The role of a midwife is to provide care and support to women throughout the course of their pregnancy, birth, and beyond. Not only does a midwife need to have the required education, training, and credentials, it’s important that they possess the right skillset and traits to excel in this sector.
If you have a caring personality and thrive at bringing new life into the world, a career as a midwife may be the perfect option for you. To help get you started and ensure you’re fit for the role, here are some of the key qualities and characteristics needed to become a midwife.
Be a People Person
To flourish in a midwifery role, it’s crucial that you possess excellent people skills. There are certain traits such as assertiveness and leadership which can be useful in the workplace too; however, interpersonal skills are mandatory for a career as a midwife. There are various types of interpersonal skills that can help set you apart from your peers, including:
- Verbal communication
- Non-verbal communication
On a day to day basis, midwives deal with patients, members of their family, and other medical professionals, so no matter who you come into contact with, it’s important that you maintain a professional, friendly, and attentive demeanor.
Good Listening Skills
Another important attribute that midwives need is excellent listening skills. While good communication is crucial throughout the working day, midwives need to take a back seat and listen to their patients’ needs too. Being able to listen to what your patients have to say can help you have a better understanding of what strategies need to be taken to ensure they’re well looked after. Listening skills help build rapport too between the midwife and mom.
Be a Problem Solver
Being a good problem-solver is another key trait that midwives should possess. Throughout your career, it’s likely that you will encounter all sorts of problems and situations. While some situations may have a straightforward solution, there may be other instances where you need to think outside the box. In order to be effective at problem-solving, there are other key skills that you will need to have, including:
- Researching skills
- Emotional intelligence
As a midwife, it’s important that you know when to seek help. For example, you may be attending a delivery and problems begin to develop which will require the assistance of other medical professionals to step in to prevent further complications. In other instances, you may be attending a home birth and deem it necessary to transport your patient to the hospital due to unforeseen circumstances.
Work Well Under Pressure
When in a tense situation and environment, how you conduct yourself will play a huge part in ensuring your patient is well taken care of. Each day will be different as a midwife, so it’s important that you know how to work well under pressure. While stress levels may rise, you will need to remain focused and professional at all times. Some of the key benefits of working under pressure include:
- Better performance and productivity of your team
- Keeps you focused
- Fuels the fire to succeed
- Increases courage and enthusiasm
Ability to Teach
If your heart is set on becoming a midwife, you should also enjoy educating your patients. Pregnant women and their partners may need to learn different types of strategies to stay healthy throughout their pregnancy, as well as be aware of complications that can arise. Midwives should also provide nutritional recommendations, helping to ensure their patients follow a balanced diet packed with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Women may also require information on options for pain relief throughout labor, as well as relevant topics such as baby care and breastfeeding. As a midwife, it’s important that you have the knowledge and experience to teach such subjects to make sure everything runs according to plan.
It’s also helpful to possess multitasking skills as a midwife. There are several things that you may need to handle at once, such as:
- Monitoring a woman’s contractions
- Monitoring the baby’s heart rate
- Assessing care requirements
- Writing care plans
- Carrying out screening tests
- Providing emotional support
Having the ability to focus on several things at once is a highly useful skill to possess as a midwife. If you plan to run your own practice in the future, you will not only have to juggle patient care, but be in charge of hiring staff, marketing, and billing, which makes multitasking one of the most crucial traits to have.
When working as a midwife, you will come into contact with women from all different backgrounds and cultures. While some pregnancies and births will go smoothly and according to plan, there will be others that will be trickier to handle. It’s only natural that your patients will feel anxious and nervous at some points throughout pregnancy, so it’s important that you have empathy, patience, and be sympathetic to their needs. One of the main roles of a midwife is to provide excellent care and support for patients, so addressing any concerns or queries throughout the pregnancy can help put your patient’s mind at ease.
Becoming a Midwife
In order to qualify as a midwife, you will need to undergo training and education to meet the entry requirements. To point you in the right direction, you may want to check out Baylor University who provides a midwifery course that can teach you all you need to know. Throughout your course, there are key modules that you will undertake which will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to flourish as a midwife.
For those who are passionate about making a difference and enjoy helping moms to prepare for bringing life into the world, becoming a midwife may be the perfect route for you. When gaining credentials to become a midwife, it’s important that you read up on course specifications, entry requirements, and total fees to ensure you’ve made the right decision.