what is a midwife?

As a midwife, you are responsible for caring for women and babies during pregnancy, birth and post-delivery. Your job is to provide high-quality and culturally sensitive care to women and families. Midwives are healthcare professionals who provide various services, including gynaecological examinations, prescriptions, and labour and delivery support.

The services of a midwife depend on the certification and licences they have. Some have licences and certifications to provide additional healthcare services to women, from preconception care to newborn care. Others also provide post-partum care for women suffering from postnatal health issues.

As a midwife, your role involves providing reproductive information to women and families. When a woman conceives, you guide them throughout the pregnancy by providing prenatal advice about nutrition, exercise and pregnancy health. 

Your primary role is to ensure a comfortable pregnancy and a safe delivery. Your exercises and nutrition advice should reduce the risk of caesarean and minimise the need for labour induction. You help ensure the baby develops well in the womb and is ready for birth at the end of the pregnancy period.

The role requires comprehensive training on pregnancy and birth. Midwives assist women with miscarriages and pre-term birth problems by monitoring their pregnancy health and making recommendations. After birth, you are involved with neonatal care to minimise the chances of mortality by ensuring a positive start to breastfeeding.

Would working in health as a midwife suit your interest in helping women handle their pregnancies and births? Then read on to find out what skills and qualifications you need to thrive in a midwife role.


midwife jobs

midwife salary

According to ONS, the median salary of a midwife ranges from £34,000 to £38,000 per year in private sectors. Most midwives work for the NHS, and their salary starts from Band 5 at £25,655 annually. With increments determined by your experience and qualifications, your salary can rise to £31,534 per year. While the salary is lower than in the private sector, most midwives start with extensive experience and can earn Band 7 salary. For specialist roles, the salary starts from £40,057 and rises to £45,000 annually.

Private-sector midwives earn more than those in the NHS. However, the NHS benefits package is attractive, with retirement benefits, paid holidays, life insurance and medical allowances.

ways to boost your salary as a midwife

The key to raising your compensation package is improving your skills, qualifications and experience. For instance, you can undertake a master's degree or additional certifications to improve your skills. You could focus on providing antenatal or breastfeeding advice. Specialisation boosts your salary prospects since you become an expert in your field. Your location can also influence your salary prospects since urban centres demand more midwives. You are likely to earn more in large cities than in small towns.

smiling female sitting outdoors
smiling female sitting outdoors

types of midwives

Some of the types of midwives include:

  • antenatal midwife: your job is to support women throughout pregnancy. You perform ultrasound and antenatal screening and prescribe medication. You also monitor pregnancy health and prepare women for birth with exercises and nutrition advice. Sometimes, your job involves birthing or assisting women in low-risk delivery at home or in the hospital.
  • postnatal midwife: as a midwife, you take care of the mother and newborn after birth by ensuring the baby adapts to breast milk and grows steadily. If a woman has trouble breastfeeding, you help her find solutions and improve milk production. You also offer advice on contraception and fertility issues.


working as a midwife

Working as a midwife involves caring for the mother and unborn child throughout the pregnancy. You need to be passionate about pregnancy and babies and helping mothers deal with their fears. Let's explore the specific roles of a midwife.



education and skills

Some of the routes for becoming a midwife include:

  • university degree: to provide midwifery services, you need to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. You cannot complete the registration without a degree or postgraduate degree in midwifery. The full-time midwifery degree takes three years, and you spend a year in clinical placements to gain hands-on experience. You will learn all the aspects of pregnancy, from identifying complications to delivery.
  • apprenticeship: you can become a midwife by completing a degree apprenticeship in midwifery. You have to be working in a healthcare facility, and you combine coursework with hands-on experience.

skills and competencies

You need the following skills to excel in the role of a midwife:

  • excellent communication: you need impeccable communication skills since you spend most of the time educating and advising women on various pregnancy issues. You also need communication skills to build relationships with patients and provide better care.
  • teamwork skills: as a midwife, you liaise with various health professionals to ensure your patient receives the best health care. You need people skills to collaborate well with others and become an active listener.
  • caring and calm: as a midwife, you often deal with highly emotional patients who need you to show genuine care and help them through their concerns and worries. You should maintain your calm in high-pressure situations and help your patients by providing reassurance.
  • a systematic approach to work: all pregnancies are different, and you need to follow care procedures to ensure you identify potential complications. Since you handle multiple patients, having a systematic approach ensures you provide high-quality care to all patients.
  • decision-making skills: during pregnancy complications, you may lose your patient if you don't act decisively. Hence, you need excellent decision-making skills to handle issues effectively.
smiling female
smiling female


FAQs about working as a midwife

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