A midwife is a person who has successfully completed a midwifery education program that is 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 competence in the practice of midwifery*.
* ICM International Definition of the Midwife at http://www.internationalmidwives.org/who-we-are/policy-and-practice/icm-international-definition-of-the-midwife/
Scope of Practice
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, detection of complications in mother and child, accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance and carrying out of emergency measures.
The midwife has an important task in health counseling 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 practice in any setting including hospitals, home, community or clinics.