Midwifery is often a sought-after and rewarding career, helping Australians take significant steps in their lives by making a family. Midwives help pregnant women deliver healthy and happy babies and are responsible for providing antenatal care and assessments, support new parents through the birth process and give advice to the new family after the baby is born. Midwives provide education and help parents-to-be in group or individual educational settings. They often carry a high-level of responsibility and work closely with other medical professionals in obstetrics to provide continuous care for pregnant women and their babies. You can become a midwife by completing either a Bachelor in Midwifery or, if you are already a registered nurse, by completing a graduate diploma or master’s degree in midwifery.
Midwives are often a key part for new parents in introducing a healthy baby into the world, providing professional care and advice to women and their partners 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. For new parents especially, they will often rely on the midwife to give them clear, detailed information about all aspects of pregnancy and birth and what to expect, 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
Midwives have a very thorough, developed knowledge on pregnancy, labour and birth as well as health needs of pregnant women. Working as a midwife often means your day will be unpredictable, as you will deal with stressful situations and therefore must also be able to make decisions and remain calm under pressure. You will help patients from a wide range of situations, cultures and backgrounds, and will need to be able to relate well them all, altering your communication style as needed. Many other professionals are also reliant on midwives providing accurate information, so having an eye for detail with good written skills is another valuable attribute.
As well as general midwifery, there are particular aspects of midwifery and healthcare that you may wish to focus on and dedicate your time to working in specialty Some options include becoming a midwifery educator, a community midwife, and taking on healthcare management roles.
If you enjoy teaching others, you can look at a career as a midwifery educator, who helps midwifery students by sharing your knowledge and experience you have learnt over years as an experienced midwife. 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.
If you prefer one-on-one time with your patients, 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, tight-knit group of dedicated clients and are on call throughout each client's pregnancy. These positions often carry a higher-level of responsibility and as part of a team, you will mutually rely more heavily on those who work around you.
An obstetrics manager coordinates and provides some supervision to 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.
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Midwives must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to practise in Australia.
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Midwifes are in increasing demand throughout Australia and employment opportunities are abundant for qualified midwifery professionals