - Liz Pennington, CE Rural Women NZ
Midwives one hundred percent mana wāhine
Having given birth to my daughter and being present for both my grandchildren's births, I swear that if a midwife hadn't also been there, none of those babies would have found their way out! - Michele A'Court, Comedian/Writer
Bringing a child safely into the world is a vitally important role. I am proud to support the International Year of the Midwife - Phil Goff, Mayor of Auckland
Rural midwives go that extra mile to care for their rural Mums and babies, I'm so grateful for the care they gave me. Thank you - Fiona Gower, National President Rural Women NZ
In New Zealand midwives are regulated so that wāhine, their pēpi and whānau all receive the best possible midwifery care - Dr Sue Calvert, Chief Executive and Registrar of the Midwifery Council
I look back with great affection on the relationship and partnership I had with my midwife who was there to help ensure my children had the best start in life. Thank you to all the midwives who work daily to support whānau - Jenn Warren, Barnados Childbirth Educator
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