Searching for how to become a Midwife in UK? Thn this article is for you. A challenging and distinctive job, being a midwife. To ensure the expectant woman has the best birthing experience possible, it will be your responsibility to build and maintain a strong relationship with her.
While some midwives are situated in hospitals, many midwives manage their own caseloads and work in community settings.
By concentrating in a particular field, such as public health or managing teen pregnancy clinics, there are many opportunities to enhance your overall midwifery skills.
A qualified nurse with a focus on providing care for women and their unborn children throughout pregnancy, labor, and postpartum is known as a midwife.
A doula, on the other hand, provides assistance before, during, and after the birth of a child. Although some doulas have medical degrees and/or training, becoming a doula does not require any of these things.
During pregnancy, labor, and the early postoperative period, midwives offer guidance, care, and support to women and their unborn children.
Up until the care is handed to a health visitor, you will help women make their own decisions about the treatment and services they get and will offer health education and parenting advice.
You will be in charge of both the mother and the child’s health and will only consult obstetricians in the event of a medical emergency.
Multidisciplinary teams are used to complete tasks in hospital settings as well as increasingly in community healthcare settings. Read on to find out how to become a midwife in UK.
Is Midwifery The Right Fit For Me?
While Midwifery is by far an all-round demanding job, it sure makes the list of most rewarding jobs on the planet.
Women receive care from midwives during one of their most traumatic, stressful, and life-altering situations. Therefore, it’s crucial that you possess the exact abilities and personality traits that the work demands.
You must be the following to work as a midwife:
objective, non-judgmental, and polite; able to work alone and as part of a team; effective communicator; physically and psychologically fit
helpful and compassionate, calm and responsible, and capable of making decisions while under pressure.
If you exhibit these traits, you have the temperament and skills necessary to work as a midwife. Of course, you must be interested in what a midwife does and is responsible for.
What you will be required to perform each day is outlined in the list below:
- Provide women with emotional
- Practical support for coping with pregnancy
- Caring for a newborn, including assistance with breastfeeding,
- Create and assess individualized care plans.
- Identify and diagnose medical issues and complications,
- Monitor and help mothers and their newborns during labor and after delivery by giving medications and pain relief
- Examine pregnant women, laboring women, and new mothers.
- Complete documentation precisely and on time.
- Deliver emergency care as required, clarify, and conduct screenings
- Support women after stillbirths, miscarriages, and abortions and offer parenting guidance and health education
- Control more junior employees
Where Do Midwives Work?
Most midwives work in hospitals, on delivery units, or in the community for the NHS.
Some midwives operate their own private practices as independent midwives, either on their own or as a part of a group.
Since the UK’s midwifery training is widely regarded as having a high standard, there are numerous chances for you to work or volunteer abroad once you’ve graduated.
What Motivates People to Become Midwives?
People enter the field of midwifery for a variety of reasons and via various paths. Some people realize they want to do it while they are young, while others start doing it as they are older.
They can have chosen to become midwives as a result of their own delivery experiences, both positive and negative. The possibility of working part-time makes the career compatible with parenthood because it is flexible.
People frequently transition into midwifery from another healthcare profession like nursing or maternity support jobs.
How Do I Become A Midwife?
You must complete a midwifery degree if you have never worked in healthcare before. Normally, this takes three years.
The degree’s themes include:
- birth and pregnancy midwifery care
- following-delivery midwifery care, medication administration, and complex needs
- Normal births often occur in the first year, with emergency births and high-risk pregnancies occurring in the second and third years.
University study hours are often split evenly between theoretical and practical clinical practice.
In the course’s practical component, you will interact with women and their families in their homes, community clinics, and hospitals.
Depending on where you study, there may be entrance requirements for midwifery degree programs. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, you’ll often need:
- two A levels or a higher education level 3 certificate, such as a GNVQ, SVQ, EDEXCEL Foundation (BTEC) National Diploma,
- or OCR Health and Social Care, five GCSEs at grade 9-4 (C or above), typically includes English and a scientific subject
You’ll either need to have completed the Scottish Wider Access Program for nursing and midwifery or you’ll need four SQA Highers at the BBBC level, including English and a science subject.
Despite the need for more midwives, the NHS has a cap on the number of degree spots available. This results in part from the intense clinical monitoring required during training. As a result, there is intense competition for spots on midwifery degrees. There are frequently 1,000 applicants for just 30 openings.
But given that the government is expanding the number of positions for student midwives, this is a good time to apply. In order to increase the number of midwives, 3,650 additional degree spots will be made available in England between 2019 and 2022. Wales saw a 40 percent increase in training spots in 2019, while Scotland saw an increase of more than 18 percent.
If you’ve previously worked in a caring profession, it will help your application. Any experience caring for people, whether gained through volunteer work, paid employment, or personal experience, will be a distinct advantage. This includes a few days of work experience in your neighborhood maternity unit.
Attending university open houses and speaking with midwives are both smart moves. If you can write a compelling personal statement and demonstrate a thorough knowledge of what it takes to be a midwife, your application will stand out.
