Midwives are Healthcare professionals that specialize in assisting mothers during home childbirth. More and more mothers are choosing to have their child in the comfort and privacy of their homes; in these cases, they often hire Midwives to assist during the process. These professionals are trained in all the necessary procedures they will carry out and precautions that must be taken during childbirth. They also provide emotional and psychological support to future mothers and constantly monitor their medical conditions. Midwives often work at healthcare centers, women’s health centers, and several organizations dedicated to assisting mothers during the entire pregnancy process.
It is highly recommended that mothers consult with their Physician regarding their wish to have their baby at home. The Physician will authorize a home birth provided that there are no health risks for the mother or the infant. Midwives often confer with Physicians regarding the pregnancy in order to take special precautions when needed. Should an emergency occur, Midwives must rush mothers to a hospital or a specialized health center where they may receive the treatment they require.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Midwives are required to complete.
- Conferring with Physicians and patients regarding pregnancies and their status:
- Reading and analyzing medical tests and results;
- keeping records of patients and their tests;
- taking existing medical conditions and previous pregnancies, if any, of patients into consideration;
- maintain a log or record of the childbirth process to provide later on to Physicians and other Healthcare specialists; and
- recommending patients to seek specialized care when cases escape their experience or capabilities.
- Providing assistance prior, during, and after the childbirth process to mothers:
- Monitoring the state and conditions of the fetus by listening to its heartbeat, identifying the fetal position, measuring uterine dilatation, and estimating size and weight of the baby;
- instructing the mother on hormonal and physical changes;
- designing personalized healthcare plans for each patient according to the type of pregnancy and existing medical conditions;
- explaining procedures to patients;
- monitoring the mother’s medication consumption;
- educating parents and family members regarding postpartum and newborn care;
- assisting mothers during the delivery of the child, as well as coordinating the activities of all present family and assistants;
- continuously monitoring the mother’s vital signs and conditions during childbirth;
- suggesting movements and positions to ease the pain;
- cutting the umbilical cord of the baby and cleaning it after delivery;
- checking vital signs and conditions of the newborn; and
- cleaning the uterine cavity after delivery in order to avoid infections.
- Providing emotional support to the mother after the delivery.
- Providing tips on breastfeeding and baby care.
- Reacting accordingly should an emergency arise during or after childbirth:
- Establishing, explaining, and following emergency procedures;
- identifying possible health hazards during childbirth and reacting accordingly;
- rushing mothers or infants to a healthcare center if an emergency escapes their capabilities or expertise; and
- providing medical emergency care for newborn infants, including resuscitation should it be necessary.
- Conferring with Physicians during patients’ pregnancies.
- Reading, interpreting, and analyzing medical reports, histories, and conditions of patients in order to act accordingly.
- Explaining safety and emergency procedures to mothers and family members, as well as reacting in a timely manner to any emergency.
- Checking vital signs and the mother and infant’s conditions during and after childbirth.
- Assisting mothers during child delivery.
- Cleaning newborn babies and the uterine cavities of mothers after delivery.
- Emotionally supporting the mother during the entire process.
The average salary for Midwife related jobs is $75,417 per year or $39 per hour. This is around 2.6 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $53,000 while most experienced workers make up to $106,000. These results are based on 84 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills:
- Communicating clearly, especially verbally, in order to create a comforting and transparent environment with patients and their relatives, providing answers to their questions and addressing their concerns;
- great writing abilities in order to fill and submit detailed medical reports.
- displaying strong customer service skills, setting high standards of patient care and safety, treating every patient with dignity and respect; and
- being able to work cohesively as part of a team, dealing with a diverse group of people, always conveying a positive image and building positive relationships with others.
- Strong sense of empathy, compassion, and altruism:
- Demonstrating sensitivity to individual needs of patients;
- being emotionally able to deal with stressful situations; and
- displaying an inherent ability to make others feel cared about.
- Exceptional ability to work under pressure in challenging settings:
- Having strong multitasking skills; being able to prioritize tasks and responsibilities;
- being exceptionally flexible and able to deal with a broad variety of parameters and changing demands in a dynamic, fast-paced environment;
- remaining calm and professional during times of critical needs; and
- being able to face emotionally demanding situations.
- Analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills:
- Identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner using critical thinking and good judgment; and
- being able to analyze, assess, and diagnose the patients’ condition in order to provide them with the proper treatments.
- Exceptional professionalism and strong work ethic:
- Being trustworthy enough to handle sensitive/confidential information.
- Great sense of responsibility and reliability.
In order to become a Midwife, applicants must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in Nursing or any other health-related degree. However, having a master’s degree is a common request among clients.
It’s absolutely necessary for aspirants to be licensed in order to legally perform this job. There are several options when it comes to becoming a licensed Midwife in the United States. Aspirants can be part of the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), which offers applicants the possibility of getting the Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) or Certified Midwife (CM) credentials through the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). In order to become an AMCB's Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), it is necessary to go through a Midwife degree program and be a registered Nurse. Additionally, interested parties can also get the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). No matter what certifications these professionals acquire, it is necessary to renew them every 3 to 5 years.