Every gift you make will be 2x matched, $1 for $1, up to $35K, thanks to a generous match donation from First Response™.
On May 5 and every day, Every Mother Counts is proud to celebrate International Day of the Midwife. The evidence is clear, investing in midwives saves lives, improves health and strengthens health systems. Midwives can meet about 90 percent of essential sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health services. And yet, globally, there is an urgent shortage of midwives.
From Guatemala to Bangladesh, the work of our partners—partners like Corazón del Agua, Midwives for Haiti and HOPE Foundation—is led or supported by midwives and is paving the way for a future where compassionate, respectful maternity care is the standard of care for all.
Today, on International Day of the Midwife, we’re working to help fill this gap.
Join us in raising $100,000 to support programs that are working to advance the midwifery model of care. Your donations are being 2x matched–$1 for $1, up to $35,000–thanks to inspired partner First Response™.
Led by midwife Gabriela Meléndez, Corazón del Agua runs the first university-level midwifery degree program in Guatemala and is the only program to incorporate Mayan traditions around pregnancy and birth. Since 2014, Corazón del Agua has been recruiting Indigenous Mayan students from some of the most underserved areas of Guatemala and training them as professional midwives to provide skilled, compassionate, and culturally concordant maternity care to Indigenous mothers in their communities.
In the western highlands of Guatemala, ACAM is a collective of comadronas (traditional midwives) formed to address the need for high-quality professional education and training of Indigenous midwives and their recognition and integration into the health care system. Through their birth center and mobile clinics, ACAM comadronas provide critically-needed safe and respectful maternity care and referrals for Indigenous women and communities.
Since 2006, Midwives for Haiti has been growing the maternity care workforce in Haiti by offering an 18-month training program to train nurse-midwives to become skilled birth attendants. Once students graduate, the majority of them stay in the country and work in hospitals, birth centers, and community projects, particularly in hard to reach rural areas. Graduates of Midwives for Haiti currently make up about 30% of the total skilled maternity care providers in Haiti.
Led by midwife Martine Jean-Baptiste, the Foundation for Advancement of Haitian Midwives (FAHM) is dedicated to supporting Haitian midwives, midwifery associations, and midwifery students by providing opportunities related to continuing education, leadership training, and capacity building. In addition to supporting the work of local midwives, FAHM works to promote and advance the midwifery profession and model to better position midwives as health care professionals and leaders.
In Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the HOPE Foundation for Women and Children is collaborating with BRAC University to train midwives from rural areas through one of the country’s first three-year, professional community-based midwifery diploma programs. In addition to their core training, HOPE’s midwifery training program also equips midwives with the proper knowledge and tools to assist women with pregnancy and birth in resource-limited settings. Upon completing their program, many HOPE midwives work at HOPE birth centers in rural communities, or in refugee camps with Rohingya refugees.
Led by midwives Nicolle Gonzales and Marinah Farrell, Changing Woman Initiative is working to renew and support Indigenous traditions around pregnancy and birth and improve maternal and community health in Native American communities. Through their work, they seek to restore the sovereignty of Indigenous midwifery and community health with the return to gender equality and cultural practices. Changing Woman Initiative supports Native American families seeking care through their Corn Mother Easy Access Health Clinic and White Shell Woman Homebirth Services and is working to establish the country’s first Native American birth center.
In Tanzania, traditional midwives continue to be the preferred or only birth attendant available for many remote communities, including the Maasai, one of the more marginalized ethnic groups in the country. Our partner, the Maasai Women Development Organization (MWEDO) is building the capacity of traditional midwives and community health workers to help identify risks and prevent maternal deaths, particularly from postpartum hemorrhage, the leading cause of death among pregnant women in the world, and in Tanzania. In addition to community outreach and education, MWEDO is working with traditional midwives to develop linkages with and increase referrals to health facilities.