In 2020, there were approximately 51 thousand midwives in employment in the UK and that number continues to grow.
The role of a midwife is crucial in the lives of parents to-be and through support, empathy, care and sheer professionalism, midwives help to make the journey of those expecting that bit easier, with care continuing after the birth of a child.
The right personality is vital in a role like this as well as the education and ability to carry out your duties. If this is an area you would like to develop in, a postgraduate course may be the right step to take.
Why not take the plunge and challenge yourself to be the best you can be in your profession!
What is midwifery
Midwifery is the health profession that deals with pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. This also includes the sexual and reproductive health of women. Midwives are trained to support and care for women throughout these times.
What does a midwife do?
The day to day duties of a midwife may differ from patient to patient and case to case. As a midwife, you will typically work between 37-40 hours a week. This may include both day shifts and night shifts with those shifts may be 12 hours at a time. You can work as a community or independent midwife as well as working in hospitals. Duties include:
- Examine and monitor pregnant women
- Write care plans for patients
- Undertake antenatal care in hospitals
- Carry out screening tests
- Provide information to patients
- Take samples from patients
- Take pulse, temperatures and blood pressure
- Assist women in labour
- Caring for women in labour
- Administer medication, injections
- Monitor foetus during labour
- Write records and documentation
- Help in training student midwives
- Provide support and care to new parents
- Advise new parents on their newborn
There are many courses to choose from across the UK. Some courses allow the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Courses may change in their content from University to University. Full course material and overviews can be found on specific University websites. Examples of courses available include:
Nursing and Midwifery
Courses in nursing and midwifery will help students to develop their careers further. They will gain an in-depth knowledge of the area and develop all of their skills. Those who take these courses can pick and choose modules that suit and interest them most. A large part of these courses help to gain a deeper understanding of clinical practice and focuses on enhancing the patient’s journey. Students will also be equipped to take on lead roles in management, clinical practice and education.
Postgraduate courses in midwifery provide students with the opportunity to undertake a research project and explore an area of midwifery that suits their interest the most. Through their study of these postgraduate courses, students will have gained the skills and knowledge to work in speciality roles in midwifery. These courses are suitable for midwives who have successfully completed the PgDip midwifery course at Level 7.
Entry requirements may change from course to course and University to University so it is important to research your specific course to be sure you meet the criteria. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree is required. Some courses will look for a 2.1 degree while a 2.2 may suffice in others. More detailed course outlines can be found on University websites and course overviews.
The salary of a midwife can depend on your employment. Starting salaries may be close to £25,000 and with experience over a number of years will allow your salary to increase. From there, you may earn between £32,000 – £37,000. In higher roles such as managerial roles, you can earn close to £44,000. The average salary for a midwife in the UK is around £36,405. All figures are based on estimated figures.
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements needed in this area include:
- Excellent people skills
- Ability to remain calm in difficult situations
- Ability to work well under pressure
- Great attention to detail
- Empathy and understanding
- Confidence in making decisions
- The ability to work well with others
- Ability to work alone