International confederation of midwives.

The ICM core document 'The philosophy and model of midwifery care' was originally drafted by Nester Moyo, using ideas and sources from each ICM region, for discussion at the Vienna Council meeting, April 2002. Since then it has been revised and updated, and it achieved final consensus at the Brisbane Council in July this year. It will soon be available in full, under 'Core documents' on the ICM website

The Philosophy and Model of Midwifery Care


A midwife is a person who, having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational programme, duly recognised in the country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practise midwifery. The International Confederation of Midwives believes that a midwife offers care based on a philosophy, which influences the model of care. This document outlines the philosophy and describes the model of midwifery care.


As midwives we believe that:

  1. Childbearing is a profound experience, which carries significant meaning to the woman, her family and the community.

  2. Birth is a normal physiological process.

  3. Midwives are the most appropriate care providers to attend women during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period.

  4. Midwifery care empowers women to assume responsibility for their health and for the health of their families.

  5. Midwifery care takes place in partnership with women and is personalised, continuous and non-authoritarian.

  6. Midwifery care combines art and science. Midwifery care is holistic in nature, grounded in an understanding of the social, emotional, cultural, spiritual, psychological and physical experiences of women and based upon the best available evidence.

  7. Midwives have confidence and trust in, and respect for, women and their capabilities in childbirth.

  8. The woman is the primary decision-maker in her care and she has the right to information that enhances her decision-making abilities.

    As a result:

  9. Midwifery care promotes, protects and supports women's reproductive rights and respects ethnic and cultural...

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