Midwife’s work at the heart of a community, giving support and care to pregnant women as they give birth to their children. It’s a highly skilled job that requires compassion, communication skills, practical skills, as well as the ability to stay calm when the going gets tough.
If you fancy taking up a career in midwifery, either in the NHS or at a private hospital here in the UK or abroad, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to become a midwife.
Why Study To Be A Midwife?
Midwife’s play a crucial role during childbirth. They are there to give support to the mother throughout the course of pregnancy, labour and birth, but the profession also requires skills in healthcare and bags of dedication.
The role of a midwife includes both antenatal and postnatal care. Antenatal care refers to care given during pregnancy, such as performing health checks for the mother and the growth of the baby.
During the birth, the midwife will be present to support the mother and partners, with a focus on ensuring the health of the mother and baby.
Postnatal care involves checking on the health of both mother and child following birth. This will include ensuring that the baby is healthy, feeding well and gaining weight and that the mother is adjusting well following giving birth.
One of the main reasons students choose to study midwifery is that they care deeply about other people, and want to assist mothers during what is arguably the most special moment in their lives. Midwifes find the process of helping to deliver a health baby incredibly rewarding.
Becoming A Midwife
Before you become a midwife, you first need experience in the healthcare sector. Most people choose the option of taking a midwifery degree, which lasts for three years if studied full-time.
The degree covers psychology and sociology, as well as the biological sciences. It also covers professional practice. Universities tend to split their programs more-or-less fifty/fifty between theoretical and practice-based learning, with the latter seeing you spend your time at a hospital, at a community clinic, or even at a family’s home. Here, you will work directly with mothers.
Although hospitals are in need of more midwives, places on a midwifery degree are usually limited. Sometimes, there can be as many as 1,000 students applying for the same course at the same university. As such, competition is fierce and getting your foot on the first rung of the ladder toward becoming a midwife is arguably the most difficult bit.
We recommend that you pop along to university open days to get a feel for the institution you want to apply to. Talking to midwives will also give you a better understanding of what this career involves, which will further strengthen your application.
When you graduate from university, you will then need to register with the NMC – the Nursing and Midwifery Council. To make sure that you maintain your registration, you will need to keep up with all the latest research in your field, as well as continue to learn and practice.
Studying To Be A Midwife
Should you decide to study a midwifery degree, there are a number of universities throughout the UK that offer the course.
Exactly what you’ll study will come down to the university and their specific program. But modules you can expect to be included on a midwifery degree include:
- Introduction to midwifery
- Developing the practice
- The human body during childbearing
- Developing midwifery practice
- Midwifery emergencies
- Public health for the practice of midwifery
- Midwifery leadership
The first year is always introductory, but as you move towards the final year you will be given more opportunities to strengthen your midwifery skills while working side-by-side with healthcare experts.
During your final year, there will also be a dissertation to write. Ideas for a typical midwifery dissertation might include obesity and smoking during pregnancy.
To start your studies at university, you will generally need at least 5 GCSEs ranging from grades A-C. English, maths and science are usually required. Additionally, two A-Levels are also usually required, with many universities preferring a qualification in biology over anything else.
If you are taking a BTEC, DDM is generally mandatory, and you need at least one science or health subject.
To submit an application to a midwife degree, it’s a good idea to pop over to UCAS, which is the most popular route.
Start your journey to becoming a midwife by searching for midwifery degrees now!