Doctor holding patient's hand before surgery

The Value and Benefits of Working as a Nurse Midwife

When a woman becomes pregnant, she will need guidance, support, and care through every stage to ensure the labor and birth go according to plan. A midwife is responsible for helping to prepare women through each aspect of pregnancy, with many in the role feeling privileged and honored to be in such a position. While there is an abundance of satisfaction you can gain from working as a midwife, the role is demanding and requires you to work well under pressure.

No matter what healthcare setting you work in or what interests you most, here are some of the key benefits you can receive during your time as a midwife.

Connection with Patients

If you have ever had children before, you will already understand the importance of being assigned a midwife. Having someone by your side every step of the way for support and guidance through pregnancy can make all the difference. Midwives develop strong connections with their patients which helps them to deliver top of the range care. While the midwife-woman relationship isn’t quite a friendship, it is unique in the sense that it’s closer than the typical health professional to patient relationship. While your main duty will be to ensure your patient’s baby is delivered safely, there are emotional and social realms that you may need to address along the way.

Each patient will be different in their needs, so it’s your job to be there for them through thick and thin. Whether it’s having a conversation about the baby or discussing private matters, midwives take on many roles during their careers.

Strong Personal Satisfaction

From a young age, many of us know what we want to do in life. If you love working with babies and like the idea of making a positive difference, becoming a midwife may be the perfect role for you. While some women slide through pregnancy with ease, others are terrified at the prospect of giving birth, which is why midwives are so vital for providing support and assistance as and when the patient needs it.

Your words matter, and as you form a bond with your patient, you will gain great personal satisfaction, knowing your expertise and hard work are helping to keep your patient relaxed and calm during their pregnancy. While there will be challenges along the way, the sense of accomplishment you receive will be like no other in your life.

Wide Variety of Practice Environments

While many women decide to have their baby in a hospital setting, others prefer to give birth at home. If you would like to become a nurse midwife, you may find yourself working in a wide variety of practice environments. Many midwives work in the maternity unit of a hospital or in a smaller maternity unit.

If your patient wants to give birth at home, you will be there to provide support and assistance while they’re in labor. During your midwifery course, you will be taught the core units and curriculum on every aspect of midwifery, including home births to ensure you know what practices to follow when operating outside of a hospital environment.

High Employment Rates

It’s estimated that over 15,000 babies are born each hour around the world. This means that there is always a high demand for midwives, no matter where you live on the planet. For those who want to travel and see the world, you have the option to move to a different state or head overseas and take your midwifery knowledge, experience, and skills with you to obtain relevant work. Over the last five years, the number of individuals working as a midwife has grown significantly, from 14,700 in 2014 to over 21,500 in 2019. If you’re looking for a role with high employment rates and job security, a midwifery career may be the right path for you.

Teaches You Compassion

A midwifery role is much more than just looking after babies. Not only will you be expected to provide care and support for your patient during their pregnancy, labor and after birth, you will need to be there for your patient’s family and have compassion for their situation. Each patient will differ in terms of how they handle their pregnancy, so you need to put yourself in their shoes and understand that stress levels can rise in tense environments.

As you begin to gain experience in midwifery, you will understand the importance of having empathy and compassion for your patients. From the moment you begin working with a patient, their minds need to be put at ease, knowing they are in the best hands possible, which is why having compassion and emotional intelligence can help you deal better with pressures at work, establish a healthy relationship with your patient and be there to address and alleviate any worries or concerns they may have.

Learn Transferable Skills

There are many transferable skills that you will learn along the way as a midwife. When embarking on a midwifery course through a school like Baylor University, you will learn the importance of excellent communication, time management, and the ability to act on your own initiative. As your duties will require you to monitor and examine pregnant women, as well as assess care requirements and write care plans, you must have excellent observation skills and written communication skills.

Midwives are expected to work on shift patterns, meaning you will work nights, evenings, early starts, and weekends. As well as learning transferable skills, there are relaxation techniques that can help you relax, unwind, and de-stress before heading back on shift. You must be in the right frame of mind when delivering care, otherwise you run the risk of making mistakes that could have serious consequences for your patient and their baby.

As a midwife, you will oversee the emotional, mental, and physical care of your patients throughout each stage of pregnancy and delivery. From the moment you qualify and begin working as a midwife, there are tons of benefits you will gain that will better your craft and ensure you work to the best of your ability.

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