Most people use UCAS to apply for full-time midwifery degrees. Application deadlines are in the fall of the year before you want to begin training.
A registered midwife degree apprenticeship is another option, allowing you to work and study part-time. Employers provide these in collaboration with one of the four colleges that have agreed to participate in the program.
You can apply for a postgraduate midwifery conversion program if you already have a degree. There are typically opportunities to do this in three years of full-time study or five to six years of part-time education. Many colleges will accept registered nurses for intensive midwifery programs that allow you to become certified in less than two years.
While pursuing a five- or six-year part-time course, several nurses and other healthcare professionals continue to work. If you have experience in the medical field, you may find that it is useful in the midwifery field.
Types of midwives
There are two types of midwives, including:
A hospital’s obstetric unit, a unit run by midwives, or a birth center all house hospital midwives. They are employed in the antenatal clinic, postpartum ward, or labor ward.
A community midwife typically works with a group of other midwives to continuously care for patients in the neighborhood. They provide care to expectant moms in their homes or at a clinic. Home births are attended by community midwives, and if you give birth in a hospital, they might also be there to support you in the labor room. They conduct home visits for a period of up to 10 days following the birth of a child. For mothers who received prenatal care from hospital midwives, they also offer postpartum care.
The Average Salary Of A Midwife
The average yearly wage for a midwife in the UK is £37,131, according to Indeed Salaries. A number of variables, such as a midwife’s certifications, titles, employment, and geographic location, affect their average yearly pay. Overtime employment is a potential source of additional money for midwives.
The Agenda for Change pay scale governs how much midwives employed by the NHS are paid. Newly licensed midwives are paid at Band 5, which begins at £25,655.
The next step is to go to Band 6, which is between £32,306 and £39,027.
Pay ranges from £40,057 to £45,839 at Band 7, where you’ll be working at a more senior level, such as managing a team.
One of the nursing jobs with the highest salary is that of nurse consultant, with starting pay in the band 8b to 8c range of £54,764 to £75,874.
These figures are only meant to be used as a guide.
How to Become A Midwife in UK: The Best Steps
There are different ways to become a midwife. To become a midwife, you’d need to adhere to the following steps:
1. Complete GCSEs and College level courses
You must successfully pass a number of General Secondary Certification Education (GCSE) courses before you may pursue midwifery studies in college.
You must take a minimum of five GCSE courses in grades 9 through 4. (A to C). Science, math, and English are all worthwhile classes. You also need to complete two or three A-levels or a level 3 diploma in science or health.
You have two options after completing the necessary GCSEs and college coursework: you can enroll in a university to pursue a bachelor’s degree or you can pursue an apprenticeship.
2. Complete a bachelor’s degree
Most midwives have at least a bachelor’s degree in the field. The Nursing & Midwifery Council has approved this degree, which will take three years to complete.
A midwifery degree covers a variety of related subjects, such as postnatal care and difficult childbearing.
The degree also includes more basic topics like law and ethics, public health, and health promotion. The degree offers real-world experience to develop practical midwifery abilities because midwifery is a skill-based profession.
3. Do a midwifery apprenticeship
You might complete a midwifery apprenticeship instead of going to college. This is the same as earning a bachelor’s degree.
An approved obstetrician or licensed midwife teaches a trainee about the profession during a midwifery apprenticeship.
Students are mentored by a qualified midwife throughout their clinical studies, and they also get hands-on training in the profession.
Healthcare organizations or specific National Health Service (NHS) organizations are both places where you can apply for a midwifery apprenticeship.
4. Do a conversion course if you are a registered nurse
If you have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and are a registered nurse, you can take a conversion course to switch to being a midwife. The conversion training program will last 18 to 24 months.
5. Register as a midwife
You must register as a midwife with the Nursing and Midwifery Council after earning a university degree in midwifery or after finishing an apprenticeship in midwifery.
You will be subjected to additional background checks as part of this registration procedure to make sure you are qualified to be a midwife. You can begin working as a midwife as soon as you register.
Every three years, you must demonstrate to the Nursing and Midwifery Council that you have updated your skills by satisfying the requirements listed below.
- 450 practice hours, including team management, teaching, and providing direct patient care
- 20 hours of interactive learning are included in the 35 hours of ongoing professional development (CPD).
- Five suggestions for improving practice
- Five pieces of writing that mirror
- A discussion on reflection
- A statement of character and fitness
- A professional liability contract
6. Choose an area of specialty
Once you’ve registered, you can choose to specialize in a number of areas, including diabetes, public health, prenatal mental health, newborn care, ultrasounds, and so forth.
Additionally, there are jobs for midwives in academia and research. You must acquire more education and training in order to specialize.
7. Take a leadership position
You can advance to the position of team leader or ward manager after accumulating several years of professional experience. You can also work in healthcare as the director of midwifery services or as the local supervisory authority’s midwives’ supervisor.
You must be registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council in order to practice as a midwife in the UK (NMC). You must successfully finish a recognized pre-registration degree-level program, such as a degree apprenticeship or an undergraduate or graduate degree in midwifery, in order to register.
