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

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.

Entry requirements

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.

Entry requirements

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

Work experience

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.

Other routes

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.


You'll need to pass enhanced background checks.


You'll need to register with the Nursing & Midwifery Council.

Related skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Patience
  • Teamwork

Where to find out more

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.

Career opportunities

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

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