'Motivation for our work is the health and well-being of women and families in Central Europe': ICM Board member Andrea Stiefel writes about the midwives' associations and recent advances for midwifery in 'Central Europe--an active region within ICM'.
In January 2005 the former Central European Region held a Pan-European meeting (see IM March/April 2005; p 16-17) to prepare for the Brisbane Congress and to discuss a new structure for the European regions. Our proposal of three instead of live regions was adopted in Council and on February 18, 2006, our first Central European Meeting was opened in the Vivantes Klinikum Berlin Neukolln by Andrea Stiefel from BDH BDH Big Damn Hero (characters in TV show Firefly/Serenity)
BDH Brusthöhendurchmesser (German: Chest High Diameter, Forestry)
BDH Bund Deutscher Haarformer EV e.V. (German Midwives Association), who was elected a Board member at the Brisbane Council.
Of 18 member associations in the region, 15 sent delegates to work on an action plan for the Triennium tri·en·ni·um
n. pl. tri·en·ni·ums or tri·en·ni·a
A period of three years.
[Latin : tri-, tri- + annus, year; see at- in Indo-European roots. . Member associations from Poland, Hungary and Romania did not respond to the invitation, but we will strengthen efforts to contact and keep the associations informed. We also have to clarify whether the midwives from Israel or the Lebanon want to belong to our region. Political influences make it difficult for them to stay in the Mediterranean region together.
Our two days were filled with ICM ICM Intercom
ICM Integrated Crop Management
ICM International Congress of Mathematicians
ICM Information Classification and Management
ICM Intelligent Contact Management (Cisco)
ICM International Creative Management business and strategic development. The most interesting part were the country reports. We learned a great deal about the policy within our member associations and how to address future needs for midwives, women and families in our countries. Although we come from countries with a diversity of health care systems, we understood the common issues and we recognised the vital importance of networking. Central Europe Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. In addition, Northern, Southern and Southeastern Europe may variously delimit or overlap into Central Europe. has a tradition of strong associations and we would like to highlight a few of our activities, developments and future plans.
Austria: The President of Osterreichisches Hebammen Gremium, Renate Grossbichler-Ulrich and Maria Spernbauer, former ICM President, informed us that in 2005 Austria established education for midwives at tertiary level. Future plans include: a higher salary for midwives especially when they have a higher qualification; paid consultations during pregnancy and access to primary midwife care for pregnant women; negotiating a new contract with health insurers.
Belgium: Serena Debonnet reported that midwives in Belgium have been very active since they celebrated the 10th anniversary of Vlaamse Organisatie van Vroedvrouwen in 2004. Special groups work on issues such as: basic and ongoing midwifery midwifery (mĭd`wī'fərē), art of assisting at childbirth. The term midwife for centuries referred to a woman who was an overseer during the process of delivery. In ancient Greece and Rome, these women had some formal training. education; independent midwifery; scientific research; childbirth education; profile of midwifery in society; and the midwifery magazine. Each group has a coordinator, who is also a member of the Board. As well as many achievements, the Belgium midwives have numerous items on their agenda for the future, including: prescription rights for midwives; midwifery competencies; bachelor's and master's degrees in education; and strengthening co-operation with other professional groups and consumer groups.
Bosnia-Herzegovina: We welcomed our colleague Adisa Hotic for the first time since the Association of Midwives of Bosnia Herzegovinia joined ICM. Adisa and her colleagues have organised training programmes and workshops for 140 midwives and nurses on 'Supportive care in pregnancy and childbirth'; some also qualified as a trainers. They aim to get accreditation for the programme by the Ministry of Health. Adisa has also organised a round table conference to promote breastfeeding. Among future plans are: basic and ongoing education workshops for 2006; presentation of the programme in public together with representatives from the Ministry of Health; strengthening the midwifery association; and a national conference with international speakers from Europe.
A particular aim is to strengthen the FENIX-Centre for the numerous women and families who still suffer from war trauma: this is a place where people listen to them and their needs. Adisa and her friends offer services such as social support, food supply, a club for mothers, a children's play group and the FENIX gardening project.
