Maternity support worker

Maternity support workers assist midwives in caring for women and their babies through the vital stages of pregnancy, childbirth and the first few days of birth.

This page has information on the role of the maternity support worker, including entry requirements and skills needed. 

Working life

As a maternity support worker (MSW), you'll work under the supervision of a registered midwife. MSWs are sometimes known as maternity healthcare support workers.

In this role, you'd be

MSWs work in

You need to be able to cope with emergency situations and straightforward labour and birth.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements. Employers expect a good standard of numeracy and literacy and may ask for GCSEs or equivalent. They may ask for a qualification in health and social care, nursery nursing or childcare such as CACHE, NNEB, BTEC or NVQ.

Employers usually ask for experience of working with children and families. This can be either or paid or voluntary work. There are often posts advertised for midwifery assistants and maternity healthcare assistants. These could enable you to gain experience to apply for positions as an MSW.

Skills and personal characteristics needed

As a MSW, you'll need to be

You'll also need

Training and development 

You will get the training you need to do the job. This includes an introduction to the department, how to use the equipment and the procedures to follow.

You may be offered the chance to study for qualifications such as

Some MSWs join the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). The RCM runs courses, conferences and seminars where MSWs can update their skills and network with others working in the same field.


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