What does a midwife do?

Midwives provide professional care and advice to women during pregnancy and childbirth. This includes things like assessing the health of the woman and her baby as pregnancy progresses, referring patients for ultrasounds and blood tests, and providing pregnant women with information about all aspects of pregnancy and birth such as nutrition, birth plans, pain management and breast feeding. Midwives also run classes for pregnant women and their partners to prepare them for labour and birth.

Tasks:

  • Creating healthcare plans for pregnant women and newborns
  • Arranging medical and imaging consultations
  • Supporting women during labour and delivery
  • Educating women and their families on a range of issues relevant to pregnancy, labour, delivery and post-birth

What skills do I need to be a midwife?

Midwives need to have a thorough understanding of all aspects of pregnancy, labour and birth. They work in a stressful environment and therefore must also be able to make decisions under pressure. It is very important that midwives are able to relate well to people from a range of backgrounds, cultures and environments. Many other professionals are also reliant on midwives providing accurate information, so being detail-oriented with good written communication skills is another valuable attribute.
Skills/attributes
  • Comprehensive understanding of pregnancy and birth
  • Capacity to handle stress and work well under pressure
  • Good people skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication abilities

Specialisations

Midwives may find over time that there are particular aspects of midwifery and healthcare that they wish to focus on and dedicate their time to working in specifically. Some options include becoming a midwifery educator, a community midwife, and taking on healthcare management roles.

Midwifery Educator

Midwifery educators dedicate their professional skills to the training and support of midwifery students. They need to have a strong focus on professional development, be up-to-date in their knowledge of best practice and be an effective teacher.

Community Midwives

Community midwives provide in home care to women during pregnancy, delivery and after birth, rather than providing those services in a hospital setting. These midwives tend to work with a smaller group of dedicated clients and are on call throughout each client's pregnancy.

Obstetrics Manager

An obstetrics manager coordinates the midwives, nurses, doctors and other medical staff on their ward. They are involved in staffing and budget management, policy and procedure development, as well as things such as strategic planning and resource allocation.

Study pathways for midwives

There are essentially two pathways to become a midwife in Australia, either by completing a Bachelor of Nursing, followed by postgraduate study in midwifery, or through a Bachelor of Midwifery.

Getting Started

Find courses to get started on a career in nursing and midwifery.

Skill Building

Take the next step in your career pathway and add to your professional accreditation.

Professional Development

Give your career an added kick and set yourself apart from the crowd.

Industry Recognition

Midwives must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to practise in Australia.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your midwifery career. Take a look at our sample resume and cover letter and put your best foot forward when you apply for midwifery jobs.

Job Prospects and Salaries

Midwifes are in increasing demand throughout Australia and employment opportunities are abundant for qualified midwifery professionals.