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How to Become a Midwife

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 4 Feb 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]
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
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 regardsLaura -j
Laura-j - 10-May-16 @ 7:16 PM
Hi my dream job was to b a midwife as I left school with on, y my child development with an a and became a mum at 18 I never got the chance to follow my dream. I'm 42 now and after 4 pregnancys nd having 2 healthy children I would love to follow my dream. But don't know we're o start. I'm from Northern Ireland.X
Angie - 19-Feb-16 @ 2:25 AM
Roz- Your Question:
Hi I am in year nine and I am about to choose my GCSE options and I was wondering what would be best to take if I was wanting to do midwifery. The subjects I had in mind were Child development, Drama, Geography and dance. I wasn't sure if I had to take a language because I was told the for what I wanted to do I might have to and if that was the case I would drop dance for Spanish. I was just looking for a second opinion.

Our Response:
Please see National Careers Service link here which will tell you what qualifications you need. I hope this helps.
AHealthCareer - 4-Feb-16 @ 2:13 PM
Hi I am in year nine and I am about to choose my GCSE options and I was wondering what would be best to take if I was wanting to do midwifery. The subjects I had in mind were Child development, Drama, Geography and dance. I wasn't sure if I had to take a language because I was told the for what I wanted to do I might have to and if that was the case I would drop dance for Spanish. I was just looking for a second opinion.
Roz - 3-Feb-16 @ 8:45 PM
i'd really like to go down the route of being a midwife but dont know wether it is better to do A-levels or a level 3 course in college, the course which i believed was most suitable was titled - health and social care (health) - have you got any advice in which route I should take?
jasmin - 18-Jan-16 @ 4:07 PM
That comment was in reply to jesss.
jodiee - 7-Dec-15 @ 10:12 PM
Hi! I'm 17 and im currently studying BTEC level 3 Health Sciences at college! this is basically health and social care mixed in with science and can certainly get you into uni to do midwifery, obviously if you get the right grades on the course.To get on to this college course I needed 5 A*- C in my GCSE's, which I got and more! This course also has placement as part of it which is good experience in deciding what you want to do as it helped me decide what I didn't want to do! this experience may help you decide you do not want to do midwifery but it is very hard to get into hospitals for experience so any other form of care related to health care ( such as a care home) is valuable. This will also help you with your personal statement when applying to uni. I'm not sure many colleges do this course but I know if you want to do midwifery it can lead you into it. However you do not need to do this specific course to be get into uni, to be a midwife. You can also do A levels.I am not sure though which A levels are suitable for your area. I presume a science and a health and social care A level would be good though. Have a chat with a career advisor at school and they will be able to help you!
jodiee - 7-Dec-15 @ 10:11 PM
midwife crazy- Your Question:
I need help , is it possible to do midwifery as a Btec in college and what other subjects can I do which link in to midwifery as am leaving school in a year

Our Response:
The minimum requirement for degree courses is two A levels, preferably in science subjects. Also, as an alternative you could study for an NVQ/SVQ Level 3, the BTEC National Diploma, or equivalent access to higher education programmes run by colleges of further education. Application to the degree route is through UCAS where you will gain both a degree and Registered Midwife qualification.
AHealthCareer - 30-Nov-15 @ 12:14 PM
I need help , is it possible to do midwifery as a Btec in college and what other subjects can I do which link in to midwifery as am leaving school in a year
midwife crazy - 29-Nov-15 @ 4:59 PM
KarisSugg? - Your Question:
Hi, I'm 12 years old, in Year 8 and have recently been considering midwifery as a future career. What will I need - gcse, options, levels wise - to help me get into this career? And would it be best to go to 6th Form or College once I leave school? Thanks x

Our Response:
You can find out all you need to know via the National Careers link here. I hope this helps.
AHealthCareer - 5-Nov-15 @ 12:54 PM
Hi, I'm 12 years old, in Year 8 and have recently been considering midwifery as a future career. What will I need - gcse, options, levels wise - to help me get into this career? And would it be best to go to 6th Form or College once I leave school? Thanks x
KarisSugg? - 4-Nov-15 @ 8:56 PM
Lolly - Your Question:
Hi,I am 48 and have always been interested in medical subjects.I did O levels in French,English language,human biology and geography.receiving grade C's in all.I think they are grade C or above equivalent of GCSE's?I have no A'levels.I choose to stay home with my children till they were 10&12 instead of having career and with one thing and another never had chance but as time is running out would still be able to do course without them?

Our Response:
Please see the National Careers website for more information, link here which will tell you exactly what qualifications you will need.
AHealthCareer - 28-Oct-15 @ 2:01 PM
Hi,I am 48 and have always been interested in medical subjects.I did O levels in French,English language,human biology and geography..receiving grade C's in all.I think they are grade C or above equivalent of GCSE's?I have no A'levels.I choose to stay home with my children till they were 10&12 instead of having career and with one thing and another never had chance but as time is running out would still be able to do course without them?
Lolly - 27-Oct-15 @ 2:55 PM
JesssssA - Your Question:
Hi, I'm leaving school in June and I would like to find out what collages and what courses to take to become a midwife. I just need some advice on what to do for collage. I am currently living in Wakefield and there are a few collages that I have looked at for example Barnsley, Pontefract etc. I was just do wondering if you could point me in the right direction??

Our Response:
You say you have already checked out some local courses, therefore you could try slightly further afield in Sheffield, see link here. I hope this helps and good luck with your search.
AHealthCareer - 19-Oct-15 @ 12:45 PM
Hi, I'm leaving school in June and I would like to find out what collages and what courses to take to become a midwife. I just need some advice on what to do for collage. I am currently living in Wakefield and there are a few collages that I have looked at for example Barnsley, Pontefract etc. I was just do wondering if you could point me in the right direction??
JesssssA - 18-Oct-15 @ 10:50 PM
Hi I would like information on how to become a midwife from scratch if you left school with no gcse's please help with as much info as possible please would love to be a midwife
don - 3-Oct-15 @ 9:49 PM
sish - Your Question:
I need to knw more about general nursing

Our Response:
Please see link to article: What to Expect from a Nursing Career, here also a link from the National Careers Servicehere. I hope this helps.
AHealthCareer - 10-Sep-15 @ 10:33 AM
I need to knw more about general nursing
sish - 9-Sep-15 @ 1:37 AM
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