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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Wintec

It’s the International Day of the Midwife today, 5 May 2020 and Wintec is celebrating its midwifery students who will join a vital workforce.

Midwives are under the spotlight as 2020 is also the World Health Organisation’s International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Wintec Midwifery Team Manager Dr Ruth Martis says they have never been more important or highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic as ongoing seamless care for women, from midwives both in the community and in hospitals has continued. She says for midwifery students, the pandemic has meant challenges to their learning as work placements and face-to-face learning have changed to distance or online learning during Alert Level 3 and 4.

“The Wintec midwifery team got together –  virtually – and we compiled a montage of support images and sent this with a strong message of support to our midwifery students today,” says Martis who is part of the wider Centre for Health and Social Practice team at Wintec. They are training nurses, healthcare workers, counsellors and physiotherapists who are all facing new ways of learning, and a changing workplace because of COVID-19.

Babies continue to be born and their mother’s need ongoing support during a lockdown. An estimated 6,700 babies were born during Alert Level 4 and 3 in New Zealand (up to 5 May), requiring midwives to continue their work in the safest way possible.

“We are training our midwives to be strong, to be flexible and to be effective, whatever the situation,” says Martis.

“Like many health professionals they just get on and do what they need to do. Our midwives deserve acknowledgement for their commitment and dedication every day.”

Martis adds that midwifery-led maternity care in New Zealand is the best in the world for women and babies.

There are around 3,200 practising midwives in New Zealand, most providing maternity care to around 60,000 New Zealand women and their families each year and several hundred involved in other roles such as midwifery education and research.

The New Zealand College of Midwives released two videos today, one thanking midwives for the outstanding work they do every day (see here) and another celebrating the specialised work of midwives.