Midwifery is a very old profession and one that attracts a very special type of person. As a midwife, you will be responsible for giving continuous care to expectant mothers and assisting them during childbirth. Since this is one of the most important moments in their lives, it takes a certain level of dedication and specific traits in order to provide your patients with the best care and support. Here are some of the skills and characteristics needed to be a good midwife.
Good Personal Skills
If you’re not a people person, then you should forget becoming a midwife right now. As part of your profession, you will have to deal and interact with people from all walks of life, cultures and economic status, and assist them on a deep and personal level.
You have to be able to build a connection with your patients and have the openness needed to provide them with the same level of care, no matter who they are. You might also have to deal with rude and disagreeable family members or a distrustful spouse from time to time and will have to deal with these situations, too. Everything isn’t all roses in this profession, so unless you know how to defuse situations without taking things on a personal level, you’ll have a hard time as a midwife.
Great Listening Skills
Pregnant mothers are in a particularly vulnerable state and often have to deal with a lot of pressure and emotional stress. And in some cases, you’ll be the only people they can really be truthful with about their feelings and what they’re going through. As a midwife, you’ll often have to play the role of a counselor with your patients and will need to be a good listener so you can listen to their concerns and help alleviate them. Good listening skills will allow you to build a more genuine rapport with your patients.
Problem Solving Skills
In your day to day activities, you’ll have to deal with a wide variety of situations and be able to come with a solution quick. Some problems might need immediate straightforward action while others will need you to think more outside the box. You’ll need to use your problem-solving skills to assess situations from different angles, using your clinical knowledge to come up with the proper solution for each case.
Good judgment is another trait you either need to have or develop to be a good midwife. Delivery and labor don’t always go as planned. In some cases, there won’t be a definitive intervention or treatment for a problem. In this case, you might have to make a critical judgment call on the spot.
In addition to that, you’ll have to be able to recognize when you’re in over your head and might need help. In some cases, complications might start to develop during labor and you might need the help of other professionals in other to make sure that things don’t aggravate any further. Or you may be performing a home birth and judge that it’s necessary that you move the patient to a hospital. Good judgment in these cases is all about knowing when to delegate and be ready to let someone else take the lead.
Be a Good Teacher
In many cases, you will be called to teach patients and their partners on the birth process. Sometimes, topics might be simpler than others, like teaching them how to breastfeed or the options available if they experience pain. But other times, subjects might be a bit more complicated. You’ll need to have good vulgarization skills and the patience needed in case one of your patients takes more time to understand.
Of course, you won’t be able to be a good midwife unless you have the proper formation. Note that in order to become a midwife, you’ll have to get a nursing formation first. The usual career path of a midwife starts with getting their bachelors in nursing and becoming a registered nurse. To then become a midwife, you will need to enroll in a midwifery graduate program.
If you want to continue your studies, you can get your doctorate in nursing practice nurse-midwifery through an online midwifery school once you’ve completed your masters, which will allow you to continue working while continuing your education. Once you’ve graduated, you will be required to take your AMCB exam in order to get certified. If you pass your test, you’ll officially be a certified nurse-midwife.
Midwifery is a noble profession and one of the most rewarding in the healthcare field. If you feel like this could be your calling, we suggest you look over the courses available and see if this is something you could see yourself doing as a career.