Midwife Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Midwife provides prenatal and early postnatal advice, care and support for women and also assists them during labour. Their duties include monitoring and examining women during and after pregnancy, providing health education and parental advice and developing individual care programmes.

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Midwife duties and responsibilities

Midwives have a wide range of duties that include education, counselling and medical care. Their exact duties may differ depending on their work environment and position. For instance, a Midwife who focuses on developing educational programmes will have different duties to another who forms part of a midwifery team at an NHS hospital. In general, their main duties and responsibilities include:

  • Providing complete prenatal care, including screening tests, and also postnatal visits for up to 10 days
  • Identifying high-risk pregnancies and referring such patients to the relevant medical specialists
  • Doing routine checkups, such as collecting patients’ samples and taking their blood pressure and temperature
  • Liaising with agencies and other health and social care professionals to ensure that mothers and babies receive continued postnatal support
  • Providing support and counselling to mothers following events like miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal abnormality
  • Providing training and guidance for junior colleagues
  • Running pregnancy and parenting classes and workshops
  • Overseeing and monitoring the labour process and advising mothers on their options to manage pain
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What does a Midwife do?

Midwives are specialist health professionals that support women during pregnancy and birth. They inform women of the options they have during childbirth and help them make sound decisions according to their personal preferences and healthcare needs. They assist women in delivering their babies through natural birth and tend to only use medical procedures when these are necessary. In the instances that medical procedures are required, Midwives are trained and certified to provide these treatments themselves. It’s only when medical complications arise that a Midwife will refer a patient to an Obstetrician.

Midwife skills and qualifications

The job of a Midwife involves interacting with people for a considerable part of their working day. Whether they’re counselling patients, running workshops or liaising with other professionals, Midwives need excellent interpersonal and communication skills. They must actively listen to their patients to accurately gauge their needs and must also have the ability to effectively relay information. A successful Midwife candidate will also have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that includes:

  • A caring and empathetic nature to provide mothers and babies with the emotional support they require
  • Excellent decision-making skills to make quick and effective decisions in crises
  • Emotional maturity and resilience to cope with and recover from problematic cases
  • Strong team-working skills, as they often need to collaborate with other professionals
  • Physical fitness and stamina to cope with long and problematic labour processes
  • The ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • The ability to build strong and trusting relationships with their patients
  • Strong observational skills to immediately notice complications during labour

Midwife experience requirements

The level of experience a Midwife requires depends on the position. Some employers are willing to employ newly qualified midwives, in which case they will typically work under the supervision and guidance of an experienced colleague. However, there are also Midwife positions that require more experienced candidates who have specialised knowledge and clinical expertise.

Midwife education and training requirements

To work as a Midwife, candidates need to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). To register, they first need to complete a midwifery programme that has been approved by the council. These programmes provide candidates with valuable hands-on experience, as they typically include both coursework and practical placements. Registered Nurses who wish to become Midwives can qualify by completing a conversion course. Once a candidate has obtained the relevant qualification, they can apply for registration with the council. Registered Midwives can continue their professional development by completing speciality courses, such as in family planning.

Midwife salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Midwife in the UK is £36,645 per year. Salaries differ, depending on factors like location and employer.

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Midwife job description FAQs

What are the hours of a Midwife?

Midwives need to be available for their patients whenever they need care, including when they are in labour. For this reason, the job typically involves working unsocial hours, including evenings, over weekends and on bank holidays. Those who work in teams with other Midwives will normally be part of an on-call rota.

Which institutions and companies can benefit from employing Midwives?

The typical employers of Midwives include the National Health Service, birth centres, community health centres, private hospitals and independent practices.

What's the difference between a Doula and a Midwife?

Both Doulas and Midwives provide educational and emotional support for women during their pregnancies. However, whereas a Midwife is qualified to perform clinical tasks and medical treatments, a Doula only provides support services.

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