Career Paths: How to Become a Midwife

Doctors and nurses coordinate hands. Concept Teamwork

Being a midwife is a unique role – one that allows you to oversee the care of pregnant, labouring, and postnatal women. If that sounds like something you’d like to do, you’ve come to the correct guide. Here, we walk you through everything you need to know about how to become a midwife.

What Does a Midwife Do?

Working as a midwife can be demanding as well as rewarding. As a midwife, you’ll create and sustain a positive relationship with a pregnant woman, then help her have the best possible birth experience by planning for and assisting during the birth. You may do any of the following: 

  • Walk through the woman’s birthing option with her
  • Run classes about pregnancy and parenting
  • Check on the health of the mother and baby during pregnancy
  • Monitor both the mother and baby during birth
  • Give advice to the woman on how to relieve pain
  • Help to deliver the baby
  • Give advice on how to care for the baby after birth
  • Check on the mother and baby after birth

How to Become a Midwife

There are several steps to becoming a midwife, according to the National Health Service (NHS). 

  1. Complete a degree-level programme. Your first step to becoming a midwife is to take and complete a degree-level programme approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). “This may be a full-time undergraduate degree or midwifery degree apprenticeship,” the NHS adds. You can find a list of NMC-approved programmes using the NHS Health Careers Course Finder.
  2. Register with the NMC. Once you’ve successfully completed an NMC-approved programme, you must register with the NMC. Registering there will allow you to practice as a midwife. 
  3. Decide if you’d like to specialise. You may want to work in a more general role, but there is also the opportunity to specialise in particular areas, such as home births, according to the NHS. If you would like to specialise, you may need additional education or to obtain other qualifications. 

Find a job. To find a job as a midwife, you can search Glassdoor’s job listings, or visit the NHS jobs website. Make sure that you have an up-to-date and compelling CV ready!

What Skills Do Midwives Need?

To be a midwife, you’ll need to possess several skills including: 

  • Communication skills: You’ll be creating a pregnancy and birthing plan—and you’ll need to be able to communicate it effectively and compassionately to the women with whom you work. 
  • Teamwork skills: Not only are you on the same “team” as the woman and baby with whom you work, but you’ll also need to work alongside family members and medical professionals to ensure a smooth and safe delivery.
  • Detail-oriented skills: Navigating a pregnancy and birth takes a detail-oriented person, who can anticipate both the woman and baby’s needs and execute a plan that meets them all.  

Do Midwives Get Paid Well?

According to Glassdoor salary data, a midwife can expect to make £31,002 per year, on average. But how much you make may be affected by your experience level and expertise. The data shows that midwives can also make as little as £23,000 per year, and as much as £39,000 per year.

Where Does a Midwife Work?

Midwives can work in a variety of settings. Those might include:

  • Public hospitals
  • Stand-alone maternity units
  • Private hospitals
  • Group practices
  • Birth centres
  • General practitioners’ offices

Related Careers

You may not want to be a midwife, but there are plenty of other jobs in related fields you may enjoy. Here are a few other options: 

Average salary: £33,422 per year

Education required: Master of science degree in nursing

Average salary: £28,123

Education required: Master of science degree in nursing

Average salary: £27,134

Education required: Bachelor’s degree in nursing

Average salary: £37,431

Education required: Master of science in medicine program

Average salary: £39,475

Education required: Bachelor’s degree in psychology

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