Title: Professional Midwifery: Revolutionising Maternal Care in India
Speaker: Indie Kaur
Facilitators: Red Miller and Suman Lata
Research shows that midwife-led care reduces unnecessary interventions, and mothers go on to have better birth experiences. In 2011, Fernandez Hospital piloted an in-house professional midwifery education and training program when such a cadre did not exist in India. Unnecessary interventions like episiotomies and epidurals decreased, and women’s positive feedback increased yearly. Looking at this success, the Government of Telangana and UNICEF partnered with Fernandez Hospital to pilot midwifery training in its public hospitals.
These midwives created a paradigm shift in maternity care, helped increase normal births, and promoted respectful maternity care in the state’s public facilities. This led to the government investing in the need for separate training for midwives in India and launching ‘Guidelines on Midwifery Services’ in 2018. This was a historic moment for midwifery in the country, recognising the need for a separate professional training building on a strong cadre and rolling our midwifery care to women and new-born in the country.
The Foundation has since partnered with The Government of India and Telangana State with the support of The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF to train midwifery educators in India, strengthening midwifery services.