What is the job of a midwife

job of a midwife

Does the idea of helping to be mothers bring a new life into this world fascinate you? Are you well aware of the anatomy of the human body, medicine, and the mechanics of labor and birth? If the answer to all the above questions is yes, then perhaps you should consider the job of a midwife as a career option.

Who are midwives?

The job of a midwife can be best described as a health care professional trained to care and provide support to pregnant women. A midwife’s job begins when a woman conceives and continues throughout their pregnancy and labor and delivery of the baby. They are also responsible for conducting a clean and safe delivery, caring for the newborn, and preventing neonatal or maternal morbidity. Many midwives also support new mothers and attend to all their needs.

Skills required for the job of a midwife

Given the sensitive nature of the job, a midwife must possess various skills needed to bring a new life into the world. Some of these include:

  • Empathy, kindness, and compassion
  • Great communication skills so they can communicate clearly with a diverse range of women
  • Have ample knowledge about the human anatomy, medicine, labor as well as childbirth
  • Be an active listener
  • Calm and a caring demeanor especially helpful during emotional situations
  • Sharp critical thinking as well as quick decision-making skills
  • Social perception
  • The ability to stay calm under pressure and in stressful situations
  • React quickly and effectively in stressful times
  • Meticulous about storing, handling, and updating patient files.
  • Adaptability
  • Strong team-working skills
  • Ability to create good relations with patients
  • Manual dexterity (This includes strength, stamina, and physical fitness)
job of a midwife

Responsibilities of a midwife:

The duties of a midwife start during the antenatal period and continue through the intranasal and postnatal period. During this time, some of the key responsibilities include:

  • Provide primary care for expecting mothers.
  • Conduct STD testing and treatment on expecting parents
  • Monitor the health of the mother-to-be and their unborn baby.
  • Conduct prenatal and postnatal examinations
  • Provide information to pregnant mothers about the changes happening to their bodies.
  • Answer all their queries in a calm, helpful, and non-judgmental manner.
  • Prepare and educate patients, their partners, and family member. Inform them about parenthood, reproductive health, prenatal and antenatal care.
  • Assist, suggest and create birthing plans for the pregnant mother.
  • Help pregnant women with pain management.
  • Provide emotional support to expecting mothers 
  • Teach them techniques on how to prepare for labor
  • Handle labor and delivery at patients’ homes, birthing centers, etc.
  • Deal with any emergency or complication that may arise during labor.
  • Care for the newborn child for the first 28 days.
  • Collaborate and work closely with physicians or other doctors (if needed)

Educational Requirements

Midwifery services have grown leaps and bound in the last decade or so. As the demand for midwives increases, they are no longer confined to working just in hospitals. Many midwives can now easily practice in local clinics, community centers, and even private practice. However, to become a midwife, one must first complete the necessary education dictated by their respective states. The educational requirement for a midwife’s job largely depends on the type of midwife you choose to be. The four most common types of midwives in the US include:

 A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM): This midwife attends nursing school and then opts for a master’s degree in midwifery and advanced practice nursing. Upon completion, they receive a certification and a license to practice in hospitals.

A Certified Midwife (CM): These midwives have a bachelor’s degree in another field and then opt for a master’s degree, which is similar to the education of CNM. However, given their limited educational background, they are licensed to practice in only a few states.

A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM): Thesefocuses on training rather than getting a degree. A Certified Professional Midwife passes a comprehensive test administered by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and then goes through an apprenticeship to learn the necessary skills required. CPMs are allowed to practice in only a handful of states and work only in home births and birthing centers.   

What about salary?

The job of a midwife is both intrinsically and non-intrinsically rewarding. Although the satisfaction of helping bring a new life into this world is rewarding still enough, the job of a midwife pays well too. Studies indicate that midwives earn approximately $51.01 an hour and expect an average yearly income of $80,000 to $124,906 a year. Moreover, if a midwife chooses to get certified, her salary almost doubles based on her experience and geographical location.

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