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The birth of our humanity

02 July 2017
5 min read
Volume 25 · Issue 7

Abstract

At the end of her time as President of the Royal College of Midwives, Lesley Page reflects on achievements and developments in global midwifery and considers the progress still to be made

There is nothing so profound or influential in human life as the birth of a baby. The start to life, people becoming parents, the family forming or reforming, will affect not only the individuals concerned but will reverberate through life and down generations, and ripple into society. Midwives are central to the support of this new life and the promise it holds, and have the potential to enhance the beginning of life, or to harm it.

As President of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) for more than 5 years, I travelled the UK from top to toe. I also visited many other parts of the world, meeting midwives, students, doctors, policy makers, government leaders, members of the public, and activists. I have seen many maternity services in many different countries and have met countless midwives who are passionate about giving high quality care. Some are supported in achieving these high aspirations, and others are impeded or even stopped by failure of leadership, limited services, inadequate resources or destructive political forces.

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