Together with having the skills to deliver a baby, midwives are also involved in prenatal and postnatal care of both mother and baby. Beyond their technical skills, midwives also counsel and educate parents about what to expect from their newborns.
As a midwife, you need to be able to deliver babies naturally, even after the mother has had a Caesarean section from previous pregnancies. You must also know emergency management techniques, like repairing a tear in the perineum, and be able to provide intravenous drips, pain relief through medication (epidurals) and induce labour. In addition you must know federal and state regulations regarding parents' decisions on where and how to have their baby delivered, and you must abide by the ethical guidelines provided by the state.
Midwives must be able to determine the best course of care for both the mother and baby. You must implement individualised plans and evaluate the level of care as the pregnancy progresses by having expert knowledge in the body's defence mechanisms; cardiovascular, lymphatic and respiratory systems; both sexes' reproductive systems; and the skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, digestive and urinary systems. Additionally, you should have an in-depth understanding for fetal and child development.
Midwives need to be good communicators and be able to provide professional support and reassurance. You should also be a keen observer and have the ability to stay calm and alert in stressful situations such as labour. In case of emergencies, you should have the presence of mind to react quickly and come up with solutions.