What does a midwife do?
Before a birth, your work could typically include:
- explaining options like giving birth in hospital or at home
- running classes about pregnancy (antenatal) and parenting
- checking the health of mother and baby during pregnancy
- checking progress when labour starts
- monitoring the baby during labour
- giving pain relief or advising on ways to manage pain
- delivering the baby
- calling a doctor if you notice any problems
After the baby's born, you'll:
- give advice to families on caring for their baby
- visit people's homes to check on mother and baby
What do I need to do to become a midwife?
You can get into midwifery through:
- a university degree
- an apprenticeship
- a specialist course run by a professional body
You can do a degree in midwifery, approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council. Full-time courses take three years.
You'll usually need:
- five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths, and a science
- two or three A levels, including a science, or a level 3 diploma or access to higher education in health, science, or nursing
You can do a midwifery degree apprenticeship.
You'll usually need:
- four or five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), and college qualifications like A levels for a degree apprenticeship
Previous paid or unpaid experience of working in a caring role would be useful. You could contact the voluntary services coordinator or manager at your local NHS trust for further advice about opportunities.
If you're a registered adult nurse you may be able to qualify through a conversion course. These usually take between 18 and 24 months.
Where could I be working?
You could work at a client's home, at a health centre, at a GP practice or in an NHS or private hospital.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.
You must renew your Nursing & Midwifery Council registration every three years to show you're keeping your skills up-to-date.
You could take further training to specialise in areas like ultrasound or neonatal care.
With experience, you could become a ward manager or team leader. You could also train to become a health visitor, a director of midwifery, or midwifery consultant.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0