About Midwives

International Definition of the Midwife

(Updated and Endorsed by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), June 2011)

A midwife is a person who has successfully completed a midwifery education programme that is duly recognized in the country where it is located and that is based on the ICM Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice and the framework of the ICM Global Standards for Midwifery Education; who has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practice midwifery and use the title ‘midwife’; and who demonstrates competency in the practice of midwifery.

The midwife is recognized as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife’s own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventative measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures.

The midwife has an important task in health counselling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and the community. This work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women’s health, sexual or reproductive health and child care.

A midwife may practise in any setting including the home, community, hospitals, clinics or health units.

(Adopted June 15, 2011, due for review 2017.)


Mothers Naturally, For What You Care About Most:  Mothersnaturally.org is a site for women of reproductive age, their partners, and those who are providing support for expectant mothers. It is the best source for information about natural pregnancy and natural childbirth. You will find answers to common pregnancy question that are supported by the latest evidence-based research.



I Am a Midwife

The I am a Midwife™ public education campaign was first launched on International Midwives Day 2012, as a series of short, informative interviews profiling midwives across the United States. It is an innovative way to present childbirth options, designed specifically to educate about midwifery as high-quality, high-value maternity care. I am a Midwife™ is a comprehensive and easily accessible tool available online for anyone seeking information about the midwifery model of care.


Thank you for watching I am a Midwife! Want to see more?

Check out the rest of the I am a Midwife series here on YouTube.