RCM Scotland showcases varied role of midwives
The RCM in Scotland has released a new publication today (24 May) that highlights the breadth of roles of Scottish midwives.
The publication Midwifery in Scotland – into the 2020s shows how wide the role of the midwife is, including working in hospitals, in the community and the home and in urban and rural settings, in specialist roles and in education.
The aim is to highlight to policy makers and planners the vital contribution of midwives in areas such as promoting public health and reducing health inequalities when services for women and early years are being developed.
The booklet showcases a number of midwives working across a range of midwifery roles in Scotland, including perinatal mental health, home birth services and supporting vulnerable women.
It also outlines the challenges facing Scotland’s maternity services. These include the need for investment and the increasing midwifery staffing vacancies, along with an ageing workforce with many midwives approaching retirement.
There is also a lack of choice for women over where to give birth and many units are operating in outdated settings with outdated equipment.
RCM director for Scotland Mary Ross-Davie said: ‘When people think about midwives, very often they think about birth and a midwife assisting a woman as she gives birth to a newborn baby. This is a vital part of a midwife’s work, of course, but the role includes so much more.
‘Midwives make a huge contribution to improving the health of women and babies. But I think they can make an even bigger contribution if politicians and service planners think about them right at the start of improving and developing services for women and children in the early years.
Mary added that even though midwifery is one of the oldest professions it can and is making a real difference to women and babies now in the 21st century, and they can do even more.
She said: ‘There are also challenges and our maternity services need investment if they are going to be the best they can be and give everyone born in Scotland the best possible start in life.’
The publication will be available on the RCM website here.