There are a lot of women (and some men, too) who have their sights set on a career in midwifery. It takes hard work to get there, and it takes the right kind of person. But if you manage to make it, it’s a role you won’t regret stepping into. Even though I don’t work clinically as much as I used to, it’s given me a skill set that’s set me up for life. You’ll never be out of work, and we’re always needed. My knowledge and experience always keeps me in demand as a writer too.
It’s vital to society
To many women, a midwife has played some of the most important roles in helping the safe passage of babies into the world. While the medical involvement of the birth and even the techniques practiced in the industry themselves evolve, the most essential part of being a midwife remains the same. It’s to help mother and baby, to empower women not just physically but emotionally through childbirth and to give them someone they can trust to voice any concerns before, during, and after the birth. Without midwives, childbirth can be a very clinical experience without the warmth and humanity that they can offer. The actual meaning of the word Midwife is ‘With Woman,’ which is why it remains the same whether the midwife is male or female. Midhusband would have a very different meaning!
It’s a source of constant learning
You are never ‘done’ learning as a midwife. That’s not just because the techniques keep changing. It’s also because there’s plenty of progression possible in the career as well. To learn how to help the baby, to provide care throughout the whole pregnancy, and offer vital advice to new mothers, you need to have a degree in the UK, and be certified in the US. But you can go even further with higher education like a Masters degree or even a Doctorate in the UK, or in the US earning a DNP from places like Maryville Online. Specialist midwives, consultants, even teaching are all vital parts of the industry. We as midwives are responsible for lifelong learning so that we’re on top of the latest research. But no matter where you go in your career, you’re going to constantly be learning new things about motherhood, about childbirth, and the latest techniques you can use to make it an easier process. We’re educators too, teaching the new waves of Midwives coming through, and supporting our colleagues.
It’s beautiful, but terrifying
Midwifery isn’t easy.When people find out what I do, they say how lovely it must be and get all sentimental. When a birth goes well, then it might seem that way. But not all births go well. Sometimes there are complications, sometimes new mothers struggle, and sometimes even the worst case scenario can happen. The burden of responsibility to not only provide safe passage for mother and baby, but also provide a positive birth experience is heavy. It’s a messy business, physically and emotionally. But from your first delivery to your hundredth, years down the line, the experience of a successful birth never stops being one of immense emotional gratification. It never gets boring, seeing the miracle of birth, whether it’s a home waterbirth or a planned c-section. To play a role in what is rightly considered a miracle by so many is a precious feeling. That feeling alone is why so many midwives just can’t imagine not doing it anymore.
Because you care
Pregnancy is hard. It’s harder when you don’t have someone who fully understands what you’re going through. A lot of women who become midwives do so because they have had a child themselves. They know the impact that a caring presence has or perhaps they lacked that experience and they want to make sure other women get it. Others felt it such a profound experience that it inspired a change of career. Midwifery isn’t just about the baby, it’s about caring for other women. To listen, understand, empathise, and encourage is as important as the physical side of midwifery. If you truly care, then you will never want to look outside the career.
You need to be resilient, you need to care, and you need to be dedicated to your path if you want to make it as a midwife. But once you do, you are a vital part of the modern childbirth experience that many women find utterly irreplaceable.
Disclosure: collaborative post