2020 - International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife
The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife1Nurses and midwives aid in delivering quality care1 and carry tremendous responsibility during childbirth. While childbirth practices have remained the same for generations2, the past century has brought numerous changes in birthing technology and in how a baby’s well-being is monitored during pregnancy, labour and birth2. The expectations of a woman giving birth have also changed. While women often faced childbirth with fear a hundred years ago because they knew mothers or babies that had died, today childbearing is generally safe2 in many countries.
In some situations, technology is used to assist delivery and “[minimise] risks that might have led to death or disability a century ago”2. How common is assisted delivery? According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), assisted delivery is used in about 1 in 8 births3. For a midwife, this option can provide confidence and support a mother during vaginal delivery instead of considering a caesarean section.