What does a midwife do?
Delivering babies is not all that a midwife does. A midwife is normally the main contact during pregnancy as well as providing a pivotal role at birth and for postnatal care. By providing invaluable information, the Midwife will assist the expectant mother in making choices regarding the options and services that are available.
A midwife’s responsibilities and roles are wide ranging. A midwife undertakes clinical examinations, provides health information and is key in supporting the mother all the way through the pregnancy.
What are the working conditions and pay?
Midwives carry out their work in a variety of health care settings. If they are based in a large hospital, they will work in the maternity unit. Other settings include dedicated birth centres, group practices and private maternity hospitals. The NHS employs the majority of midwives who practice in the UK. These midwives generally work in teams. An ever increasing number of midwives choose to work independently.
Midwives generally work in teams and this requires them to work in shifts. So be prepared to work in day and night shifts. You may be also required to travel from hospital to hospital, be on-call and travel around the community to the new mother’s residence.
Your pay as a midwife as well as your working conditions is set by the NHS. As a newly qualified midwife your salary starts at just over £19,000 per annum. In addition, if you are on-call or working unsocial hours you can expect to earn more. An experienced midwife has the opportunity to earn in excess of £59,000.
Are you suited to becoming a midwife?
Midwives must possess a variety of qualities in order to perform their role. Below are a few examples of qualities involved in being a midwife:
- Instinctive, sensitive, sympathetic and impartial
- Possess good interpersonal skills
- Be a good team player, and to work in partnership with other professionals
- Flexible and able to adapt to the mothers’ circumstances and requirements
- Have excellent hands on skills
- Be a fast learner
- Not squeamish at the site of blood
- Professional, and able to maintain accurate records.