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5 Things You Should Know About Being a Midwife

1. Day & Night
We work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have periods of on call where we are not technically at work but are on stand-by should we be needed. This means we could be expected to cover in any of the hospital settings; delivery suite, antenatal and postnatal wards, antenatal clinics and also attend homebirths. We may have to change our working days at very short notice.

2. Not Just About Babies
Although during postnatal care we spend the majority of our time with babies that’s not always the case. Antenatal clinics are staffed by midwives and assess women during their pregnancy. Antenatal wards care for pregnant women admitted for specialist observation and care. In addition to clinical care, midwives also provide antenatal education and mentoring of student midwives.

3. Hospital & Community
Midwifery care is split between the hospital and community. Community midwives care for women during their pregnancy and afterwards, either in local clinics or in their home. They may also spend periods of time on-call for homebirths too. For specialist care and for those women wishing to give birth in hospital, hospital midwives are based on wards and in clinics. Some midwives are based on delivery suite or labour ward and will care for women during labour and birth.

4. Midwifery Degree Courses Are Very Competitive
It really is extremely competitive with some courses receiving 100 applications for each place. To give yourself the best chance volunteer within midwifery services in your local area to gain insight into what the job actually entails. Update your knowledge on current midwifery matters and legal matters and spend time planning for the university interview. There are courses, often led by midwives that help to prepare you for applying for midwifery degree courses.

5. Very Rewarding but Emotionally Draining
During labour women need that constant support from their midwife through what can be a long and gruelling labour and birth. In pregnancy many women become very anxious around many things to do with their pregnancy and upcoming birth. This requires patience and compassion from a midwife and often going above and beyond what is expected. Although rewarding, this can be very draining too so you need a good support network yourself and a way of blowing off steam.

As midwives we thrive in a job that requires more than just our time. We cover many roles within our careers and the support we receive from our midwifery, medical and support staff make this such a unique and amazingly rewarding job.