I remember being a bit confused about how to become a midwife. I had a very clear goal of becoming a midwife, just the process sounded complicated! If you feel the same then this post on how to become a midwife will clear things up for you.
In the UK, you become a midwife by getting onto the Nursing and Midwifery Council register. To do this, you complete a three year degree course. It features half practical and half academic content, so you work in hospitals, community settings, and in birth centres doing shift work alongside qualified midwives.
That's how to become a midwife. It's bloody hard work, but it's fantastically worthwhile!
Early, afternoon, and night shifts will all be part of your schedule. You'll write essays, give presentations, do practical and written exams, and attend lots of kinds of lectures and seminars. I found it all really interesting and I bet you will too.
You'll read so many books you'll have facts coming out of your ears. You'll learn how to criticise research, and not to just believe the conclusions of a study.
To become a midwife, you need to get certain bits of experience. You'll work with mentors, and they'll sign your portfolio as you meet the requirements.
This should give you an idea of the practical side of how to become a midwife. You need to get the following experience during your three years training:
- Advising at least 100 pregnant women
- Observation of 10 women giving birth
- Being an advocate for women and honouring their needs
- 40 catches (i.e. births. Most midwives prefer the word 'caught' to 'delivered' as pizzas get delivered, and saying babies are delivered tends to make it sound like the health care professionals have done all the work...when in facts it's the mum!)
- Do a few breech deliveries (or be involved. Or do a practice breech delivery if there are none while you're training. We don't do many bottom first babies these days)
- Do episiotomies (!) and start to do a bit of suturing (I only did one episiotomy in the whole of my training...I've only done two since in four years of qualified practice - just when there was clear fetal distress.)
- Do some care for 40 women with more complex needs
- Do 100 postnatal checks on women and healthy babies
- Do some observing and caring for babies requiring special care
- Looking after women with pathological conditions in pregnancy (stuff like epilepsy, pre-eclampsia, diabetes)
Basically, you'll work harder than you ever have before, immerse yourself in practical and written midwifery, get tired, elated, frustrated and reassured, until you pop out a newly qualified midwife after 3 years. That's it, that's how to become a midwife!
If you have any more questions on how to become a midwife? I'd love to hear from you.
Please like and share this post if you know any aspiring midwives who might want to read about how to become a midwife.