Midwife


Also known as:

  • Registered Midwife

What they do

Midwives provide care and advice to women during and after pregnancy, including labour and birth. Midwifery tasks include physical and technical care, assistance with newborn babies and ongoing monitoring, assessing and reporting of mother and child.

Midwife meaning 'with woman' is founded on respect for women and on a strong belief in the value of women's work of bearing and rearing each generation.

There are approximately 5000 midwives registered in Western Australia, the majority of who work in public and private hospitals within the metropolitan area and major regional centres.

Specialisations include: Community Midwife, Midwife Practitioner

Working conditions

Midwives usually work according to a rotating seven day roster which includes morning, afternoon and night shifts, weekends and public holidays.

Registered midwives may work in public and private hospitals, community and home-based services including doctors' surgeries, community health centres, youth and women's shelters, and remote and rural areas.

Midwives are also employed in nursing agencies, international aid agencies and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Many are self-employed and manage their own businesses, hours of work and caseloads.

Tools and technologies

Midwives are skilled in the use of complex medical equipment including electronic foetal heart monitors, IV lines and equipment for resuscitation.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a midwife, you usually need to study a degree in midwifery. Alternatively, you can undertake a degree in nursing, followed by a postgraduate qualification in midwifery.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a midwife in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. You will need to obtain a Working with Children Check from the Department of Communities.