IDM 2021 – it’s in everything we do

By Rae Trotter, Senior Organiser Learning and Duncan Mirams, Organiser of the South on 12 May 2021 Caring For You campaign Race matters Pay IDM - International Day of the Midwife

On 5 May we celebrated International Day of the Midwife (IDM), which has always been a big occasion for the RCM. IDM is our chance to celebrate the best vocation in the world, but we also get to give thanks, show appreciation and celebrate our branches and colleagues too. IDM is the one day where we can expect to see the love and care our members, midwives and maternity staff put into their work be given back to them in one kind way or another. We could say that this year was no exception, but it really was – and for all the right reasons.

Among all the wonderful gift bags, goodies, games and raffles were some excellent examples of how to spend branch funds. We saw virtual events with guest speakers from the RCM, mindfulness areas were opened, planting competitions, a virtual talk on how to optimise maternity data, lots of fabulous award ceremonies and some great fundraising projects, including working collaboratively with other branches to raise money for UNICEF – the list really does go on and on and on!

We were especially thrilled to see our branches bring current campaigns and initiatives into the fold this year and keep them a part of the conversation. We saw our Deliver a Decent Deal pay campaign stickers and badges splashed across goodies, including hand sanitisers tubes and tote bags. Our Race Matters initiative was present in virtual sessions on workplace culture and where branches celebrated workplace diversity with dishes from different heritages. Not forgetting the countless ways Caring for You made an appearance.

When we list all this year’s activity, it is a bittersweet moment for us organisers and RCM staff. You might have got us over zoom or on the phone, but we were still sad to not be with you in person. Usually, we’d be loading up our bags with IDM gear and out visiting you all with presentations prepared and trollies poised for dashing. For this year and the last, all of our activists, our workplace representatives, have taken on IDM. We are so grateful to all the activists that pulled their efforts, finding the time in their demanding jobs and roles to bring members some much needed love. We are so proud to have such a strong force of caring advocates in RCM branches.

IDM is very much in everything we do. Early shifts, late nights, poor breaks, aching feet, good days, bad days, happy moments and the sad ones too, every day is the day of the midwife. As your union and professional body, it is in our advocacy and influence at local, national and international levels and it is in all our guidance, statements and resources.

We can’t celebrate all the time, but we can focus that same energy and love for maternity, with the branch funds available, on what is important in the everyday – our campaigns, our ongoing learning and research, our Caring for You and Race Matters work and the very prominent pay campaigns in England and Scotland. We can feed that same energy into all the collaborative work we do to ultimately improve services and maternity experience for staff and for the women and families in maternity care.

We’re always looking to recruit new activists and if you think organising and advocating for midwives and maternity support workers is something you would like to get into, find out more here.