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Becoming a midwife(15 Posts)
Hi All, I have been thinking about becoming a midwife for years now. Iv was there when my niece was born. which was amazing. I have a few questions, please answer if you can. I have a 9 year old girl and I'm a single mum and I cannot rely on her father for support in anyway. if I study I don't know how this will impact her as I know its very hard to learn with young children. Also will I be working and studying? where do I apply to get started. I'm sorry if these are stupid questions. Many thanks in advance.
To start with id head to the UCAS course finder and check if you have the qualifications to get onto the course first, you may need to do an access course.
There's also loads of information on there about student finance and what you'd be entitled to but I'm presume it's like all medical courses where you will have placements alongside working.
I completed my training from 2013-2016, although I do not have any dependent children.
With regards to the studies, yes it it approximately 50% practical/study. All uni’s manage this differently but for me this meant some blocks of time in lectures 9-5, Monday to Friday with regular assignments due in. Other blocks of time you’d be on placement working full time hours (approx 37.5 hours a week which was usually 3 x 12.5 hour shifts or 5 8-4/9-5 depending on what your mentor worked).
During placements you are still expected to complete written work to deadlines which was difficult! Also during placements you are expected to work the same shifts as your given mentor & there is little to no wriggle room with this as it’s important you work with the same person to get your skills & ability signed off. This could mean working all nights for the whole block or a variety of shifts, but nights are a regular occurrence & are to be expected. I know my colleagues frequently miss out on assemblies & sports days etc. Therefore I would really strongly consider your childcare options.
At other times, for example when working in community or in birthing units you have to be on call overnight if your mentor is. Meaning that they could call you to a home birth etc with no notice. I think you may be able to limit the amount that you do this, however it would limit your experience & may then be hard to get the necessary number of deliveries without this.
Having said all of the above there were a lot of students with children & at one person on my course had 8 children & did manage fine! However she had great childcare support from her partner & older children, as did most of those with children & I have to imagine it would be very difficult without this.
With regards to applying for the course, midwifery is notoriously hard to get into as it is very oversubscribed. What qualifications do you have? If you don’t have the necessary GCSE/ALevels then you will need to study or complete an access course which many people to at college. The entry requirements are different for each uni & you can find them on their websites usually. If you do have the entry requirements you can apply via UCAS!
I don’t want to have put you off because it is a very rewarding career! However it is extremely hard work physically & emotionally, to complete the course & do the job. I say that as someone with no dependents. Don’t get me wrong so many midwives do have children and of course manage perfectly fine! But once you qualify you can’t avoid night shifts as everyone has to do them & even day shifts which usually finish at 7/8pm would be difficult I imagine for childcare.
If it’s something you’re definitely interested in you usually need some sort of work experience for the university to take note of you. You apply via UCAS with a short personal statement so you want to stand out! If you do then they will invite you for an interview so it’s quite different to most uni courses! For experience I recommend trying to sit in on NCT classes - if you email the educators they’re usually happy to help! Alternatively if you can volunteer at breastfeeding support sessions etc that would help too!
If you have any other questions I’m more than happy to try to help as much as I can! We are desperate for more midwives, but I do like to make sure people are aware of the realities! Best of luck if you do apply!
I'm thinking about this too especially now there is a small amount of grants available. I already have a degree though in a totally unrelated area so not sure I would find a way to pay tuition fees sadly. Plus I don't have any science a-levels or care/NHS experience so... probably a non starter sadly. Most my immediate family work in the NHS so I could definitely get informal 'work experience' hah but I do work and have a toddler so...I have good childcare in place so don't think that would be an issue it would be tuition fees and seeing if there's any study I would need to do prior to the course without having science a-levels. My knowledge of biology and medicine more generally is much much higher than a general lay person by virtue of my job and also my learning from my relatives who work in the NHS but I obviously don't have anything on paper to prove that hah.
I've just checked my local uni and you need 3 A-levels to do midwifery and one must be a science. I find this odd when the same uni you can do various BSc nursing degrees with only two A-levels and none of them need to be in science subjects! Especially when the Midwifery degree is a BA
Thank you all for your responses. I really appreciate it and it was very helpful.
Great that you are looking into it!
Sounds like there’s definitely ways for you to get experience (although I must stress nhs experience isn’t necessary but I’m sure would help)!
With regards to entry requirements that sounds similar to when I applied!
I definitely have a BSc and believed that all midwifery degrees were a BSc but maybe that uni is different? I think it’s quite common for midwifery to have higher entry requirements than nursing. They’re both very different but some aspects of midwifery make this make sense!
Hope you manage to get things sorted to apply! I didn’t even think about the finance side of things which I guess will be difficult too!
Happy to try to help if you have any questions etc!
I've got a place for Midwifery this September. I do have NHS experience (although not in maternity) lots of people have got on the course without it. Any experience is good if you can relate it to why it would make you a good practitioner etc, it's all about transferable skills.
I did the access course, it was 2 days a week. If you want something bad enough, you can do it!
How much was the access course? Also with all due respect wanting £36k for tuition fees isn't going to make it just appear no matter how hard I want it to hah
No one has that much for fees, you get a student loan. I got a loan for the access course. It was 3k with my local college but you can also do them online
I've already had a student loan so it's my understanding that I can't have another for another undergraduate degree also my student loan repayments would be horrific too if I had two sets to pay back so might not even be worth it. Shame it is so hard to finance retraining
I'm surprised that the midwifery courses are over subscribed when there is a shortage of midwives... Is the discrepancy because there aren't enough course places across the country to fulfil the need, or because the retention on the courses is low?
@MeadowHay I'm pretty sure as it's an NHS health course you can get funding. Double check but I've heard of people on a midwife page I follow with previous degrees who have got funding
@Lazydaisydaydream I don't know but I do know cohort sizes vary considerably. I got into Southampton last year (although unfortunately not going there) their cohort size is 20-25, and they had 700+ applicants
Just as a different POV I moved from nursing after having my children to midwifery. I had 2 blissful years of community and postnatal student placements. At the end of my second year I had a placement on the delivery unit and I was completely traumatised that I left the course. Every placement and assignment achieved an A (including that final one) but I could not face doing that for another 30 years, it can be extremely tough.
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