Five Core Skills Needed for a Career in Midwifery

Midwives come from all walks of life, and this is important because babies are born to people in every social and cultural group. If you are thinking about becoming a midwife, spend a little time reflecting on whether you have the skills needed for this challenging but very rewarding career.

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People Skills Midwives need excellent people skills because their role includes providing professional support to women, their partners and their families during very emotionally charged times in their lives. Having a baby can be a wonderful time for a family, but sometimes there are problems that cause people to behave in unusual or challenging ways, and a midwife should be able to help to the best of his or her ability without judging the people involved. All sorts of people have babies, so it is very important to be able to communicate with them and provide the reassurance they need. Listening to their hopes and fears is also vital to ensure that you are responding to their real concerns, not just those that they can put into words.

 Education at Degree Level Midwives can be qualified nurses who choose to specialise in midwifery or others who choose to study for a registered midwifery degree without prior qualifications, but you do need to be able to study at this level. All midwives need a detailed understanding of foetal and child development, and they have to keep their knowledge up to date through further education throughout their careers. Team Working Midwives are members of a multi-disciplinary team and need to liaise with GPs, obstetricians, health visitors and social workers. They also need to work closely with the parents and baby, ensuring that the birth goes as smoothly as possible through their understanding of all the people involved.

Answering Questions and Offering Advice Parents-to-be usually see the midwife as the first point of contact for any queries they might have, so midwives need the ability to answer their questions and share their skills and knowledge with parents and their families. It can sometimes also be important for the midwife to ensure that other members of the care team, such as doctors, recognise their needs. Staying Calm Under Pressure The situations encountered by a midwife can quickly become emotionally charged and it is important for midwives to have the ability to keep calm, even when things become very stressful. Quick reactions are essential on the rare occasions when things go wrong to ensure that the situation is handled as effectively as possible.

Midwives frequently view their job as "privileged" and it can be wonderful to share such a precious time with a family. There is a certainly great deal of satisfaction in the role of midwife. However, if you are considering this as a career, you need to be sure you are ready for the demands and responsibilities of the role. Abi is a Doctor and recommends companies such as Team 24 for those seeking a career in the healthcare industry.

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