A midwife must be fully trained before they can take up the position. There are various courses for midwifery that will provide you with the qualifications you need.
It does however depend on the position you are in at the moment. For example qualified nurses who decide to become midwives will take a different route to achieve the purpose to someone who has no nursing experience.
You must hold a degree in midwifery to be able to apply for a job as a midwife. You can expect to study for at least three years in order to pass, although some universities have four year courses. You will still come out with the same degree however.
The degree course is a mixture of theory and practical learning. As such you will gain experience by working in real life situations. This will give you an idea of what to expect in your day to day working life once you have qualified.
There is such a thing as a short programme that a qualified nurse can study in order to move into midwifery from a nursing role. This is done because a qualified nurse will already have some of the skills required to work in the field. Courses for midwifery are shorter and focused on giving nurses the skills they will need to change jobs.
This course normally takes around half as much time as a full degree course would take to study.
It’s easy to focus on the main skill of delivering a baby, since this is what we think about when we think of midwives. But of course you will learn many other things as well. You will learn how to identify and deal with potential emergencies should anything go wrong with a birth. You will also learn various medical skills in case you will ever need them.
But the medical side of things is just one aspect of midwifery. You will also learn how to talk with mums to be (and indeed parents to be) to identify any worries or concerns they might have. You will play a part in creating a birthing plan in advance of the big day (or night) when it happens. It may sound unusual but you will also discover how religion and social needs and situations can have a bearing on pregnancy and birth.
As you might imagine it helps to be able to relate to all kinds of women in many different social situations. You may be called to help a woman give birth at her home, since many home births are carried out nowadays. With good social skills and the right qualifications, it’s easy to see how courses for midwifery are the first step to a successful career.