Posted on May 06, 2018

During a day-long education and celebratory event held on Thursday, 3 May, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) reaffirmed its commitment to providing evidence-based maternal and neonatal care for women and their families.

Over 250 nurses, midwives, and special guests assembled at HMC’s Bayt Al Dhiyafah for a series of lectures focused on the continuing professional development of this specialist health profession. The role of midwives as autonomous healthcare providers who can care directly for women and their newborns and also ensure the timely identification of women who would benefit from physician-led care was highlighted.

Dr. Nicola Ryley, Chief Nursing Officer at HMC explained how a strong midwifery service is essential to the ongoing success of the organization’s Corporate Nursing and Midwifery Strategy: “Midwives are essential to providing quality, respectful maternal and newborn care. They are instrumental in providing women and their families with valuable education concerning immediate and future maternal and infant health considerations. They can prevent and manage many complications of pregnancy and birth and play a crucial role in supporting maternal and child-related healthcare,” said Dr. Ryley.

She added that over 1585 registered midwives are currently providing maternal and neonatal care at the Women’s Hospital, Women’s Wellness and Research Center, and Al Wakra, Al Khor, and The Cuban Hospitals. “The Nursing and Midwifery Executive Committee decided to mark the International Day of the Midwife with a combination of educational and fun activities as we celebrate the leadership and quality of care that midwives contribute to the miracle of birth. Midwifery is evidence-based and plays a vital role in meeting the challenges of providing high-quality maternal and newborn care for all women and newborn infants around the world. This is increasingly so in Qatar; 25,186 babies were born in 2017 across HMC’s facilities and midwives played a supporting role in many of those births,” added Dr. Ryley.

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Sister Haila Salim, Executive Director of Nursing at the Women’s Wellness and Research Center says the midwifery profession has had a long and important history in the Middle East. “Historically midwifery has been practiced in the pre-modern Arab world, and it has been revered as a noble profession. There is considerable evidence that demonstrates the benefit that an experienced midwife can bring to the life of the mother, her child, and the new family unit. We ensure that our midwives are trained according to the highest standards and bring their training, expertise, and compassion to each new mother and family she works with,” said Ms. Salim.

Ms. Salim added that HMC’s registered midwives have helped thousands of mothers give birth, working closely with physicians in the obstetric team to offer a holistic and safe model of maternal care. “We encourage more young nurses, and those looking for a career in maternity care, to go into this important field and complete the relevant training that will enable them to support women and families during this life-changing event,” said Ms. Salim. HMC formally introduced midwives as part of its multi-disciplinary approach to maternal care in 2015, following the establishment by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners (QCHP) of a competency framework that regulates midwifery practice in Qatar.

May 5 is the internationally recognized day for highlighting the work of midwives. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) is an organization that supports, represents, and works to strengthen professional associations of midwives throughout the world. The International Day of the Midwife was launched in 1992.