Midwives often describe their job as 'privileged'. The role they have in preparing women for the delivery of new life makes them a vital presence during all stages of pregnancy, labour and the early postnatal period.
Becoming a midwife means undertaking professional education at degree level. Some midwives are qualified nurses who have chosen to change career direction and undertake the extra study necessary to be registered as a midwife. Others begin their career by working their way up via support roles, such as starting as a maternity support worker, before going on to study for a midwifery degree later.
Community or acute?
More midwives now work in the community, providing services in women's homes, local clinics, children's centres and GP surgeries. There are also still a lot of opportunities for midwives to work on antenatal, labour and postnatal wards and neonatal units in hospitals.