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International Day of the Midwife — Message to the Midwives from CAM President, CJ Blennerhassett

As we celebrate International Day of the Midwife on May 5th, I am filled with profound gratitude for each of you and the remarkable contributions you have made to your clients and your communities. In my role as President of CAM, I have the honour and privilege of hearing stories of midwives across the country. Through these conversations I hear consistently about how the midwifery philosophy of care, the principle of informed choice, and the act of positioning the client as the central decision-maker in their care is revolutionary in our healthcare system.

The healthcare system needs midwives.

Although many of us are holding so much, facing burnout, and having to balance the needs of our personal lives with the many demands of our work, I hope today you understand the immense impact you have.

I am particularly proud of where “midwives and midwifery” appeared in Canada’s recent Federal budget – as contributors to addressing racism in healthcare, as a solution to ensuring reproductive health care to underserved populations (namely in rural and remote regions), and as part of “Canada’s world-class” health professionals together with doctors and nurses. 

The International Confederation of Midwives’ theme for this year’s International Day of the Midwife is “Midwives: A Vital Climate Solution.” As midwives we understand that the health of our planet is intricately linked to the health of those we serve. Many midwives are on the frontlines of humanitarian crises, providing essential care under horrific conditions in conflict zones and in areas affected by natural disasters. Midwives continue to bravely show up for their clients despite the violence and threats they are experiencing.

As we commemorate this day, let us also remember Red Dress Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. It is due to the advocacy and persistence of Indigenous midwives and Indigenous leaders that we understand the urgency of addressing anti-Indigenous racism in our country and within our healthcare system. As caregivers, advocates, and allies, we must continue to address systemic injustices and work towards reconciliation and healing within our communities.

Today I encourage you to look at the positive stories shared at #ThankAMidwife and carry forward with you a deep sense of purpose; the work that you do is revolutionary and essential. From coast to coast-to-coast midwifery is growing as midwives come together to affect change. It is a privilege to be doing this work with you.

Wishing you ample rest and plentiful daytime births,

CJ Blennerhassett
CAM President