Midwives Matter: Spotlight on Victoria Melhado

Victoria Melhado

Victoria Melhado is a midwife in Jamaica. She attended ICM 2014 as one of the six Ipas Young Midwife Contest winners—recognized for her poem, “We are midwives.” Melhado draws comparisons to midwives and the Christian story of the Samaritan. “Certainly the Samaritan has a religious inference but I see it as this, women come to us with expectations that we be there for them; that we not turn a blind eye to them and the decision they are making about whether to carry a child or not. Every individual has their own story. We have to be compassionate, competent and objective.” In her work, she says, she has seen “so many stories—many heartbreaking; women who have been raped or abused or who have been walked out on.” In Jamaica, the law restricts abortion so Melhado explains that often times providers like her are caught in an ethical dilemma when women come to them with unintended pregnancies.

“But as a midwife and as an advocate, I believe that [she] must be given the opportunity and the right to decide.”