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.
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.
To be a midwife, you should:
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.
If you would like to know anything about Midwife that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Nursing and Midwifery Admissions Service (NMAS)
New Barn Lane
Tel: 0870 112 2206 for general enquiries
Tel: 0870 112 2200 for application packs
Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS)
New Barn Lane
Tel: 0870 1122 211
23 Portland Place
Tel: 020 7637 7181
Overseas: 020 7333 6600
General: 020 7333 9333
NHS Education for Scotland
Careers Information Service
66 Rose Street
Tel: 0131 225 4365
Health Professions Wales
2nd Floor, Golate House
101 St Mary Street
Tel: 029 2026 1400
Queens University of Belfast
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Medical Biology Centre
97 Lisburn Road
Tel: 028 9097 2233
University of Ulster at Jordanstown
School of Nursing
Tel: 08700 400 700