Who We Are

radical midwives

The Association of Radical Midwives

We are midwives, student midwives and others committed to improving maternity services in the UK and internationally. We strongly believe that all women have the right to a service tailored closely to their needs, and a sympathetic attitude on the part of their professional attendants.

ARM provides support and information for those wishing to give or receive good sympathetic, personalised midwifery care. We are stakeholders in policy-making at local, national and international level and we’re involved with many campaigns and projects relating to midwifery and maternity care. We have contacts and local groups all around UK, as well as our overseas members.

We are a UK Registered Charity, No.1060525

Our Vision

is for autonomous, empowered midwives to be able to support women’s choices in childbirth. We believe that midwifery matters.

Our Mission

is to provide support, information, leadership and practical assistance for midwives, student midwives and others so that maternity services are woman-centred, compassionate and human-scaled.

Our Three Strategic Priorities

  • To grow and strengthen our feminist, non-hierarchical organisation thereby providing an exemplar of passion and compassion in practice that encourages and cares for its members and the wider community.
  • To take a leading role in campaigning for midwifery leadership in general and specifically for a new midwifery council in the UK.
  • To engage in a variety of activities at local, national and international level including groups, events, study days and conferences in order to reach communities relating to the fields of maternity services, maternity policy and midwifery education.


The Association of Radical Midwives (ARM) was formed in 1976 by a small group of student midwives from different training schools who were alarmed by the apparent trend towards maternity nurse status in their training. The acronym ‘ARM’ is a pun on the term ‘Artificial Rupture of Membranes’ which was routinely (over-) used at the time. Read our full history here.


  • To reestablish the confidence of the midwife in her own skills as an autonomous practitioner
  • To share ideals, skills and information
  • To provide support and care for midwives, other health professionals and maternity service users
  • To provide leadership in campaigns to further our vision
  • To encourage midwives in their support of women’s active participation in birth
  • To reaffirm the need for midwives to provide continuity of carer
  • To explore and support midwives in delivering alternative patterns of care
  • To encourage evaluation of developments in our field


The word ‘Radical’ is used in its literary meaning of relating to roots and origins, and best expresses the hope of that early group, that midwifery could find its way back to a position where midwives’ skills were used to the full, while still taking advantage of the benefits of modern technological advances, where these are seen to be in the best interests of the woman and her child. In other words, the hope that the true meaning of midwife (‘with woman’) will once more be realised in practice.

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