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our history

In 1985 the Independent Midwives Association (IMA) was formed with the aim of informing women that they could make choices around their birth.

The driving ethos in maternity care was a paternalistic, medical model; ‘evidence-based practice’ was a seldom used term, there was scant midwifery research and the parameters of ‘normal’ birth were unknown.

The organisation began to connect and support midwives working independently and enabled women to locate their nearest independent practitioner.

The IMA HQ was a tiny damp office in the back of a garage, the occupants of which included spiders spinning their webs while listening to the whirl of an answer phone taking messages from women seeking a midwife. As the association grew, so did its membership and the enquiries it received.

Nearly 30 years later we are Independent Midwives UK and we remain as dedicated to promoting and protecting autonomous midwifery and the rights of birthing women as we have ever been.


“The freedom to practice according to the Midwives’ rules made independent practice rewarding in a way that I had not felt as an employee.”


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