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How to Become a Midwife

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 18 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Community Hospitals Parenting Advice

A community job as a midwife has many incredible benefits but the biggest one is that you will be meeting a new person on a regular basis – a new baby. Midwives provide care and support to women as well as their families during pregnancy, childbirth and after pregnancy.

While the main focus is on the woman, a midwife also provides community education and support to the woman's partner and family where needed. Literally from the moment a woman learns that she is pregnant right through to the birthing process at a hospital or in a home, a midwife is there to offer information and support. Following childbirth, a midwife will remain involved as long as necessary, particularly if a woman had a difficult birth and recovery. A midwife will also play a role in providing advice about babies and the birth itself.

Important Traits for a Successful Career as a Midwife

To really succeed as a midwife, there are some important traits that can help you provide the best support possible to a pregnant woman. You should have excellent listening skills, an empathic and warm manner, non-judgemental attitude and superior communication skills. You also need to be skilled at counselling and you should be very comfortable providing advice and education, which is even more important to the community of new mothers who are perhaps worried or confused about numerous aspects of pregnancy and motherhood. One of the more obvious traits is a genuine care for the health and well being of babies.

As a midwife, you need to be able to understand the different social and economic features of each mother's pregnancy. Different ethnic backgrounds will have their own unique customs, traditions and beliefs around pregnancy. As a midwife, you need to provide helpful support and accurate advice, but do so with an open mind and respect for each mother's special background and beliefs. On top of that, you have to be confident and strong when it comes to handling stressful situations. You must also work well independently and within a health care team at a hospital or elsewhere.

A Typical Day in a Midwife Career

The average day for a midwife will include monitoring the mother's health and the health of her baby. This type of monitoring can involve physical and diagnostic examinations or it could involve providing education on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. A midwife will also provide options and information on the delivery process, the use of pain control and the choices a mother has for a delivery environment. Midwives will provide parenting advice for mothers and their families. They can also run antenatal classes as well, which help mothers become better prepared for the challenges of delivery. Other community classes might teach new mothers the basics of caring for a baby and tips for successful breastfeeding. Midwives have a strong presence in hospitals, where they work alongside doctors and other health professionals.

Training in Midwifery

To train as a midwife, a person will usually take a three or four year degree program in midwifery. Others might first complete a nursing degree and then take a one to two year graduate level course to become a midwife. In the United Kingdom, a person needs to become registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council to safely and effectively practice midwifery. The Nursing and Midwifery Council serves to ensure that midwives satisfy important ethics and training regulations that keep the practice safe and effective.

A general midwife who works for the NHS will earn approximately £21,000 to £27,000 each year. As a community midwife gains more skills and valuable experience and responsibilities, this salary can increase to £30,000 or more. Those who work as consultants can expect to earn between £38,000 to £67,000. The working hours can, however, be sporadic in the sense that the baby's entrance will dictate at least some of the midwife's working hours. In this sense, a midwife should be prepared to work under a twenty-four hour period. You will work in hospitals or provide support in a home birth environment, among others.

Midwifery is an important community health profession that provides a valuable service to mothers. You will play a key role in helping a new life to enter our world safely while supporting the health and well being of the mother as you provide important parenting advice.

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[Add a Comment]
Aulia - Your Question:
Hai iam aulia from Indonesia, now I work in saudi arabia. Iam midwife and have registered for midwife. I finish my school 3 years because iam diploma, I have plan go in UK for work or continue my degree. I wanna ask if I work in uk as midwife is it I should have letters to exam first or what can you explain? And if I want continue bachelor degree is it I must to transfer or must to repeat again from beginning, please answer. I really want go Uk for work or continue my bachelors degree.

Our Response:
I can only give you the UK requirements to work as a midwife via the link here. I hope this helps.
AHealthCareer - 19-Sep-17 @ 10:09 AM
Hai iam aulia from Indonesia, now i work in saudi arabia. Iam midwife and have registered for midwife. I finish my school 3 years because iam diploma, i have plan go in UK for work or continue my degree. I wanna ask if i work in uk as midwife is it I should have letters to exam first or what can you explain? And if i want continue bachelor degree is it i must to transfer or must to repeat again from beginning, please answer. I really want go Uk for work or continue my bachelors degree.
Aulia - 18-Sep-17 @ 12:27 AM
LouLou - Your Question:
After I have done my GCSEs, what should I do? I want to be a midwife.

