Teja Skodic Zaksek is a young midwifery leader, nominated as such by the ICM, is the founder and now president of the Balkan Association of Midwives. She was previously the head of the only midwifery course department in Slovenia. Teja gathered midwives from four Balkan countries representing three different religions, to successfully collaborate and work for women’s health optimization for the first time in history. She is the only midwife holding a Ph.D. in midwifery in the region, and she works as an independent midwife. Teja works to disseminate knowledge to all the midwives in Balkan countries and elevate the voices of midwives as independent researchers and practitioners. She also works to create bonds between doulas and midwives and collaborates fruitfully with B-Doula and the newly found Balkan Association of Independent Doulas. As an independent midwife, Teja has served more than 2800 women with their births. She has additionally written several academic pieces. Over the years she continues to champion midwifery despite authorities’ attempts to diminish independent midwifery within the country. During COVID-19, Teja has ensured homebirth services for women in three different countries despite difficulty accessing the areas.
*Teja Skodic Zaksek not pictured. PHOTO CREDIT: Adara