Each year, approximately 4 million babies are born in the United States, and more than 325,000 of those are attended by a midwife. The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) will join in the nationwide celebration of Nurse Midwifery Week, October 3-9 by honoring students and faculty who have dedicated themselves to promoting safe and healthy child births.
This year Midwifery Week occurs in the wake of a bold initiative set forth by the United Nations' Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health titled "Every Woman, Every Child," which was officially launched on September 22. Jordan and JHUSON Dean Martha N. Hill attended the UN summit in New York City to learn more about the government and corporate support of "Every Woman, Every Child" which is expected to exceed $40 billion over the next five years. With this financial and governmental support, the UN sets out to improve world-wide healthcare for women and children.
"Midwives play an important role in assisting mothers during the birthing process," said JHUSON assistant professor Elizabeth Betty Jordan. "Our students and faculty play that key role all over the world, and this week is an opportunity to formally recognize their efforts and contributions." Jordan is also co-director of the School's Birth Companions Program, which provides nursing students with an innovative opportunity to learn labor support skills in a community-based setting while gaining a proactive perspective on childcare and women's choices in labor.
Throughout the week, different midwifery themes will be highlighted: International Midwifery, Educating Pregnant Women, Careers in Midwifery, and the Future of Midwifery. The highlight of Midwifery Week will be a panel presentation, "Career Paths of Certified Nurse Midwives: Policy, Practice, and Other Possibilities," on October 6 at 12:30 pm featuring midwifery experts from Hopkins, Shenandoah University, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives.