Midwives provide care and support to women and their families while pregnant, throughout labour and during the period after a baby’s birth. 

This page has information on being a midwife and links to further information. 

Working life 

You’ll mainly deal with pregnant women requiring professional support and advice. You are likely to be the lead health professional and contact for a woman, providing evidence-based information and helping her make informed choices about the options and services available throughout her pregnancy.  

Download transcript.

You’ll be the expert on childbirth and your responsibilities are likely to be diverse. You’ll provide: 

You could be working with women from a variety of backgrounds and you will need to be confident enough to communicate with different people. Some women and their families might be homeless, socially excluded, have disabilities or be very young. Other clients may be from certain cultural or religious backgrounds.  

All women will need you to understand the emotional, physical and psychological processes of pregnancy and birth. Sometimes pregnancies do not go to plan and you will need to offer support and advice on stillbirth, miscarriage, termination, neonatal death and neonatal abnormalities. 

If you are working as a community midwife, you are likely to develop good professional relationships with your families, which can make counselling easier at difficult times.

You’ll often work on a rota and be on-call to provide 24-hour care at the woman’s home as well as in hospital.

"Experiencing the birth of a baby as part of your day job is incredible."

Eleri Bates, Midiwfe at  University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust

Read Eleri's story 

Where will I work? 

Midwifery services are increasingly moving from hospitals to the community, so where you work could reflect this. 

Antenatal care in the community is provided in women’s homes, local clinics, children’s centres and GP surgeries. It can also be provided in hospitals where you may work in triage and assessment areas, high and low risk labour, postnatal wards and neonatal units. Care during labour is provided in a mother’s home, as well as midwifery led maternity units.

You’ll work with a range of other professionals including gynaecologists, GPs, health visitorsneonatal nurses and maternity support workers.

How to become a midwife

To become a midwife you’ll need to train and study for an undergraduate degree or postgraduate degree or diploma, or secure a place on a midwifery degree apprenticeship. Entry requirements vary depending on where you’d like to study or work. You can find full-time midwifery courses using our Course Finder tool. You can search for  apprenticeship vacancies on the NHS Jobs website and the Find an apprenticeship website.

Want to learn more? 

Other roles that may interest you

Partner logos

Make a comment or report a problem with this page

Help us improve Health Careers