Lancet series on Midwifery – getting the message out

May and June 2014 were frantic months. The Lancet series was in its final stages and so was the big report on State of the World’s Midwifery 2014 . The final preparations for the ICM Triennial Conference in Prague were underway, so launch sessions and workshops were being finalized left, right and centre.Petra 2

One of the fun sessions we were allowed to put together was a public interview for the Lancet series author team, where we prepared questions about the series that we answered on stage. They call it the World Economic Forum set-up, because they use it a lot and it’s nice and different from the traditional panel session.

So the room was filling, the seats were up, we all had water, the lights went down and Jim Campbell started the session. It was really exciting to be able to talk about the series in public for the first time. Especially since we’d been working on it for more than 3 years already. And we knew that the launch would take place 3 weeks later. We had all prepared our piece and had some fun ‘back-and-forths’ amongst ourselves and with the room. It was packed, and people lots of questions. About the way the series was developed, about what it says, about the new standard it sets for midwifery, about why this is important and how this translates into the reality of every day midwifery care.

The energy in the room was great and the number of tweets enormous. It was the first step into getting the word out and getting this vital action for women and families into the public domain. We’d worked with Mari Tikkanen and Charlotta Liukas from M4ID on our website, which looked fabulous, and the Twitter details” @midwiferyaction and #lancetmidwifery Petra 1.  The website is now filled with our series papers, the series illustrations, and photos and videos from the launch event on 23 June. The series has been translated into French and Dutch and those versions will soon be posted there too.

So as we start on this wonderful Midwives4All (M4A) adventure to put our message for quality care for women and newborn out wider and wider, please use the series hashtag: @midwiferyaction, and checkout the website. We look forward to hearing the roar that midwives, women and others are going to make through M4A in the push for midwifery care for all.


–Petra ten-Hoope Bender
Director ICS Integrare and author of the Lancet series on midwifery