The Council of delegates of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), meeting in Brisbane, Australia, July 18-21, reached agreement on a revised and updated version of the core document 'Definition of the Midwife'.
The revised document has five significant changes:
* there is new wording that emphasises the accountability and professional status of the midwife
* the midwifery partnership with women is specifically referred to for the first time
* the words 'the promotion of normal birth' are added to the description of midwifery care--this reflects the ICM's belief in the importance of a low-technology approach to care and midwives' concerns about rising rates of unnecessary intervention
* in the circumstance where the midwife detects complications in the woman or child, the document recommends the 'accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance'--this addition recognises that the mother or baby may need attention from a specialist outside the midwifery or medical field