3500 midwives needed ! Get knitting ! This campaign has now ended – a huge thank you to everyone who helped us knit almost 500 midwives. Watch out for photos and a full update soon.


The Royal College of Midwives has highlighted that the UK is still short of 3500 midwives.  This is an update to the published report here.  The update to the report can be seen here. Whilst this is an improvement on the 5000 midwives needed three years ago, this chronic shortage adds to the pressures that midwives are facing every day in their working environment.  Additionally there is a ‘retirement time bomb’ as over a third of the current midwifery workforce is aged 50 or over.

This ‘knit a midwife’ project was inspired by a Twitter feed:

twitterfeed knittedmws

How can I help?

The challenge  is to create 3500 knitted midwives and we are hoping you can help. We know there are a lot of knitters/crocheters creative folk out there!  The aim is to provide a display of the knitted midwives at the RCM conference in Harrogate on October 19th and 20th 2016 to demonstrate what this shortage looks like.  This display will act as the voice of those who made them.

Please help us knit 3500 midwives to help us build this display.  If you would prefer to crochet we have that option too. Tell us why you created the midwife, it may be that you just love knitting or that the doll represents a special midwife you know. What does the doll mean to you?  Tell us about you, are you a midwife? A student? A mother?

Here’s the first one.

knitted midwife

Knitted midwife number one!

“I’m Lindsay, a Midwife Lecturer and Supervisor of Midwives. I’ve given birth to 3 children and had wonderful midwives each time.  I knitted this midwife to represent every midwife I know who works very hard to make a positive difference to every woman or student midwife they meet.”

Where are the instructions for making my midwife?

The pattern provided here is for a basic doll. Wee Folk Art have kindly given permission to use this pattern and you can personalise it as you wish. It is especially ideal for beginners.  Please knit the 10″ doll using 3.75mm (size 9) needles.  The doll will be about 9″ tall.  If you prefer to crochet, then here is one you can use, again with kind permission from Amy’s Gurumis

How do I personalise my midwife?

Instructions and ideas for personalising your midwife can be found here.

What do I do with my midwife once it’s finished ?

Please send finished midwives to the address on the about page.  They will be looked after very carefully until they are displayed at the Conference and in October will be cherished whilst on display.

We would love to see photos of your finished midwife.  You can share them on our Twitter feed @knittedmidwife or our Facebook page Knit a Midwife Campaign.   Use the #knitamidwife You could even add a placard or a sentence about you and your knitted midwife.

Here’s our photo gallery

Please note we are unable to return knitted midwives.

What will happen at the Conference?

Anyone who attends the conference will be offered the chance to complete a questionnaire on the impact of seeing them and what it means to them. What difference would it make to them if the midwives were real?

We will use any information provided about your knitted midwife  to create a story about the knitters and why they have knitted them. Anything you tell us will be completely confidential and no personal details will ever be disclosed. The questionnaires from the conference will be used to explore feelings engendered by the impact of the display.  We will write about it afterwards.

What will happen to the knitted midwives after the conference?

At the end of the conference the knitted midwives will be available to anyone who would like one in return for a donation in aid of the RCM benevolent fund.  We are unable to return any midwives to knitters.


A deflated midwife trying to smile.

Looking forward to meeting all the knitted midwives!

Please share widely and tell all your friends.


Author: knittedmidwife

I am a Midwifery Lecturer and a Supervisor Of Midwives and live in Yorkshire, land of rolling hills and home of the wool mills.

2 thoughts on “3500 midwives needed ! Get knitting ! This campaign has now ended – a huge thank you to everyone who helped us knit almost 500 midwives. Watch out for photos and a full update soon.”

    1. Yes, of course, this page is currently in the making, like the knitted midwives. I hope to get it published in the next 48hours. Thank you.
      The page is now completed. Happy knitting!


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