A definition that sets out the role and responsibilities of a midwife on an international level has been agreed by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM 2005). This organisation represents the professional status of midwives worldwide.
Definition of the Midwife
The word ‘midwife’ means ‘with woman’. A midwife is widely regarded to be a trained professional who assists women with pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. The role of the midwife is diverse and includes supporting women and their families, providing information about how to maintain healthy pregnancies and carrying out clinical examinations.
Midwifery is a distinct profession and the title ‘midwife’ is protected by law. This means that ‘midwife’ can only be used by those who hold a qualification in midwifery and are registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC).
Midwifery has historically been a female profession but there are an increasing number of male midwives in the UK. There are no gender or age restrictions and anyone can practice as a midwife as long as they have the appropriate training.
International Confederation of Midwives
The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is an international organisation that supports midwives across the world. The ICM has developed a definition of the midwife that is widely used by international organisations and professional bodies.
You can view the full definitions by clicking on the links below:
Click the links below for general information on midwifery, applying for courses and more.