Working as a midwife can be as equally challenging as it is fulfilling. There’s no denying how hard the work can be at times. But even on the most difficult days, you’re positioned to make a hugely positive impact on the lives of new mothers, babies and their families.
The same can be said for professionals in any healthcare capacity. Each has the ability to help and support their patients as they face challenges and complications with their health. However, unlike other healthcare professions, midwifery doesn’t just deal with people experiencing problems with their health.
Instead, there are many positive experiences you get to enjoy. Midwives have a front-row seat to view someone's transition to motherhood. You not only witness this huge life change, you get to have a direct hand in making sure both mother and baby are safe and healthy throughout the process.
It’s a role that gives you the privilege of taking part in these special and intimate moments. But also the opportunity to set new mothers and families up for success.
Besides the rewarding feeling you get from your work, the benefits of becoming a midwife extend much further than this.
Get Active and Hands-on
Working as a midwife is about as far removed from a desk job as you can get. It’s active and involved. Which is ideal for anyone who can’t stand the idea of sitting still all day and being restricted to an office environment.
Antenatal care is provided in an array of settings, and in many cases it’s community based. So this means you would be out on the road, visiting expectant mothers in their homes, in local clinics, children’s centres and GP surgeries.
You can also be hospital based. But even this provides variation in your day since there are opportunities to work within antenatal departments, triage and assessment areas, postnatal wards and neonatal units.
During labour, care can be provided in a hospital, in specialist midwifery units or in home birth settings.
In all settings, your duties will be varied, but all are focused on safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the mother and baby. From hands-on physical examinations to assess their health to assisting during labour and administering pain management and other medications. You will be actively involved in their pregnancy and birthing process.
Complete Meaningful Work
Bringing new life into the world is undeniably an important role. But the work midwives do is meaningful for so many reasons.
Babies aside for a moment, you’re helping mothers and families get started on the right foot. Whether it’s their first or fifth child, the challenges parents and families can face are vast. The advice and support you provide in those early months can help them create a safe environment for everyone involved to thrive. As well as understand what help is available to them if things become too much. And that it’s ok to ask for it.
Your client base will include people from all backgrounds who may be experiencing a variety of challenges or difficult situations. Your position and the time you will spend with each of them gives you the opportunity to build a strong supporting relationship. One where you can gain their trust, find out the true nature of their situation and understand exactly what help they need.
This information enables you and the appropriate third party services to intervene early on and minimise any potential harm to mother and baby. Or simply get them the appropriate additional support they otherwise wouldn’t have known was available to them.
There will also be the times when your clients' pregnancies do not go to plan. In the event of stillbirths, miscarriages, terminations or neonatal death, the support and advice you provide the mothers and families can help them recover and move forward with their lives in a positive way.
As emotionally challenging as these situations can be, your presence, input and guidance can make the biggest difference to other peoples lives. A rewarding feeling which isn’t matched in most careers.
Take Your Career Further
Once you qualify and register as a midwife, your learning and development don’t stop there. Besides completing mandatory CPD training to renew your registration and keep your skills up to date, there are many ways you can progress your career.
Many different avenues become available to you once you cross the threshold into qualified midwifery. People don’t often realise how diverse the profession really is. But there are a large number of specialisms and roles you can move into as your knowledge and expertise increase.
If you’re interested in leadership and having additional responsibilities, you could move into senior roles like:
- Consultant Midwife
- Midwife Supervisor
- Team or Unit Manager
- Head of Midwifery
- Director of Midwifery Services
You could develop your skills in management practices by completing additional courses and training. Taking online courses in peak performance coaching, for instance, would provide you with useful skills for this route of progression.
There are also particular areas of midwifery you can specialise in depending on where your interests and skills lie, such as:
- High-risk Care
- Home Births
- Teen Pregnancy
- Mental Health and Postnatal Depression
Besides the experience and knowledge you’ll gain in practice, there are also additional courses you can take to better align yourself with these opportunities. Courses dedicated to understanding mental health, for instance, would help you meet the needs of patients with mental health issues and enduring conditions.
Outside of these progression routes, there are also opportunities on offer that involve research to help move the profession forward. Or those in teaching to educate future midwives.
How to Become a Qualified Midwife
You will need to complete a degree that is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and gain registration with them before you can practice as a midwife.
Each midwifery degree can have different entry requirements depending on which university you decide to study at. But, thankfully, most universities are more flexible in what qualifications they accept these days.
This means that if you don’t have the traditional GCSEs or A Levels that were necessary before, it’s not the end of your journey to midwifery. An Access to Higher Education Diploma (Midwifery), for instance, will give you all the knowledge you need to get prepared for your degree.
It includes modules on human reproduction, growth and development, the role of the midwife in antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care, among others. And these profession specific topics provide you with such detailed insight that the course can go in place of up to three individual A Levels.
As it’s based online, you’ll also be able to work through the course at your pace, when it suits you. So if you have to work or care for your children in the day, you can study comfortably in the evenings or whenever is right for you.
Get Started Now
If midwifery is the career you see yourself in, learndirect can help you get started.
Our online courses can enable anyone at any stage of their education to progress to where they want to be. Whether it’s university to study a specific degree, professional skills to align themselves with a senior role or otherwise, we have something to suit.
Find out more about how our Access to HE Diploma (Midwifery) will help you become a midwife by clicking below. Or you can speak to our advisors directly by calling 01202 006 464 or by contacting them online here.
Alternatively, you can read more about becoming a midwife and what the role is like in our blog.