If the thought of bringing new life into the world as a job appeals to you, it’s time to take a closer look at a career in midwifery. We guide you through what to expect during a university degree in midwifery, where it can lead you, and how valuable you will be both to employers and to society.
When you undertake a degree in midwifery, you’ll study not just the practice of midwifery but also the theory and politics behind the role. What’s more, the degree will help you build on important transferable skills that all employers will recognise the benefit of. When you study Midwifery at Middlesex University, for example, you’ll take modules such as Leadership and Public Community Services which are designed to help you develop and critically explore your own leadership skills and style. This means a degree in the subject won’t just leave you skilled in midwifery theory – it’ll improve important life skills and help you to better understand your approach to work.
After the course
When weighing up the pros and cons of several universities, be sure to look into their careers assistance services to judge how useful they will be during your degree and after you have graduated. Workshops, one-to-one support, networking connections and CV help is all useful, but find out whether they will be prepared to go the extra mile, helping you into placements, internships, volunteer work and part-time work during and after your studies.
Working as a midwife
If you choose to become a midwife, you won’t have the usual nine-to-five career. You will normally work from an on-call rota, where you will need to be available to care for your patients at any time of the day or night.
You may work from a maternity unit within a hospital, but it’s becoming more and more common for midwives to provide care to mums-to-be throughout their pregnancy right through to the birth, meaning that you could be travelling to see your patients.
You’ll be dealing with women from all over the world, with many different views, concerns and backgrounds, so you will need to have very good people skills and emotional sensitivity, as well as the ability to communicate clearly and in a consistently caring and professional manner.
Working as a midwife – The NHS
One avenue to take when pursuing a career in midwifery is to join the NHS. According to its career pages, you’ll have access to extra training and every chance to progress within the organisation. As with any career, the ability to progress is important, and you should check that the framework to do so is in place at whichever organisation you choose. You may find the case studies here interesting, as they show how midwives have progressed within the NHS.
Attitudes to midwifery in society
As this article from the Huffington Post describes, earlier this year a review published by The Cochrane Library gave evidence in favour of consistent midwife care throughout pregnancy. The review found that this model of care is linked with better outcomes for the mother and the baby, compared to women who predominately saw family doctors or obstetricians, or those who saw a mix of doctors, nurses and midwives.
Having a midwife as a lead provider of care meant fewer interventions and a decreased likelihood of delivering a premature baby, the review revealed. So, for a rewarding career that makes a real difference, midwifery could well be the right choice for you.