Simply stated, a midwife cares and supports pregnant women prior to, during, and proceeding childbirth. On top of that, a midwife also ought to provide support to the womans partner and her baby once born.
Specifically before childbirth, midwives tend to a pregnant womans needs. This includes giving wholesome eating advice, explaining and elaborating on their options for delivery whether it is at home, in the hospital, natural childbirth, and pain relief. Moreover, the midwife will also run antenatal and parenting classes. They would also have to monitor the condition of the mother and baby while at pregnancy.
During labour, midwives ought to check the womans progress. Pain relief will also be handled, as well as advising on procedures to inhibit pain. While in delivery, the midwife may need to perform a surgical cut or episiotomy, and even carry out stitches.
As soon as the baby is born, the job suddenly shifts. The midwife will need to give advice on caring for the baby particularly in feeding, bathing, and other essentials. Since a midwife is community-based, he or she will have to conduct home visits to look over the mother and the baby. Such a task could last up to one month after childbirth.
Credentials, Qualifications, and Experience Employers Want
In order to be eligible as a registered midwife, one would have to undergo and complete a degree in midwifery. Thereafter, a registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council or NMC is required. Courses include, at least 5 GCSEs (A-C) which include math, science, and english, two or three A levels (with an inclination to biology), clearance with the CRB or Criminal Records Bureau, and evidence of good character and health. These courses and requirements usually take 3 years to complete.
Preferred Additional Training and Development
An entitled midwife is required to register with the NMC every 3 years. In order to register, one would need at least 450 hours of working experience, a progressive knowledge and competence in the field, not less than 35 hours of professional study, and records of professional advancement.
Salary and Benefits
Midwifery is quite a decent career. A starting midwife in the NHS can expect to earn around £20,700 to £33,500 per year. Additionally, team managers can earn £39,300, while midwife consultants can make up to £65,600. Midwives can also enhance their earning through additional service, responsibilities, and their geographic location.
Working Hours and Conditions
The job of a midwife is said to be very volatile. Working hours is in the range of 37.5 hours per week, which includes weekend and evening shifts. This figure can be askewed as some hospitals offer part-time work. Midwives can be based in different settings. Among them are GP surgeries, hospital maternity units, midwife-led units, and birth centres. In some cases like community midwives, they are required to make client home-visits to ensure their health and condition.
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