School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa
Considerable efforts have been made to increase women’s access to quality midwifery care around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies midwives as ‘the most appropriate and cost effective healthcare professional to provide care in normal pregnancy and childbirth’ (WHO 2009). A growing body of evidence demonstrates that midwifery care is associated with more efficient use of resources and improved outcomes when provided by midwives who are educated, trained, licensed, and regulated. A recent Cochrane review revealed many benefits of midwifery care, including reduction in the use of regional analgesia, fewer episiotomies, fewer instrumental births, and women feeling more in control and involved in their birthing experience (Sandall et al 2016). However, previous research by one of the authors (GE) found that the role of the midwife in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was poorly understood with many women feeling that they were safer with care from a doctor (Edwards 2014, Edwards et al 2014).
This paper describes an initiative to reestablish the midwife as the expert in normality and create a supportive environment whereby midwives can practise to the full extent of their education and license within the government hospitals in Abu Dhabi.
MIDIRS Midwifery Digest
(2016). Empowering midwives in the United Arab Emirates. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest, 26(3), 387-390.
Available at: http://ecommons.aku.edu/eastafrica_fhs_sonam/87