French midwives on strike
The French midwive’s strike has been underway for two weeks. 70% of their maternities are on strike, and more and more community midwives are joining the movement.
In a press release the Société Francaise de Maieutique states that "Midwifery isn’t only about birth, it’s also about medical consultations during pregnancy, aftercare when mother and baby arrive home, postnatal consultations, gynaecological care and contraception, prevention and screening for pathological conditions".
The French midwives demand to be recognised as first-line practitioners and be integrated into the healthcare plans of all women, be they pregnant or not, in a direct and visible way, and have the same status as the other medical professions in their hospitals. they want to be recognised as hospital practitioners, not hospital civil servants as is currently the case.
Midwives want the autonomy and recognition that go with the responsibilities they already have. They are asking: "How can the French Ministry of Health even consider women’s health without midwives? If midwives are to remain invisible, they might as well disappear."
On the 7th November 2013, the midwives were not in the maternity units, or in their surgeries. They were in the street!