The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) supports, represents and works to strengthen professional associations of midwives throughout the world. There are currently 139 Members Associations, representing 119 countries across every continent. ICM is organised in six regions:
- Africa (Anglophone and Francophone)
- Americas (North America & Caribbean and Latin America)
- Western Pacific
- Eastern Mediterranean
- South East Asia
- Europe (Northern, Central and Southern)
Together these associations represent over 1 million midwives globally.
ICM is an accredited non-governmental organisation representing midwives and midwifery to organisations worldwide to achieve common goals in the care of mothers and newborns. ICM works closely with the WHO, UNFPA and other UN Agencies; global professional health care organisations including the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the International Pediatric Association (IPA), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), non-governmental organisations; bilateral and civil society groups.
Since the early 1900s, there were a variety of international meetings of midwives in Europe, with the exception of an eight-year gap (1914-1922) due to World War I. In 1922, the International Midwives Union (IMU) was created in Belgium, the forerunner of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and meetings of European midwives continued at uneven intervals, also affected by World War II. In 1954, the reconstituted IMU changed its name to ICM and appointed Marjorie Bays as the first Executive Secretary. The first Head Office was based in London. In 1999 the ICM Council decided to move the Head Office to The Hague, the Netherlands where it has been ever since.