Int'l Confederation of Midwives Section

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is an association with organizational members. MANA is one of those members, and together with over 100 other midwifery associations from all over the world we discuss and enact strategies and policies to make midwifery a visible and viable option in maternity care across the planet. Every country is in a different state of development and has its own issues with which they are working. Together we have created position statements, international standards for midwifery education and regulation, core competencies, guidelines for professional midwifery associations, and much more. We meet as a council once every three years in a different country each time.

The Section exists to support our participation in dialog and work at the international policy level. 

Who is a Member of the ICM Section

In order to be a member of the ICM Section of MANA, you must meet the ICM International Definition of a Midwife (below) which includes being credentialed by a state or nationally recognized body. All Midwife members who hold state or national credentials are automatically members of the ICM section. You are a member of the ICM Section if you are a CPM, CNM, CM, LM or RM. If you are regulated by your state with a different title that would also qualify.

Your membership supports MANA in doing this important international work. It is very costly to get representatives to an international meeting, and MANA sets aside money every year to be able to send representatives to the full council meeting every three years. A portion of your membership dues helps us achieve this goal.

Colleen Donovan Batson, Director of Health Policy and Advocacy is the ICM section Chair. Past MANA presidents, Diane Holzer and Geradine Simkins, and current president Marinah Farrell serve as Senior Advisors to the section

How the ICM Section Works

The ICM Section of MANA meets yearly at the annual conference, and all midwives and students are welcome to attend the meeting. We discuss updates on what is happening with the ICM and discuss ramifications of decisions that are going to be made. Often our Regional Representative of the Americas joins us at the meeting. It is exciting to hear the news from across the planet and realize that midwives the world over are experiencing many of the same struggles and accomplishments we are here at home. It is interesting to see how other countries embrace midwifery and how a maternity care systems can actually work very well with midwives at the helm! It is inspiring to hear stories of midwives who build an organization while their country is in the throes of war. It can be very helpful to share strategies and resources to help one another build a strong united profession worldwide

International Confederation of Midwives Definition of a Midwife

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.

Scope of Practice

The midwife is recognised 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.

(This definition was revised and adopted in 2011)

Colleen Donovan-Batson, CNM, MS

Colleen Donovan-Batson, CNM, MS

Director of Health Policy and Advocacy
ICM section Chair

Colleen is a certified nurse midwife/women’s health nurse practitioner and midwifery activist with 25 years of maternal-child healthcare experience in home, hospital, and birth center settings, both nationally and internationally.

Marinah Valenzuela Farrell, LM, CPM

Marinah Valenzuela Farrell, LM, CPM

Senior Advisor, Division of Access and Equity

Politics and traditional medicine are what led Marinah to midwifery, and she has a firm commitment to both political activism and birth work.