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How to become a Midwife

midwife careers

What does a Midwife do?

Midwives care for and support pregnant women, their partners and babies, before, during and after the birth. Some midwives give pre-conception advice, however, they usually support the mother after pregnancy has been confirmed.

Their work includes: monitoring the health of the mother and baby with physical examinations and ultrasound scanners; counselling the mother on issues such as healthy eating or giving up smoking; and explaining the mother’s options, for example, regarding natural childbirth, pain controlling drugs, hospital or home delivery.

Midwives run antenatal and parenting classes which involves teaching expectant and new parents the essential skills needed to care for their baby. They look after the mother and baby during labour and birth, and for one month after the birth. They also advise on breast feeding.

What's the working environment like working as a Midwife?

Midwives in the NHS work 37.5 hours a week on a shift basis. This includes evenings, nights, weekends and bank holidays. Flexible and part-time working is likely to be available.

Midwives work in hospital maternity units, GP surgeries, health centres, clinics, and in the homes of patients.

Midwives working in some NHS trusts will split their time between working in the community and working in hospitals. In other trusts, midwives are rotated every six months between ante-natal, delivery, post-natal and community settings. Community midwives usually need a driving licence.

What does it take to become a Midwife?

To be a midwife, you should:

  • be able to relate to people from different backgrounds
  • be able to build up trust with women and their families and help mothers to feel confident and in control
  • be able to explain processes to people who have no medical knowledge
  • be able to stay calm in stressful circumstances
  • be able to make decisions and work on your own initiative
  • respect the mother’s wishes about how and where to have her baby unless it is dangerous to do so
  • have the knowledge and authority to call in extra help if needed
  • be flexible and adaptable.

Midwife Career Opportunities

The NHS is the largest employer of midwives, but there are some opportunities in private hospitals and clinics and in the armed forces. There are some opportunities to be self-employed and to practise independently in accordance with NMC guidelines.

There are opportunities to work overseas especially in developing countries.

Prospects for promotion are good; there are new midwife consultant posts at the top of the profession. There are also opportunities to move into education and training.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Midwife that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

England
NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850
Email: learning@nhscareers.nhs.uk

NHS Careers
PO Box 376
Bristol
BS99 3EY
Tel: 0845 606 0655
www.nhscareers.nhs.uk

Nursing and Midwifery Admissions Service (NMAS)
Rosehill
New Barn Lane
Cheltenham
Gloucestershire
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0870 112 2206 for general enquiries
Tel: 0870 112 2200 for application packs
www.nmas.ac.uk

Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS)
Rosehill
New Barn Lane
Cheltenham
Gloucestershire
GL52 3LZ
Tel: 0870 1122 211
www.ucas.ac.uk

NMC
23 Portland Place
London
W1B 1PZ
Tel: 020 7637 7181
Registration contacts
Overseas: 020 7333 6600
General: 020 7333 9333
www.nmc-uk.org

Scotland
NHS Education for Scotland
Careers Information Service
66 Rose Street
Edinburgh
EH2 2NN
Tel: 0131 225 4365
www.nes.scot.nhs.uk

Wales
Health Professions Wales
2nd Floor, Golate House
101 St Mary Street
Cardiff
CF10 1DX
Tel: 029 2026 1400
www.hpw.org.uk

Northern Ireland
Queens University of Belfast
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Medical Biology Centre
97 Lisburn Road
Belfast
BT9 7BL
Tel: 028 9097 2233
www.qub.ac.uk

University of Ulster at Jordanstown
School of Nursing
Shore Road
Newtownabbey
Co Antrim
BT37 0Q
Tel: 08700 400 700
www.ulster.ac.uk

Courses to help you become a Midwife