Midwives have had a major presence in the Chilean Health System since 1834, just a few years after the country’s independence from Spain. Since then, the professionalization and expertise achieved by professional midwives has resulted in considerable improvement in women’s sexual and reproductive health.
Today, the maternal Mortality Ratio is rated the second lowest in the Americas (16 deaths per 100,000 live births), and midwives take care of virtually all deliveries in the public system, in both rural and urban women’s health care units (99.8%). Such figures have been attained after many years of hard work; and, as a consequence, these days midwives not only participate in the care of the women and newborns, but also in the design of public policies, in ministries, the congress, governmental and non-governmental institutions, public and private agencies, and the International Confederation of Midwives. It is interesting to observe the evolution of midwifery in Chile, as the Chilean experience can serve as an inspiration to other states where the professional practice of midwifery does not have an appropriate status.
Lillo, E, Oyarzo, S, Carroza, J, & Román, A. Midwifery in Chile - A Successful Experience to Improve Women´s Sexual and Reproductive Health: Facilitators & Challenges. Journal of Asian Midwives. 2016;3(1):63–69.