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Midwives in Focus: Surviving & Thriving in Midwifery

In this article Dr Sally Pezaro provides information and encourages us to be involved in an exciting global initiative for the Nursing Now Challenge.

As a midwife dedicated to the profession, I have always been keen to undertake big and bold projects which really make a global positive impact on what we do and who we are as midwives. Becoming an academic midwife has really enabled me to move forward in this task as I grow professionally in new and innovative ways as an evidence-based practitioner.

I have also been greatly enabled to raise the voice and profile of midwives through my role as the ‘Midwifery Champion’ for the Nursing Now Challenge, co-creating new and exciting programmes of work which champion investment in midwives across the globe. In this role, I work with a consortium of experts working hard to remain solutions (rather than problem) focused. Over the last few months, we have been working hard to bring together a new development…. ‘Midwives in Focus’!

Whilst you can read more about ‘Midwives in Focus’ here. The big idea falls largely under two workstreams:

1: Recruit and sustain a ‘Midwifery Workforce Alliance’ (inclusive of the six WHO regions) dedicated to the generation and application of evidenced-based responses to six cross-cutting themes to be informed by the  State of the World’s Midwifery report 2021 (SoWMy2021) and the WHO Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery (2021-2025).

2: Both the SoWMy2021 and the WHO Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery (2021-2025)  call for midwives to assume prominent positions in health and academia in order to create impact and role model for others. As such, this workstream seeks to place midwives from each of the six WHO regions in prominent secondment placements in health and academia to be further supported by mentorship and training opportunities. The impact of these prominent secondment placements will be evaluated by the ‘Midwifery Workforce Alliance’ and provide evidence to inform future workforce planning in this area.

This initiative is bold and ambitious. We cannot do it alone.

You can view the launch webinar for ‘Midwives in Focus’ here.

As part of this new initiative, we launched a new Midwives in Focus, Nursing Now Challenge Global Solutions Initiative (NNCGSI) in collaboration with Coventry University and Jhpiego. This challenged midwives globally to develop a functional solution to a known challenge faced by midwives today based on one of the four key recommendations in the State of the World’s Midwifery report. The challenge will run until 25th February 2022.

Winners of this challenge will receive…

  • $500 prize money
  • The opportunity to join the Midwives in Focus steering committee
  • Personalised coaching session with known leaders in the field

Click here for details about how to get involved.

It is time to shift the narrative. Our consortium of partners is looking to create a variety of constructive impacts and outputs to strengthen the voices of midwives in future. After all, the international day of the midwife (May 5th) will soon be upon us, and we have so much to do and say. We want to include YOU in that journey and invite you all to join in our planned activities as we move forward. We cannot do this alone.

❤️❤️❤️ February the 14th ❤️❤️❤️we want you to show your ❤️LOVE FOR MIDWIVES, MIDWIFERY AND THE ENTIRE PROFESSION❤️by joining us in our webinar entitled ‘Surviving and Thriving in Midwifery’

Click here to sign up to our ‘Surviving and Thriving in Midwifery’ webinar

During this webinar you will hear inspiring stories from midwives who have survived the trials and tribulations of being a part of the midwifery profession and then thrived in spite of them. This will be a strengths-based session where we will be motivated by ourselves and each other along with our successes and gains.

We will also invite your written contributions in relation to how you have personally survived and thrived in midwifery. This may be in relation to overcoming professional challenges, setting up new initiatives, whistleblowing activities, bullying, medical errors, legal challenges or anything else which challenged and tested you whilst in the end, provided you with the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Your contributions will be shared via a new book to be published and made available globally ‘Surviving and Thriving in Midwifery’ – Your contributions can remain anonymous as required.

Synopsis of our Book – ‘Surviving and Thriving in Midwifery’


“Midwifery as a profession has been highlighted as having particularly high levels of work-related psychological distress and many qualified midwives are leaving the profession creating additional pressure for those who remain. The quality and safety of perinatal care may be compromised if such work-related psychological distress and deficits remain unaddressed in midwives. This book is to be an evidence based and practical guide for both qualified and aspiring midwives around the world to survive and thrive professionally, psychologically, and socially in this rewarding role. Through promoting psychologically safe professional journeys for midwives the book will work towards retaining a much-needed skilled workforce and thus enhance the quality and safety of perinatal care. “

Please come along and contribute so that we can ensure that the voices of midwives from around the world 🌏 are heard!

We will also be inviting you to contribute to other data collection and creative arts-based activities as we explore midwives’ professional identity, what excellence in midwifery leadership looks like and how midwives may instantiate themselves as a professional group to enhance the perception of them around the whole world 🌏 …We plan to grow and share these outputs with you all as we move forward in this journey together.

For now, I look forward to meeting with you all in our webinars and in our online communities.

Dr Sally Pezaro PhD MSc BA (Hons) PgCAPHE FRCM SFHEA RM 

Coventry University

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Twitter: @SallyPezaro @NursingNow2020