A Day in the Life of a midwife

Midwife job description

A midwife provides care, support, and advice to pregnant people during their pregnancy, labour and postpartum period. This includes antenatal care, labour and delivery, family planning and reproductive health whilst encompassing, professionalism, compassion, and continual emotional support for families in their care. 

What would a typical day look like for a Midwife?

This can be unpredictable, and usually depends on the department they are scheduled to work in but will involve attending the needs of pregnant people and assisting with physiological childbirth. It can include patient assessments, hospital rounds, antenatal clinics, home visits, neonatal checks, birth preparation classes for expectant parents, whilst also maintaining patient records and documentation. A midwife can be on call to attend low risk labourers in the home setting and may also be involved in emergency high risk care. 

Where could I work?

As a registered midwife you may work in the NHS, armed forces, education, research, charities, fertility clinics, prisons, or private practice in the UK or overseas.
You may work in the community, hospital wards; both antenatal and postnatal, community clinics, GP surgeries, ultrasound departments, neonatal units, fetal medicine, day assessment units. Labour care may also take place in low risk birthing units, high risk delivery suites and the home settings. 

What would my starting salary be?

Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change pay scales and, as a recently graduated midwife you will start at Band 5. Pay and conditions will vary depending upon your employer, geographical area and competitive rates are offered throughout the private and voluntary sectors. You should always check with the employer to confirm the pay rate for any post for which you are applying. Midwives are considered for a Band 6 pay once successfully completed a preceptorship programme, to reflect the autonomy of the role. 

What hours would I be working?

37.5 hours per week are standard full-time posts and many areas require you to do shifts pattern involving evenings, nights, early starts, weekends, bank holidays and potentially on calls. There is an expectation to be willing to work the full 24/7 during your career. 

What is the career progression like for a Midwife?

Progression can go down various routes – where a midwife can advance their skills and take on additional responsibilities. Options include Coordinator Midwife, Senior/Lead midwife, advanced practice midwife, specialised midwife (e.g., Diabetes, teenage pregnancy, smoking cessation), educator/lecturer or consultant, health visitor, management and administration, research, or humanitarian work. 
To explore this career in more depth visit: NHS Health Careers

Are there more specialised roles in midwifery?

Once you feel confident in your role as a newly qualified midwife, your career path may lead down many different avenues of speciality. The list is not exhaustive, but you could consider many specialisms such as Smoking Cessation, Midwifery Sonographer, Perinatal Mental Health, Vulnerable women, Safeguarding, Research, Infant Feeding, Fetal Surveillance, and Practice Development. 

Do I need a degree for Midwifery?

In the UK to work within the NHS, midwives need to have a degree in midwifery. The standard traditional educational route to become a midwife is through completing a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Midwifery. The degree programme provides the necessary theoretical knowledge and practice skills required for the profession. The degree at UEA is a three-year programme, and upon successful completion, graduates are eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which is the regulatory body for nurses and midwives in the UK. Registration with the NMC is a legal requirement to practice as a midwife in the UK, including within the NHS.
Other routes are in development and upcoming at UEA, including the Midwifery Degree Apprenticeships which also provide another route into becoming a midwife.

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