International Working as a Midwife

Working as a Midwife

A Midwife is a healthcare professional who supports women through pregnancy, labour, birth and the early days of parenthood. They are responsible for the care of both the mother and the baby and will also work with the wider family to offer support.

While most births take place in hospital, the majority of care given to mother and baby before and after the birth takes places out in the community. Midwives work in both settings.

Midwife duties

Midwives in the UK practice under the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Code of Conduct to ensure they meet all professional, legal and ethical requirements for working in the NHS. The code states that midwives must always follow four key proficiencies: prioritise people, practice effectively, preserve safety and promote professionalism and trust.

Midwives are in a unique position to support mother and baby and so they need excellent communication skills and the ability to speak up for their patients’ best interests when appropriate.

They have a statutory responsibility to keep up to date with current knowledge and maintain clinical supervision. The NHS offers a wide range of training and development options to support this.

Their specific duties include:

  • Monitor and examine women and their babies during pregnancy
  • Assess, plan, implement and evaluate patient care plans and labour plans
  • Provide care to pregnant mothers, including regular screening in line with national initiatives
  • Provide antenatal care, including screening tests providing appropriate guidance and support to parents
  • Referring cases to doctors and the wider care team as appropriate
  • Provide and deliver parenting and health education
  • Offer support and counselling for events such as miscarriage, termination, stillbirth, neonatal abnormality and neonatal death
  • Support and assist mothers in labour, monitoring both their condition and that of the baby 
  • Administer medication utilising knowledge pain management
  • Give support and advice on the care of the new-born baby, including breastfeeding, bathing, sleep bereavement, safeguarding, sonography and diabetes specialities
  • Respond to emergencies and changing patient situations
  • Participate in the training and supervision of junior colleagues

How Midwives work

Midwives work in hospital and community settings, generally working shifts over seven days of the week, including day and night duty and on-call rotas. Some 60% of midwives (and nurses) work 12-hour shifts, usually from 7am to 7pm, or 7pm to 7am. There are also options to work more flexibly by joining staff ‘banks’ operated by NHS Professionals and NHS Trusts themselves.

They are autonomous (independent) practitioners with responsibility for a labouring mother, with doctors only present in high-risk cases. However, they also work closely alongside a diverse multi-disciplinary care team, including obstetricians, theatre technicians, healthcare support workers and mental health Nurses.

Normally, Midwives will be appointed to a specific role within a ward, clinical unit or community care centre. There also opportunities to ‘rotate’ to other wards for a period of time. In general, Midwives provide care before, during and after birth, but they can also specialise in areas like neonatal care, fertility care, breast feeding consultancy and infant screening.


The basic pay for a registered Midwife in the UK ranges from £28,407 - £35,392 a year, for a 37.5-hour week.

How to become a Midwife in the NHS 

Anyone who is trained outside the UK and wants to work as a Midwife in the NHS must register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Before this stage, applicants need to successfully complete a two-part application process which includes a Computer-Based Test and objective structured clinical exam (OSCE).

Overseas Midwives must also meet the English language standard set by the NMC.

Join the NHS Professionals International Midwifery programme

NHS Professionals International will support overseas Midwives through the application process through to placement in a UK hospital or community setting. 

We are currently seeking candidates who meet the following criteria at application stage:

  • Have at least 10 months paid experience as a qualified Midwife in a hospital environment
  • Currently registered as a Midwife and undertaking Midwifery duties in their home country

Please note: We cannot accept applications from developing countries because these do not meet current ethical recruitment standards. This list of countries is based upon the World Health Organisation (WHO) Workforce Support and Safeguard List, which you can see with more information here.


If you are interested in applying for roles in the UK from overseas, please complete an initial application today and one of our recruitment team will be in touch with more information.


Apply Today

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