Croatia: Barbara Finderle, Vice President, informed us that the Croatian Association of Midwives is facing a hard time because of lack of money and many midwives leaving the association. Some were forced by their employers to join the Chamber of Nursing and could not afford membership of two associations. Despite these problems, the Croatian midwives held a symposium in April and have plans for the future: an event called 'Your midwife is remembered all your life' will be organised in co-operation with the Association of Parents to inform the public and media about the importance of midwifery; and in October, during the Croatian Perinatal Days, there will be a workshop about alternative birthing Noun 1. alternative birthing - a method of childbirth that avoids intrusive high-tech medicine in favor of more natural and homely settings
alternative birth methods. They also aim to improve their midwifery journal.
Czech Republic: Zuzana Stromerova wrote in her report that the former Czech Association of Midwives is reorganised, has a new name--the Czech Confederation of Midwives (CKPA)--and a new president, Vera Vranova. Stabilisation of the Confederation, politically and financially, is the first aim, as well as gaining recognition of an autonomous midwifery profession, with midwives working in primary care. The European Perinatal Conference is to be held May 24-27 in Prague with a programme for midwives; Czech midwives look forward to meeting colleagues from all over the world.
Germany: A new President of BDH, Helga Albrecht, was introduced, together with new delegate Ute Lange. Susanne Ratz described concerns about the education of midwives. Expert groups are working on plans for tertiary level midwifery education, but the progress is slow, due to lack of money and minimal support from the government. Despite this, BDH is trying to implement a quality management system for midwifery schools. A pilot project with seven schools will start soon under supervision of either a university or a professional advisory group. On May 5, International Day of the Midwife, BDH will launch an expert hearing and will present a blueprint of the situation of midwifery in Germany, called 'Geburtshilfe neu denken'. This will be a milestone towards professionalism.
Gisela Carreras of BfHD (Association of Independent Midwives of Germany) also introduced a new President, Susanne Schafer. In 2005 BfHD organised a very successful two-day conference called 'Homebirth Days'. BfHD also supports the report about midwifery in Germany. A prenatal care prenatal care,
n the health care provided the mother and fetus before childbirth. conference in Frankfurt is among future plans, as is work on a liability insurance contract for out-of-hospital birth.
Ireland." Rhona O'Connell from the Midwives Association of Ireland sent apologies, but Deirdre Daly and Mary Higgins (Midwives Section, Irish Nurses Organisation The Irish Nurses Organisation was founded in 1919. It is the largest Irish professional union for nurses and midwives with 35,000 members. See also
The Netherlands: Greta Rijninks-van Driel, newly elected Vice President of the Royal Dutch Organisation of Midwives (KNOV KNOV Koninklijke Nederlandse Organisatie van Verloskundigen (Dutch) ) and Marian van Huis, former President, highlighted the emphasis on a market system and competition within the Dutch health service. Continuing activities are: empowering midwifery by strengthening the role as primary care gate-keeper and co-operation with other health professionals; quality management; and quality systems for midwifery practices. They also discussed broadening of midwives' role to include prenatal screening, external cephalic version external cephalic version Obstetrics A procedure that externally rotates the fetus from a breech position to a vertex presentation. See Emergency C-section. and preconceptional consultations. Topics related to professional development are installation of a quality register; co-operation to improve perinatal registration of obstetrical obstetrical, obstetric
pertaining to or emanating from obstetrics.
an anesthetic procedure designed especially for patients undergoing cesarean operation or intrauterine manipulation of the fetus. data; and a new MSc in midwifery.
Slovenia: Anita Prelec, Vice President of the Nurse and Midwifery Association of Slovenia, Section of Midwives also told of a very active year in 2005. In October midwives implemented an important document with new competencies for midwives, in accordance with changes in midwifery education, based on EU directives. The midwifery section established a website in October 2005 (www.sekcija-babic.si) and organised the ICM Young Midwifery Leaders Workshop in March 2006 combined with the National Conference. For the future the work is currently focused on gaining competencies for midwives in antenatal an·te·na·tal
before parturition. Called also prenatal, antepartal. and postnatal postnatal /post·na·tal/ (-na´t'l) occurring after birth, with reference to the newborn.
Of or occurring after birth, especially in the period immediately after birth. care.
