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Tallinn, ESTONIA –26 and 27 of September 2014

European Midwives Association (EMA)

Estonian Midwives Association (EÄÜ)

On the 26th and 27th of September 2014, the General Meeting of EMA (European Midwives Association) took place at Nordic Forum Hotel in Tallinn. The meeting was hosted by the Estonian Midwives Association. Midwives from 30 different midwifery associations across 25 European countries participated.

The meeting was opened by The Minister of Social Affairs of Estonia, Mr Urmas Kruuse. During his speech he said that midwives do an excellent job.

Mrs Pille Teesalu, President of the Estonian Midwives Association, welcomed the delegates to Tallinn. She gave an overview of the achievements of the association in improving maternity care and strengthening the midwifery profession in the years since 2007, when EMA first came to Estonia.

The President of EMA, Mervi Jokinen, thanked theEstonian Midwives Association for its efforts in organizing EMA’s General Meeting. 

EMA has supported Estonian midwives in the process of amending the legislation that regulates midwives and midwifery practice. Such legislative changes have allowed women to choose their place of birth and provided them with more options for the type of maternity care they can access. The role of the midwife is now fully recognized: their autonomy and their ability to practice idependently fulfilling the activities of the midwife as outlined in the EU Directive 2013/55/EU and in accordance with International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) core documents. The Estonian Midwives Association, in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs of Estonia, achieved the legal acts recognising the independence of midwifery care: antenatal care in 2010 and homebirth in August 2014.

The European Midwives Association strongly commends the current developements that have been attained by the Estonian Midwives Association in relation to midwifery in Estonia, in its role in strenghthening other midwifery associations and advocating for the development of midwifery education, practice and regulation in Europe. Estonia can be seen as a role model.

With many European midwives associations continuously struggling to realise these goals, sometimes succeeding, sometimes not. The European Midwives Association is convinced that midwives associations in Europe have to face together the challenges of the years to come.

Mervi Jokinen
European Midwives Association, president
Pille Teesalu
Estonian Midwives Association, president