Midwife: job description

Midwife: job description

Midwives deliver babies and provide antenatal and postnatal advice, care and support to women, their babies, their partners and families.
Midwives need the ability to deal with emotionally charged situations as part of their everyday work.

What does a midwife do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Midwives work as part of a team of professional and medical staff that includes doctors, social workers and health visitors.

Typical duties include:

  • examining and monitoring pregnant women
  • assessing care requirements and writing care plans
  • undertaking antenatal care in hospitals, homes and GP practices
  • carrying out screening tests
  • providing information, emotional support and reassurance to women and their partners
  • taking patient samples, pulses, temperatures and blood pressures
  • caring for and assisting women in labour
  • monitoring and administering medication, injections and intravenous infusions during labour
  • monitoring the foetus during labour
  • advising about and supporting parents in the daily care of their newborn babies
  • helping parents to cope with miscarriage, termination, stillbirth and neonatal death
  • writing records
  • tutoring student midwives

Typical employers of midwives

  • National Health Service (NHS)
  • GP practices
  • Private hospitals
  • The armed forces
  • Independent practices

Vacancies appear in newspapers, NHS trusts' jobs lists and publications such as Nursing Times, Nursing Standard and their respective websites. Degree course and diploma applications should be made through UCAS.

Qualifications and training required

You can only become a midwife with a midwifery qualification.

Midwifery qualifications can be gained by undertaking a three to four-year degree course. Graduates with degrees or diplomas in any subject can apply for midwifery training, although life, health, biological or social sciences qualifications may be advantageous.

Candidates who are already registered nurses can qualify as midwives through the 18-month short programme. Any experience of caring for or working with people (eg in a care home or hospice) can be helpful.

Key skills for midwives

  • Ability to deal with emotionally charged situations
  • Excellent teamworking skills
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Strong observational skills
  • An interest in the process of pregnancy and birth