100 Years of Progress - International Day of the Midwife 2022

What is 100 years of progress?

The International Day of the Midwife 2022, which takes place on Thursday 5 May, marks the 100th birthday of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM). To mark the anniversary, the event this year celebrates the progress made in the profession over the last century.

We asked some midwives working in NHSScotland to share their career stories and tell us about the progress they’ve seen in their profession.

Maria

Photo of Maria as a newly-qualified midwife with the quote, "The biggest change is the move to person-centred care. Listening to what women want so that we are partners in their care".

Maria is Lead Midwife and Associate Director of the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions directorate at NHS Education for Scotland (NES). She first registered as a midwife in 1990 and worked in clinical practice in labour suites, before moving into education as a midwife lecturer.

Maria now works with nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals across Scotland and the UK – including with organisations such as the NHS, Scottish Government and higher education institutions. Her aim is to help get the right people in the right roles, with the right education and training to allow them to provide great care and develop their career.

When we asked her what she thought was the greatest progress in midwifery in her career, she said:

The move to person-centred and evidence-based care that is provided less in hospital and more at home. Listening to what women want so that we are partners in their care.

Karen

Picture of Karen holding a new-born baby with the quote, "This picture is a great example of the relationship a midwife has with women and families".

Karen has been a midwife for 32 years. She worked in Glasgow and the Channel Islands before settling in Argyll and Bute in the rural west coast of Scotland. She is now Senior Educator in the Scottish Multiprofessional Maternity Development Programme at NES.

She sent us a happy memory of a moment during her career, saying:

I love this picture as it is a great example of the relationship a midwife has with women and families throughout the pregnancy continuum. I supported Iona throughout her first pregnancy and birth, and I am continuing to support her in her second pregnancy.

Tom

Picture of Tom in a teaching capacity with the quote, "The greatest progress has been the continued improvements in education - if we work together we must work together!".

Tom is a midwife and Principal Educator in the Women, Children, Young People and Families team at NES. He worked as a team midwife, neonatal midwife, advanced practitioner, researcher and senior lecturer before starting in his current role.

Regarding 100 years of progress, Tom said:

For me, the greatest progress made in midwifery over the last 100 years has been the continued improvements in education. This applies both in our pre-registration programmes and for our midwifery and maternity care staff, with a growing commitment to make sure that education is multi-professional. If we work together, we must learn together!

Lorraine

Picture of Lorraine presenting at a workshop with the quote, "The greatest progress within maternity has been the collaboration and opportunities to share learning".

Lorraine is Senior Educator in the Women, Children, Young People and Families team at NES. She first joined the NHS in 1989 as a student nurse, before switching to midwifery in 1993. She has practiced across Scotland, with the last 13 years being as an Advanced Specialist Midwife for Substance Abuse.

During her career, Lorraine has informed the learning and direction of care for women across Scotland. Her work has lead to Lorraine becoming the proud recipient of a Scottish Government Quality Improvement award and a Royal College of Midwives Reducing Inequalities award. On the steps made in midwifery, she said:

I feel the greatest progress within maternity has been the collaboration of organisations within integrated joint boards, national policy direction, and opportunities to share learning with international guests.

Jen

Picture of Jen in a clinical situation, holding a new-born baby, with the quote, "The greatest progress has been the shift from 'historical handmaiden', to being recognised as professional advocates for women."

Jen has been a midwife since 2011 and is now Practice Educator in the Scottish Multi-professional Maternity Development Programme at NES. After training at NHS Lothian, she worked in a split clinical and educational role, as an education midwife in Morecombe Bay in the north of England.

When we asked her what she thought about 100 years of progress, she said:

The greatest progress in the UK is the shift from midwives being seen as ‘historical handmaidens’ or ‘doctor’s helpers’, to being recognised as professional advocates for women, birthing people, and the families and communities with whom they work. Globally, however, there is much more that can be done.

Get involved

Midwives across the country are celebrating this year’s International Day of the Midwife. Find out how you can get involved on the Royal College of Midwives website.

International Day of the Midwife 2022

See how you can get involved in 100 Years of Progress with the Royal College of Midwives.

Midwifery careers in NHSScotland

Find out more about a career in midwifery and maternity care in our careers section.