A midwife cares for pregnant women and their babies before, during and after childbirth.
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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. 

Related skills

  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Patience
  • Teamwork

Academic route

  • 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

Essential qualifications

  • A degree in midwifery leading to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Where to find out more

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. 

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