MSH Spotlights Midwife Advocates at Global Midwifery Congress
Midwives are making a difference in the world. This was the resounding theme from last week’s Congress hosted by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM). Toronto, Canada, opened its doors to more than 4,000 midwives, leaders, and advocates from more than 114 countries. They brought their passion and commitment for improving maternal and newborn health worldwide.
Catharine Taylor, Vice President of the MSH Health Programs Group, along with Martha Murdock and Ariadna Capasso from the FCI Program of MSH, joined the Congress in calling for greater investments in midwives, who—when empowered, well equipped, and supported—can transform health systems and ensure quality, equity, and dignity for every woman and every newborn.
At a panel session featuring the Global Group Antenatal Care Collaborative, Catharine Taylor shared lessons from Eastern Uganda, where MSH is testing women-led ‘pregnancy clubs,’ a person-centered approach that can transform how antenatal care is delivered and experienced.
Quality care during pregnancy and childbirth creates dramatic improvements in maternal and newborn health, but many women continue to face gaps in accessing high-quality and respectful care. Current models of antenatal care are not meeting women’s needs for information and support, limiting uptake of essential interventions.
MSH is testing a person-centered approach that can transform how antenatal care is delivered and experienced.
Midwives can be powerful voices for better health services and stronger health systems, but hierarchies of power and gender dynamics often inhibit them from effectively taking on this important advocacy role. MSH helps build skills in advocacy, leadership and management among midwives, so that their knowledge and experiences can strengthen programs, inform policy reforms, and shape investments in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health.
Midwives Leading for Stronger Health Systems
- Catharine Taylor, “Building health systems that work for women newborn and midwives”
- Adriana Capasso, “From Fronteras to Frontlines, Mexican Midwives Saving Lives”
- Sarah Lindsay, “Transformative Leadership, the Empowerment of Midwives”
- Report: Midwifery in Mexico