Our Response:
In order to progress to midwifery, you should have aminimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above - typically including English language or literature and a science subject - and you should study for either two or three A-levels or equivalent (including a science subject). You can see more via the NHS link here, which should help you further.
AHealthCareer - 29-Aug-17 @ 10:35 AM
After I have done my GCSEs, what should I do? I want to be a midwife.
LouLou - 27-Aug-17 @ 8:51 AM
Can having level 2 functional skills qualifications in both maths and English, help towards the required qualifications I would need to train to become a midwife?
LSL - 12-Jul-17 @ 12:41 PM
tyla275 - Your Question:
I am 16 years old and I leave school in a month and I'm moving on to collage and I want to be a midwife and I have no idea what the very first spet is to be a midwife.can someone please tell me what the very first step is.what can I study in collage at 16 to get me started??

Our Response:
If you are studying A-Levels, as a general guide you'll need at least 5 A-C grade GCSEs (including English and a science subject) and at least 2 (preferably 3) A' levels - biology may be required by some, please see NHS link here.
AHealthCareer - 12-May-17 @ 2:14 PM
I am 16 years old andI leave school in a month and I'm moving on to collage and I want to be a midwife and I have no idea what the very first spet is to be a midwife.....can someone please tell me what the very first step is.....what can I study in collage at 16 to get me started??
tyla275 - 12-May-17 @ 1:08 PM
Nickyl - Your Question:
Hi, I'm 29 years old and all I can think about is how much I want to be a midwife and how good I know I'd be at it bit I don't have a clue how to start going about it? Can someone point me in the right detection please? I have 3 boys, 3,2 and 9 months old. I didn't know I wanted to be a midwife till I had my first and now it's all I can think about. Thank you x

Our Response:
Training to be a midwife involves studying for a degree in midwifery. As there are no national minimum academic entry requirements for entry into pre-registration midwifery degrees, each university running courses sets its own criteria. However, they usually look for a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above - typically including English language or literature and a science subject - and either two or three A-levels or equivalent, please see NHS link here.
AHealthCareer - 8-May-17 @ 2:24 PM
Hi, I'm 29 years old and all I can think about is how much I want to be a midwife and how good I know I'd be at it bit I don't have a clue how to start going about it? Can someone point me in the right detection please? I have 3 boys, 3,2 and 9 months old.I didn't know I wanted to be a midwife till I had my first and now it's all I can think about. Thank you x
Nickyl - 7-May-17 @ 10:38 PM
When I leave school in year 11 what college / uni course will I have to take to start of as a basic and become advanced
Beth - 27-Apr-17 @ 10:29 PM
Rachel - Your Question:
Hi I'm currently working in social care and have done so for over 20years I'm qualified up to a level 5 in health and social care I got a gcse in English but not above a C grade in maths and don't have a science subject either can I still apply for midwifery?

Our Response:
You would have to talk to each university directly before applying to see if your qualifications and/or experience meets their entry requirements. Some universities have a certain level of autonomy when it comes to awarding places to mature students who have experience in similar fields.
AHealthCareer - 10-Apr-17 @ 11:03 AM
Hi I'm currently working in social care and have done so for over 20years I'm qualified up to a level 5 in health and social care I got a gcse in English but not above a C grade in maths and don't have a science subject either can I still apply for midwifery?
Rachel - 9-Apr-17 @ 12:03 PM
I am 24 currently studying health and social care level 2, could completing the levels through to level 5 help me on route to become a midwife, I di not have gcse maths English and science though, have functional skill English and maths level 2
amy21345 - 6-Apr-17 @ 11:40 PM
Freddiesmummy29 - Your Question:
I am 16 and want to become a midwife. What type of gcses do I need and what courses do I do to start this process?

