International Midwives’ Day

Midwives provide mothers with the psychological, physical, and emotional support they need—not only at the time of birth but also throughout the pregnancy. They spend significant one-on-one time with every woman in their care and ensure that all questions mothers have are answered.

That’s why they’re an important option for any woman who wants to have their child at home. To emphasize that fact, someone has decided that May 5th should be established as a holiday to celebrate these professionals. This holiday is known as International Midwives’ Day (sometimes called International Day of the Midwife).

The History of International Midwives’ Day

Midwives have been used to deliver children throughout history. In fact, this profession actually predates most medical professions. Although midwives originally depended only on their experience delivering babies, as well as the superstitions of the day, the practice has evolved over time and now incorporates more modern science into their methods.

Nowadays, midwives are highly competent individuals capable of handling a variety of different problems during childbirth. This holiday hasn’t been around for very long. It was originally started by the International Confederation of Midwives and was sanctioned in 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In 2021, the International Confederation of Midwives celebrated its 100th anniversary—an anniversary that was observed by midwives all over the world. Now, this holiday is observed every year with a special theme that highlights areas that need attention. For example, in 2022, the theme was “100 Years of Progress.”

Some Important Facts About Midwives & Midwifery

To highlight just how important the profession of midwifery is to expectant mothers, we thought we’d compile a list of some important facts. Below are the facts we’ve gathered, and we hope that they provide everyone with a whole new respect for midwives and what they do.

  • In the U.S. in 2023, there were 12,805 Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) and 119 Certified Midwives (CM).
  • Approximately 84% of midwives have a Master’s degree.
  • Approximately 20% of midwives have a Doctoral degree.
  • Between 2018 and 2028, the employment of CNMs is expected to increase by 26%.

Observing International Midwives’ Day

Everyone can take the time to participate in this holiday—if that’s something they truly want to do. People can learn more about midwifery and how it can benefit mothers-to-be.

It’s also a day when people can thank a midwife they’ve worked with by sending them a card, flowers, or even just a message on social media using the hashtag #InternationalMidwivesDay. And midwives can celebrate this holiday by taking a few moments to kick back and relax, or if they prefer, use the day to refresh their skills.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 5 Sunday
Next year (2025)
May 5 Monday
Last year (2023)
May 5 Friday
Work & Occupation