Happy International Midwives Day

MERAS Strike Wellington Verity et al

Today provides an opportunity for midwives to celebrate being a midwife and the value of our role. We hope that you all have the chance to do something special as part of that celebration at this unique and challenging time.

At the beginning of the year when we were all starting to plan how we would celebrate the International Year of the Midwife, none of us anticipated the year that we have had so far.

As Alison Eddy has highlighted in the College of Midwives media release:

Stepping outside your own family bubbles, community and hospital midwives have worked together closely to ensure that women and babies received the support and care they needed. Your dedication and commitment under difficult circumstances has been amazing.”

The way midwives have worked during Level 4 has shown that regardless of the crisis, babies will continue to be born and midwives will continue to be there to support women and their whanau at this important time in their lives.

In his shout out to midwives on International Midwives Day today, Health D-G Ashley Bloomfield said that 6000 babies had been born during the lockdown supported by 3200 midwives.

DHB-employed midwives have also been able to celebrate as Elizabeth Winterbee has reminded us on the MERAS fb page that as of yesterday (4 May), midwives who have been on Step 6 for 12 months will move to the new Step 7 ($77,386), and from 1 August all DHB MERAS members will receive a further 1.25% pay rise.

This was achieved by standing together, campaigning, taking strike action and doing LPS. Together we achieved this.

Midwifery celebrates the power of women – women who labour and (the mostly) women who support them as midwives. We are blessed to have a wahine toa as our nation’s leader who has restored our faith in the importance of leadership and courage at this critical time.

After watching a press conference during the lockdown, a Mum having a chat with her 6-year old about Jacinda Ardern and what the Prime Minister’s job involves, reports that the little girl asked: “Do they sometimes let men be Prime Minister or is it just better if a girl does it?”

Today is a time to celebrate as midwives, to connect with our midwifery colleagues and to remember everything that is special and unique about being a midwife.

Download this story as a poster for your noticeboard