Monday, June 20, 2011

State of World`s Midwifery UAE 2011

In order to promote the role of the midwife it is necessary to find out what the lay perception
is of the role. This  research surveyed women’s views United Arab Emirates (UAE) and
enabled the planning of a marketing strategy to promote midwifery. A semi-structured
questionnaire was distributed in English and Arabic during routine antenatal sessions. The
381 questionnaires that were returned were from women from 27 different nationalities all
planning to give birth in the UAE. The questionnaire consisted of 12 statements to which
respondents were asked to tick either ‘right’, ‘wrong’ or don’t know.

1.  If everything is normal, my baby will be delivered by a midwife
2.  There are no midwives in Dubai
3.  I would be happy for a midwife to deliver my baby
4.  A midwife is an expert in normal birth
5.  Only a doctor can deliver my baby
6.  A midwife is the same as a nurse
7.  A midwife can support me throughout my pregnancy
8.  A midwife can work without direct supervision from a doctor
9.  I would not be happy with just a midwife caring for me
10.  Midwives deliver babies
11.  My family would not be happy with only a midwife caring for me
12.  A midwife can support me with my choices about birth
13.  A midwife can prepare me for labour and my birth
14.  I was delivered by a midwife
15.  Doctors support midwives in caring for pregnant women
Key findings:
• 8 percent of women thought there were no midwives in the UAE and 54 percent
didn’t know.
• 50 percent thought that only a doctor could deliver a baby and 17 percent didn’t
know who could deliver a baby.
• 50 percent felt that their families would be unhappy if they only had midwifery
care, and a further 30 percent didn’t know.
It is clear the women do not know what a midwife is and many women think that they are
safer with care from a doctor. Based on the results of this research a marketing strategy has
been developed to promote the role of the midwife as the expert in normal birth and work
has begun both with the medical profession and women to improve the profile and status of
midwifery in the UAE.
Prepared by: Dr Grace Edwards, Corniche Hospital, Abu Dhab

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