Switzerland: Jocelyne Bonnet from Francophone Switzerland could not attend, but Zuzka Hofstetter reported from the Swiss Federation of Midwives who are busy with many projects. From 2008 two universities at Bern and Winterthur will offer tertiary level programmes in midwifery education. By 2012 all new midwives will have a higher education degree. A media campaign by Swiss midwives has raised public awareness concerning the increase of Caesarean section caesarean section: see cesarean section. rates. In 2005 Switzerland started a data collection from all independent working midwives. SHV SHV Shareholder Value
SHV Standard High Volume
SHV Steenkolen Handels Vereeniging
SHV Shreveport, LA, USA - Regional Airport (Airport Code)
SHV Sport Horse Versatility
SHV Supersonic/Hypersonic Vehicle
SHV Super Hybrid Vehicle also published a position statement concerning doulas, as they believe that in Switzerland the work of a doula dou·la
A woman who assists another woman during labor and provides support to her, the infant, and the family after childbirth. is not meeting the needs of childbearing women. Midwives are working for government acceptance of birth centres, prescription rights and payment for complementary therapy.
United Kingdom: Four UK organisations participated. The Royal College of Midwives (RCM RCM Reliability-Centered Maintenance
RCM Royal College of Music
RCM Royal Conservatory of Music
RCM Royal Canadian Mint
RCM Reliability Centered Maintenance
RCM Revenue Cycle Management
RCM Regional Climate Model
RCM Ring-Closing Metathesis ) was represented by Karlene Davis, Frances Day-Stirk, Maggie Elliott and Ruth Clark. They focused on the three issues identified in Brisbane--normality of birth, recruitment and retention, and education of midwives. Health ministers have been lobbied on recruitment and retention of midwives, with a student hardship campaign to achieve a bursary bur·sa·ry
n. pl. bur·sa·ries
1. A treasury, especially of a public institution or religious order.
2. Chiefly British A scholarship granted to a university student in need. for students in order to stem the attrition rate. RCM organised a 'midwifery week' May 1-7, around the IDM (1) See identity management.
(2) (Integrated Device Manufacturer) A company that performs every step of the chip-making process, including design, manufacture, test and packaging. Examples of IDMs are Intel, AMD, Motorola, IBM, TI and Lucent. , to raise the profile of midwifery. Activities for the week included a joint conference with RCN RCN n abbr (= Royal Canadian Navy) → kanadische Marine , Voluntary Service Overseas and Medecins Sans Frontieres.
From the Association of Radical Midwives The Association of Radical Midwives (ARM) is a UK Organisation for Midwives, Doulas, Mothers, and anyone concerned with the health of maternity services.
ARM was created in 1976, and is a registered charity. (ARM), Pam Dorling informed us that ARM has contributed to a wide range of consultations and is active on bodies including the Maternity Care Working Party, Breastfeeding Law Group and EMA. One project was thought by all of us to be a brilliant idea! ARM has a festival tent and travels to festivals like Glastonbury and The Big Chill to offer a space for women to relax or get a massage. This is a very communicative way to get in contact with women and promote midwifery.
The Association of Supervisors of Midwives (ASM (1) (Association for Systems Management) An international membership organization based in Cleveland, Ohio. Founded in 1947 and disbanded in 1996, it sponsored conferences in all phases of administrative systems and management. ) was represented by Sandra Arthur, President. Sandra told us that currently membership is declining, which may become a problem. ASM is involved in many activities, especially work with the Nursing and Midwifery Council The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) is the UK regulator for two professions, Nursing and Midwifery.
It does this through maintaining a register of all nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses eligible to practise within the UK and by setting and has been invited to join the preparations for the ICM Glasgow Congress 2008. In April the Annual General Meeting was held and the annual journal was published in February 2006.
The report from the Royal College of Nursing The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is a membership organisation with over 395,000 members in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1916, receiving its Royal Charter in 1928, Queen Elizabeth II is the patron. (RCN) Midwifery Society was given by Carolyn Basak, Midwifery and Women's Health Women's Health Definition
Women's health is the effect of gender on disease and health that encompasses a broad range of biological and psychosocial issues. Adviser, and Donna Kirwan, who focused on activities of: stopping violence against women; helping vulnerable women; and promotion of diversity awareness in midwifery. The RCN Midwifery Society published an excellent paper in April about female genital mutilation female genital mutilation: see circumcision. to bring this to the attention of the public and health care professionals.In September 2005 the RCN Midwifery Society joined the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, the new global health partnership.
I would like to thank the midwives from our region for their active participation, enthusiasm and warm atmosphere at our meeting. Motivation for our work is the health and wellbeing of women, children and families in Central Europe and worldwide. In the long term we will continue until every woman in childbirth has access to a midwife.