The term 'midwife' is often assumed to be archaic and is associated with the job of an old woman with years of experience helping with the birth of a baby. This however, is a stereotypical perception, and the field of midwifery is well relevant in the contemporary scenario, with it being a popular career choice for both men and women. Yes, men too are opting for this career choice, though it may take a while before they are easily accepted in this role.
As times have changed, so have certain roles; but if anything, at a time where women don't seem to have the time to care for themselves well during pregnancy, who better than a midwife to aid them in the process to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery? Here, we tell you why midwifery may be a good career after all.
The Job of a Midwife
The job of a midwife does not only involve aiding childbirth. The process begins from the confirmation and announcement of pregnancy, right up to neo-natal stages, say 10-15 days after the birth of the baby. This duration may be extended based on the requirement of the baby and the family. This is a general overview of the job of a midwife, and there is a lot more that is involved in this job. This has been described here.
- The role of a midwife involves the care of the pregnant mother and her family, mainly her partner. This includes answering the queries posed by the couples about pregnancy.
- Monitoring the health of the pregnant mother by aiding her during timely scans and check-ups is another responsibility of a midwife. A midwife is also educated to spot any problems that may occur at the time of the pregnancy, and that may affect the unborn baby.
- Pregnancy is also a very mentally stressful time for the couple and the family in general, and it is a midwife's job to ensure that the couple maintain their calm throughout by reassuring them about the entire process. For this, it is important that a midwife possesses good communication skills, empathy, and the patience to deal with the high stress levels of the couple she/he is working for. Also, keeping the couple calm during the process of childbirth is a midwife's responsibility.
- Once the baby is born, the midwife continues to care for the mother and now for the newborn baby too, by helping the mother with breastfeeding, and taking care of the baby by monitoring it's overall health. In some cases, midwives may also have to take care of premature babies.
The number of hours a midwife may have to work varies based on a lot of factors. It is possible that she/he may have to work at odd hours because there can be complications (even panic attacks) at odd hours, and the midwife will have to rush to the rescue. Moreover, the pregnant mother can go into labor at any hour and this requires the midwife to be available at that hour.
Midwifery is a physically demanding job because it requires one to work odd hours and take care of a pregnant woman. It is also a job that can cause a lot of stress, since it involves trying to care for someone else who is already so stressed! Some states have set certain health standards for midwives so that they can fulfill these demands of this job.
Why is Midwifery a Good Career?
Midwifery is a good career because it is one that will always be in demand. Couples need midwives to help them cope with a tough time like pregnancy, particularly if they are working and have trouble taking care of themselves. It is a job that has scope all over the country and the world in general.
With the opportunity to help a couple during the most important phase of their life, midwifery is not only a professionally but also a personally rewarding career. If you can endure the entire process of taking care of a pregnant woman and her family, you are definitely going to find the result very satisfactory.
Apart from these, the financial aspect of the job is worth considering. The average salary of a certified professional midwife is about US $35,000 - US $40,000. This is just an average and the figures will vary based on the education, the place of work (city/state), and the setting (hospital, clinic, personal, etc.) All in all, it is definitely a financially rewarding career too, and if you are up for it, you could definitely choose to become a midwife.
After years of experience, you can move on to different fields to enhance your professional standing. You could offer counseling services to expectant parents, have your own team and become a senior practitioner where you overlook the process of midwifery carried out by your employees and maintain good relations with your clients, or enter the field of research or teaching.
As you can see, choosing to become a midwife is definitely a good career decision. If you are still doubtful, you can speak to professionals in the field to get some valuable knowledge from their first-hand experience. Some people find midwifery better than a doctor's job because it usually involves caring for one family at a time, which they believe is definitely less stressful than looking into numerous cases at once. So think over it, and if you do choose it as a career choice, you will definitely not regret it.