100 Years of Midwifery Regulation in Ireland

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NMBI Midwifery Regulation Conference

To mark 100 years of Midwifery Regulation in Ireland, NMBI hosted a national conference to celebrate the regulation and development of the midwifery profession.

The conference was held in Thomas Prior Hall, Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 on Thursday 22 November 2018.

The President of the NMBI, Essene Cassidy opened the conference and chaired the first panel. The keynote for the session was Breedagh Hughes, RCM Northern Ireland Regional Officer (retired). Topics included a history of midwifery regulation, what constitutes good regulation, a lawyer’s view and resilience and professional wellbeing. 

This was followed by a panel session on the development of the profession of midwifery, which covered the politics of midwifery regulation, women’s views regarding mental health in the perinatal period, interventions to support breastfeeding and asked if neonatal units are providing culturally sensitive care to infants. 

Dr Sally Pairman, CEO of the International Confederation of Midwives told the conference that “midwives need to reclaim midwifery for midwives”.  She said “midwives need to be at the table, not on the menu” when it comes to making decisions about health policy and maternity services.
She said three points in particular need to be used to make the case for midwifery and the funding of midwifery to Ministers for Health, politicians and policy makers.

  • When educated to international standards and within a fully functional health system, midwives can provide 87% of the essential care for women and newborns.
  • Midwives have the potential to reduce maternal and newborn mortality by two thirds.
  • The Lancet Health Series has stated that even a 25% increase in midwifery in developing countries would result in a 50% reduction in maternal deaths.

The main panel discussion of the day was chaired by the journalist Kathy Sheridan of the Irish Times.

The final session was chaired by Dr Denise Lawlor, Chair of the NMBI Midwives Committee and included student reflections on midwifery. (They are pictured on the right with the NMBI Interim CEO Dawn Johnson, Minister for Health Mr Simon Harris and the NMBI President, Essene Cassidy.)

The keynote ‘The next 100 years of midwifery in Ireland’ was given by Professor Cecily Begley.

Powerpoint presentations are available through the below links:

To download the full conference programme: please click here.

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