Birmingham nurse-midwife speaks on world midwife shortage

The World Health Organization says there's a worldwide midwife shortage.
The World Health Organization says there's a worldwide midwife shortage.(WBRC)
Published: May. 22, 2022 at 8:49 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The lives of women and newborns are lost every day across the globe, and the World Health Organization says 4.3 million lives could be saved a year if health departments would fully invest in training midwives by 2035.

For years, Alabama’s infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate have been some of the worst in the country.

Dr. Sheron Holley has worked as a certified nurse-midwife for around 25 years. She’s currently the director of UAB’s nurse-midwifery pathway.

Right now in our state, there are only 23 active CNMs, according to the Alabama Board of Nursing.

While Dr. Sheron wants to see this number grow, she says we need more general midwives too.

According to WHO, there is a shortage of 900,000 midwives across the world.

Dr. Holley believes Alabama could be in the forefront of fixing the global problem.

“If we had enough midwives, if we could fill those 900,000 slots around the world, there would be a decrease in over 80% of maternal deaths,” she said.

UAB is relaunching its nurse-midwifery program this fall and right now, the department is searching for it’s first class of five students. If you want to learn more about the nurse-midwifery pathway, you can register for the virtual open house on July 28 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


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