Midwives provide care, support, and advice for women and their babies during the period of pregnancy. It will also stretch to the labour and early postnatal period.
Midwives will assist women in making independent decisions about the type of services and care they would like to access. The role also deals with parenting advice and health education until the care is delegated to a health visitor.
As a midwife, you will be accountable for the overall health of both the child and the mother. You may only refer to obstetricians in case of medical complications. You will also be working with a multidisciplinary team in both hospitals and other healthcare settings.
Working as a midwife for a nursing agency in Leicester, you will be the prime contact and a leading health professional for women requiring professional support and advice. You are also required to provide evidence-based information that will help women to make informed choices. As an expert in childbirth, you will have diverse roles and responsibilities.
- Provide complete antenatal care including clinical examinations, screening and parenting classes
- Identify high-risk pregnancies
- Monitor the health of women and support them during the labour and birthing process
Guide new and expectant mothers on feeding, caring and bathing the babies.
Most often, you will be working with women from diverse backgrounds. Hence, you need to have excellent communication skills and confidence in supporting their needs.
Roles and Responsibilities
You will also need to understand the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of pregnancy and birth when working as a midwife.
Remember that not all pregnancies go according to the plan. So, you must be emotionally strong to provide advice on miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, termination, or neonatal abnormalities.
Being a midwife also helps you to develop good relationships with the families of your patients. This can make it easier to counsel at difficult times.
With a nursing agency in Leicester, midwives need to develop, evaluate, and assess individual care programmes. Apart from full antenatal care, you will have to conduct screening tests and make referrals to doctors or other medical specialists during high-risk pregnancies.
Monitoring the foetus condition and applying the knowledge is required for pain management.
You may even have to liaise with agencies or other social and health care professionals to make sure of continued care. As you grow with experience, you will also be responsible for participating in the supervision and training of junior colleagues.
How to Become a Midwife in the UK?
Firstly, you must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council to practice as a midwife in the UK. Certain approved pre-registering midwifery programmes must be completed in order to get registered.
These programmes often last for three years and are well-structured. You will be spending half of your course studying at university. The other half is based on practical placements that help you gain hands-on experience.
Part-time courses are also available if you are already working in a relevant role. These may take up to five or six years. However, if you are a qualified nurse, you can consider taking up short-term midwifery programmes, which allows you to get qualified sooner than the three-year duration.
Remember that your acceptance into a course is subject to a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check and a satisfactory health clearance.
All NMC approved programmes teach you to understand, facilitate, and promote normal childbirth. They will also train you on identifying complications that arise in babies and mothers. You will be trained on when to seek assistance and administer emergency measures.
This process is often done in conjunction with other health professionals. Promotion, the general health, and wellbeing of the patients, is an important task for the midwives. You will learn how to furnish unbiased information and make effective communication with a wide range of women and their families.
As a midwife, you will be working at maternity units in large hospitals, private maternity hospitals, or other facilities. The work can be mentally and physically demanding. Sometimes, your job will also involve dealing with sensitive situations like domestic abuse or bereavement.
All newly qualified midwives are provided support and guidance from an experienced professional colleague. They will offer you help and advice during the first few months of your tenure as a midwife.
Your registration with the NMC must be renewed every three years.
In order to achieve this, you will have to meet certain re-validation requirements within the said duration.
Some of these include 450 hours of practice, 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD), 20 hours of participatory learning, five pieces of practice-related feedback, written reflective accounts and discussion, and professional indemnity arrangement.
Being a midwife is a very satisfactory career. From personal to professional development, there is a large number of opportunities for midwives in the UK. It’s now time to explore this fulfilling path and take your career to greater heights.