Midwifery is a sub-field of the healthcare professions that deals with providing services for pregnant women, new mothers and their infants. Certified nurse-midwives are involved in prenatal and postnatal medical care, in counselling and offering support, and in preparing families for parenthood. Professional midwives usually work in public or private hospitals, small maternity units, birth centres, or are self-employed.
In order to practice midwifery, students have to complete at least an undergraduate degree in midwifery or in a related field. Academic learning involves a great amount of time spent in clinical practice. Most universities offer part-time study opportunities, and some institutions offer combined dual degrees (e.g. Nursing/Midwifery), or other paramedical studies. Midwifery courses are divided between academic lectures and practical training. Besides specific medical knowledge and an education centred on women and family, midwifery academic programmes also aim at developing qualities such as empathy, compassion, good communication and teamwork skills.
It is quite common for people to find their way into midwifery through another career in healthcare, such as nursing, physician assistance, maternity support work, etc. Regardless of background, certified graduates in midwifery have good professional prospects. They can develop further into senior practitioner roles, or become unit leaders who mix managing staff with ongoing hands-on involvement. Specialisations include neonatal nursing or health visiting.Read more