The International Day of the Midwife was conceived May 5th 1987 at the International Confederation of Midwives annual conference in The Netherlands and has since been observed in over 50 nations around the world.
There is a tremendous global need for midwives. In developing countries, more than one-third of the births take place without any health worker present. In sub-Saharan Africa, the mother mortality rate is 920 deaths per 100,000 deliveries. In developed countries, it is just 20.
The United States is slowly becoming more accepting of midwives, but obstetricians still deliver 90% of the babies. In Europe, on the other hand, midwives are the norm. In England, they say, Every mother deserves a midwife, and some need an obstetrician too.