Our Response:
You will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above - typically including English language or literature and a science subject. In addition, you will need two or three A-levels or equivalent (biology is recommended).
AHealthCareer - 28-Mar-17 @ 12:48 PM
How do I start the process of becoming a midwife? The very first step?
Freddiesmummy29 - 27-Mar-17 @ 6:30 PM
I am 16 and want to become a midwife. What type of gcses do I need and what courses do I do to start this process?
Freddiesmummy29 - 27-Mar-17 @ 6:29 PM
IndieeeeeR - Your Question:
Hi I'm 16 I have currently left school to do a tafe course in health, is there any possible chance of still becoming a midwife if I have not completed grade 12?

Our Response:
You can see the qualifications you will need here. Your course tutor will be able to tell you whether the course you are doing is transferable.
AHealthCareer - 20-Mar-17 @ 10:37 AM
Hi I'm 16 I have currently left school to do a tafe course in health, is there any possible chance of still becoming a midwife if I have not completed grade 12?
IndieeeeeR - 19-Mar-17 @ 1:02 AM
Kee - Your Question:
Hi I'm 12 years old and have always been interested in being a midwife since I was 6 and I was wondering if I can start doing courses or am I to young ??? Please help thank you

Our Response:
The qualifications you now need to concentrate on are your GSCEs. You would generally need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above - typically including English language or literature and a science subject. Good luck.
AHealthCareer - 6-Feb-17 @ 2:16 PM
Hi I'm 12 years old and have always been interested in being a midwife since I was 6 and I was wondering if I can start doing courses or am I to young ??? Please help thank you
Kee - 4-Feb-17 @ 11:12 PM
Annejonesss - Your Question:
Hi so I want to find out how to start training at college and then what to do at university to become a midwife because I am really confused please help !!

Our Response:
You can see more via the NHS link here which should answer your questions.
AHealthCareer - 18-Jan-17 @ 12:35 PM
Hi so I want to find out how to start training at college and then what to do at university to become a midwife because I am really confused please help !!
Annejonesss - 17-Jan-17 @ 10:07 PM
Hi I want to know what I should take because I do like midewifes but I'm not so good at science tbh please help I'm in the 9
Lulu - 5-Jan-17 @ 9:39 PM
Hi Im 51, have no previous nursing experience and would like to train as a midwife .. am i too old?
Kimb65 - 23-Nov-16 @ 2:29 PM
Hello , I'm a mum and wife I'm 25 years old and I regret not completing school so much, I'd love to be a midwife.i really want to do something that my children would be proud of me and I'd be a good roll model.please help I'd really like to do something for myself
Nikita99 - 17-Sep-16 @ 4:41 AM
Richmy- Your Question:
Hi I'm 16 and I would like to become a midwife but I don't know what courses I should take at college please could you advise me into which courses I should take thank you!

Our Response:
To enrol for a degree, you would need at least five GCSEs (A-C), including English and maths and a science two or three A levels, including at least one science or health-related subject. You can see more via National Careers here. I hope this helps.
AHealthCareer - 13-Sep-16 @ 10:16 AM
hi i'm 16 and i would like to become a midwife but i don't know what courses i should take at college please could you advise me into which courses i should take thank you!
Richmy - 12-Sep-16 @ 7:45 AM
Hello, I'm 17 and I'm going to start my second year of college. At my first year of college I did level1 health and social care. Now I'm going to do level 2 health and social care. I'm also planning in doing level 3 and Health and social care level 3 extended. I've done my interview at college ad even though I had low grades theytold me that I could do level 2 and at the same time improving my grades. I am not sure weather I should do level 3 extended or just do Health and social car level 3 and then go t university.. don't really know about what should I do it's really confusing..
Fatima99 - 29-Aug-16 @ 1:10 PM
Hi I'm 34yrs old and have an office job which I despise. Now my children are becoming teenagers I feel like it's time to do something for me and I've always wanted to be a midwife. Iv had a look to see what I need to do, but find it all rather confusing and scary re university and fees etc. Please can you advise on where's best to start Thanks
Sarah - 26-May-16 @ 4:59 PM
Laura-j - Your Question:
Hi I want to pursue my life long dream of becoming a midwife I'm 30 with three children who are all at school from September and want to train to become a midwife. My previous work past is in sales so have no qualification in health. Could you please advise where I start and what I need to do. Kind regards Laura -j

Our Response:
Apart from the advice in the article, please see National Careers advice here.
AHealthCareer - 11-May-16 @ 1:52 PM
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