What does a midwife do?
A midwife takes care of a mother's welfare, and has the responsibility of helping to bring babies into the world.
Before a birth, work would typically include:
- giving pregnant women advice on issues such as healthy eating
- explaining options such as giving birth in hospital or at home, natural childbirth and types of pain relief
- running classes about pregnancy (antenatal) and parenting
- checking the health of the mother and baby during pregnancy
During labour, a midwife will:
- check how labour is progressing
- monitor the baby during labour and birth
- give pain relief or advise on ways to manage pain
- deliver the baby
- call a doctor if there are any medical problems
Once the baby is born, a midwife's work could include giving advice to families on feeding, bathing and generally caring for their baby. As a midwife based in the community, the role would involve visiting people's homes to check on the health of the mother and baby.
What do I need to do to become a midwife?
You’ll need excellent communication skills, the ability to inspire trust and confidence, and a calm manner to deal with stressful situations.
To qualify as a registered midwife you’ll need to complete a degree in midwifery. You will also need to agree to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
- Five GCSEs (A-C), including English, maths and a science subject
- Two or three A levels, including at least one science or health-related subject
- A degree in midwifery leading to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
Where could I be working?
You would find most jobs in the NHS, although you could also work in private hospitals and clinics. You may also find opportunities overseas, especially in developing countries.