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How to become a Midwife

avg. starting salary

Do you love babies? Are you addicted to TV shows like One Born Every Minute? Then you could consider training to be a Midwife. Working in the NHS, Midwives provide essential support, care and advice for expectant mums, from the time just after their pregnancy is confirmed by a doctor to when the new baby is a month old. You'll be able to help women make decisions about exactly what they want during labour and you'll be on hand to deal with any dilemmas that arise afterwards. Midwives can work in hospitals, maternity units, group practices and birthing centres, but the role will usually include:
  • Diagnosing, monitoring and examining women during pregnancy and providing antenatal help.
  • Coming up with individually tailored care programmes for the parents-to-be and giving classes on looking after newborns.
  • Observing animal behaviour and checking for injuries
  • Supervising labour and referring cases to a doctor if Plan A cannot be implemented.
  • Advising new mums and dads after the birth until the Health Visitor takes over, a month later.

A Midwife needs to come across as calm in any type of crisis, so it's best to have a level-headed disposition if you want to pursue this as a career. Obviously, you'll need to like babies and working with people in general too - and you'd better not be the slightest bit squeamish. Also, bear in mind that Midwives' working lives usually involve some anti-social hours and that they are regularly on call - unfortunately, babies just can't be persuaded to arrive between 9am and 5pm. Key skills include:
  • A caring bedside manner
  • Being proactive and able to react quickly should things not go according to plan
  • The ability to work in a team
  • Patience - you'll spend a lot of time explaining the same things over and over
  • The ability to provide reassurance and build trust in your patients

"If you want to be a Midwife, you have to be prepared to work hard. The hours are long and the job is both physically and mentally demanding. That said, the rewards are definitely worth it - delivering a baby creates a rush of euphoria like no other. OK, so I might end up a bit messy most days - but I get to watch new life coming into the world on a daily basis, and there's no better feeling than that."

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