I am looking to do a Midwifery Degree in 2013. My nearest uni's requirements are Maths/English GCSE and Science A levels. Anyone know any more info on this. I will ring and speak to them next week but interested to hear from anyone who has started or done Midwifery. I understand there is only about 25 places which does not seem very much at all. It is my absolute passion to become a midwife but it scares me doing the 3 years and scrimping and saving with 3 children and then not getting a place at the end of it which of course is possible. Any thoughts on midwifery training from anyone with experience would be so gratefully received. Thank you.
I'm a midwife. I trained 10 years ago so may have changed a bit since then.
Competition as hurricane says is fierce. Most unis expect relevant exams/access course and experience. So volunteering, shadowing a midwife, working as a HCA. You will need to be up to date on current midwifery issues and be very at home with the language of midwifery (individualised care, maternal choice, supervision blah blah blah). Your local uni will probably let you use the library as a guest so you can go and read some midwifery mags to give you an idea of what's going on. BJM and practising midwife are good.
The course is hard, and I did it before my DCs, but plenty on my course had children, so it's very do-able. Having life experience is helpful of course. Expect long nights and days and lots of coursework/reading on top of that, and if my uni is anything to go by, little flexibility or understanding of the difficulties of childcare (changing lectures at the last minute etc). The attitude was very much that we should all be grateful for a place because there were 20 other people who didn't get our place who wanted it.
Whether there are jobs at the end of it or not depends very much on the situation in your area. The universities usually train the number of midwives that local trusts ask for, so only 25 places suggest there may not be loads of jobs where you are. Where I work, for example, the local uni trains I think about 100 midwives a year.
Being a midwife is intermittently awesome and awful. Be prepared for a huge responsibility, lots of stress, dealing with terrible, tragic situations, reams and reams and reams of paperwork (I mean really way more than you'd ever expect) and the constant nagging fear that something you did a decade ago will come back and bite you very hard on the arse. And every day knowing that a crap decision by you could hurt or kill someone or their baby.
The upside is great of course, birth, breastfeeding, helping people in unforgettable ways.
Given my time again, I'm not sure I'd do it, if I'm honest. But ask me on another day and I can't praise it enough as a career. It's a rollercoaster, put it that way.
I also trained 10 years ago and was a nurse beforehand. Where I work there are lots of mature student midwives, so doable, you can do the course part time.
I would ask if you have good childcare, for instance if u r due to come off shift at 3 and your woman delivers u can't just leave, u may be there another couple of hours, who will pick up/look after the children. Nights and weekends can be hard. U may be expected to work Christmas/boxing/NY etc if your mentor is.
I consider myself lucky, I have just started my ideal job in midwifery, no nights/weekends/BH etc but it has taken me a long time to get here.
Would I do it again, honestly, no. I would encourage my daughter to be a dentist/optician instead. Much better hours for better pay. I do ove my job but would give it up, the paperwork!the abuse!and the fact that things may come back to you up to 25 yrs later.
I know im not selling it, on a good day its great to make a difference, but I am becoming a synic as time goes on.
Oh dear its all looking a bit depressing...but thank you for your honesty as its good to have a clear realistic picture before embarking on such a career. I will think long and hard about the practicalities against the ambition. X
Unfortunately midwifery today is v different to what it was. We practise an awful lot more defensive medicine because people sue so quickly. Obstetrics is not clear cut but if things happen, someone must take the blame. In the past people accepted that things happened, today they don't. Everyone wants to go home with a healthy baby, and if they don't someone takes the fall.
There was a recent article stating how much the NHS had paid out in obstetric claims, it runs into millions for relatively few cases.for eg If someone has a bad tear, it can be seen as someone's fault when actually these things happen, but we pay out.
With the birth rate rising there is even more demand on our services. I wish I had the time to properly care for postnatal women, instead frequently there may be 2 MWs looking after 16 women and their babies, so hard to give good care in that situation.
On the plus side my previous post was in a midwife led unit, I did feel like I made a difference there, those births were amazing, empowering women to birth how they wanted.
I qualified 15 years ago, and stopped working as a midwife at the start of this year. I was v sad to give it all up, but the stress of various parts of the job, the childcare, the unsociable hours, just meant it wasn't worth it any more for us as a family. As a previous poster said, it isn't the same job as it was a few years ago. Good luck as you apply for the course. There are many who still love the profession, but loads of experienced midwives are leaving.
My friend's DD is doing a midwifery degree at one of the London unis at the moment. She is very much enjoying it, although says it is relentless in its demands. She spent the year before starting her degree working nights as an auxiliary in our local A&E. Says the experience she gained was invaluable, both at her interview and also giving her some idea of what working in a hospital would be like.