As I write this editorial, the International Day of the Midwife is just over 1 week away. The day is held on 5 May, and this year, the chosen theme is ‘together again: from evidence to reality’ (International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), 2023a). The same theme has been given for the 33rd Triennial Congress, which will be held in June, to emphasise the importance of coming together after the lockdowns and travel restrictions of the past few years (ICM, 2023a). It is the first time in several years that the congress event will be able to take place face to face.
The International Day of the Midwife was established by the ICM in 1992 and is observed by more than 50 nations around the world. Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the ICM, and ICM (2023a) president Dr Franka Cadée and chief executive Dr Sally Pairman have described this as ‘the first year of the new century – one that will undoubtedly see major developments for midwives and midwifery’.
The ICM (2023b) toolkit for the day includes resources to help midwives advocate for the profession across social media and in their places of work. It also encourages midwives to get involved with the day and plan their own events around the theme. For our readers here in the UK, the Royal College of Midwives (2023) is hosting a webinar on 4 May, to ‘honour the efforts of midwives and their associations to action critical evidence towards meaningful change for their profession and the women and families they care for’.
A key element of this year's theme is emphasising the importance of evidence-based care and turning research into improvements. Important progress is being made in midwifery and maternity, both worldwide and in the UK. This includes reports such as the state of the world's midwifery (UNFPA, 2021) and the recently announced 3-year plan for maternity and neonatal services in England (NHS England, 2023). The British Journal of Midwifery's comment article this month by Claire Leader (2023) explores in more detail the NHS plan's target to grow the midwifery workforce.
The BJM is committed to contributing to evidence-based midwifery care, as well as to honouring and celebrating midwives. I hope all of our readers enjoy the International Day of the Midwife, and the well-deserved experience of a day dedicated to this wonderful profession.