Three years are required for full-time study. The first half of the degree is spent studying at the university, and the second half is spent gaining practical experience through clinical rotations.
You’ll learn how to comprehend and assist with typical deliveries, as well as how to spot potential issues, handle emergencies, and seek assistance from other professionals when necessary.
For those who are already employed in a position that is relevant, part-time programs are offered and typically last five to six years. An accelerated midwifery training program that enables dual registration with the NMC is available to register (adult) nurses.
Look for midwifery programs that have received MC approval. Get in touch with universities directly for part-time studies.
Acceptance for a course is contingent upon satisfactory results from a criminal background check and a health clearance. Being cautioned or convicted of a crime does not automatically exclude you from employment with the NHS.
Pre-registration midwifery students who meet the requirements may get monetary assistance of at least £5,000 per year while enrolled in an English university.
You still have access to funds from the Student Loans Company for loans for maintenance and tuition, and you don’t have to pay them back. Visit Health Careers: Financial Support at University to learn more.
Since getting into a midwifery program is competitive, you should try to apply as soon as you can. Applications are submitted through UCAS for full-time programs. Get in touch with universities directly for part-time studies.
You will receive formal support as a newly licensed midwife under the direction of an experienced professional colleague. During the initial few months of professional practice, they will be available to provide guidance and assistance.
Your registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which must be renewed every three years, must be kept current throughout your career. You must prove that you fulfilled the NMC revalidation standards within that time in order to do this. These consist of:
- 450 hours of practice (or 900 if you are dual registered as both a nurse and midwife)
- 35 hours of continuous education (CE), 20 of which are for participatory learning
- Five suggestions for improving practice
- five pieces of writing that reflect
- thoughtful conversation
- health and character statement
- Confirmation of a professional indemnity agreement – You must show a suitable “confirmer” that you have complied with the revalidation requirements.
Revalidation guarantees that you are maintaining your knowledge and skills and engaging in safe and efficient practice.
Attending conferences, workshops, or other pertinent training sessions and events can count as CPD participatory learning, as long as interaction with at least one other professional is required. NMC Revalidation has further information.
By enrolling in specialized courses in subjects like family planning, teaching in clinical practice, enhanced midwifery practice, and research, you can expand your role. The Royal College of Midwives offers information on pertinent events, programs, and resources.
Additionally, there are options for graduate-level, master’s-level, and PhD studies. Look for postgraduate midwifery courses.
You can gain expertise and knowledge in a variety of healthcare settings, including by specializing clinically in a field like:
- prenatal testing
- breastfeeding recommendations
- at-home delivery
- critical care
- infant units
- maternity ward oversight
- ultrasonography technology in public health and fetal medicine.
You might work as a consultant midwife, splitting your time between working with patients directly and educating and directing practice-improving changes.
A higher managerial position, such as that of the head of midwifery services or midwives’ supervisor with the regional supervising authority, may also be your goal. As an alternative, you may work in academia or the medical field as a teacher or researcher.
There are several chances to work abroad with organizations like Médecins Sans Frontières or Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). Check this before applying because in some nations midwives must also be registered nurses in order to practice.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming A Midwife
These are the frequently asked questions about how to become a Midwife in UK:
How long does it take to qualify as a midwife?
It typically takes at least three years to finish the required studies to become a midwife.
An 18-month training program is required to become a midwife if you are currently a registered nurse.
Where do midwives work?
Typically, midwives are employed by hospitals or other healthcare settings. Some midwives do their business in patients’ homes, birth centers, university medical facilities, or private practices. Additionally, midwives can operate in a variety of healthcare facilities, such as neonatal critical care units and special newborn care units.
Does a midwife work alone?
Teams of midwives are common in the profession. They might collaborate with general practitioners, obstetricians, health visitors, neonatologists, or anesthetists in an interdisciplinary team.
What are midwives’ working hours?
While most midwives work non-traditional hours, including evenings and weekends, others do so during regular business hours. Since expectant moms can go into labor at any time in the days leading up to the due date, a midwife must be “on-call.” Some people could require urgent medical attention for conditions associated with pregnancy. Some midwives only have part-time jobs.
Midwives can pursue extra education to become health visitors, directors of midwifery, or consultants in the field. Doulas can also be midwives.
Unsocial hours are frequently part of the workday. The typical length of a full-time work week is 37.5 hours, which may also include weekends, holidays, and day and night shifts.
Community and independent midwives are frequently on call around the clock, so at some time in your career, you should anticipate being a part of an on-call rota.
You can work part-time. It is occasionally feasible to work for yourself or as a freelancer, and you can opt to work in an independent practice, which may present greater opportunities for care continuity. There could be breaks in your career.
Where can I find more information?
More details regarding training to be a midwife can be found at:
From UCAS, you can learn where you can enroll in classes and how to apply for a degree. Visit the GOV.UK and NHS Jobs websites to find degree apprenticeships. What are your thoughts about how to become a midwife in UK? Please share your thoughts below.