Midwives are key partners in what we do here at Global Force for Healing. Safely bringing new life into the world with respectful, quality care is what we and midwives around the globe strive to provide for our moms and babies.
These goals, as with many other goals, still have obstacles that keep them from being achieved. These obstacles are outlined in the publication from The World Health Organization called, Midwives’ Voices, Midwives’ Realities (2016). 2,047 midwives and other birth personnel were interviewed to determine what these obstacles were and how they felt they could be overcome. In general, the obstacles were divided into three main categories, social, economic, and professional. When midwives experience difficulties in all three categories it can lead to a state of burnout, which in turn can lead to a decline in the care they give to their patients.
As a nursing student considering midwifery as a potential career I was very shocked to hear some of the obstacles midwives today are facing. My biggest concern was that only 48% percent of global participants feel fulfilled in the work they do. Another surprising statistic is that only 58% percent of midwives feel they are treated with respect and only 61% percent feel supported to do their jobs. While I appreciate the honesty and openness of the participants in the study, the results make me feel unexcited to enter into a career in which only half of the workforce feels supported and fulfilled. How is it that the people who are supposed to bring life and happiness into this world are feeling this way? What does this say about the future of the profession, including recruiting new midwives into the field at a time they are so desperately needed?
Making changes so global midwives feel happy and supported in the work they do will not only make sure we continue to have enough midwives to support the work, but will also improve the quality of care they are giving their patients. If we are to reach our goal of providing safe, respectful, quality care to all mamas and babies around the globe, then we need to start with the people working to make this happen, the midwives and birthing personnel.
I encourage whoever is reading this blog post to read the full article via the link below, and to share your comments and thoughts on the article: www.globalforceforhealing.org/contact/.
Guest blog by Allison Dressler, Junior Nursing Student at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Summer Intern at Global Force for Healing