Successful pregnancies, very happy parents, cute babies - these are key words that most of us understand first when we hear about midwives. But anyone who has trained as a midwife knows that there is much more to the job. First and foremost, you are there for the pregnant woman as a companion and advisor and you take care of the events during the pregnancy, the birth and the week's bed. But the classical midwifery training will not last for long: The profession is being academised. Soon, midwives will only be able to study in duplicate. Here you can find the most important information about the reform.
Dual studies instead of training - What is changing in midwifery education?
The law reforming midwifery education foresees that midwifery students will in future undergo dual studies. This means that the traditional training at a midwifery school will disappear. This will strengthen the scientific orientation of the training and its international comparability. In all other EU countries, midwives are already trained at universities. For some years now, some German universities have also been offering a sandwich course in applied obstetrics or obstetrics. However, the complete transition from vocational education to higher education has only now been decided. By the way: With the reform, the professional title of childbirth assistant also disappears for the boys and men who do this training. In future they will simply be called midwives.
When will the reform of midwifery training come into force?
Those who already have a midwifery course in mind need not worry: There is of course a transitional regime. Up to and including 2021, it is still possible to start normal midwifery training and complete it up to 2026.
How does midwifery training currently work?
In Germany there are about 60 schools for midwifery training, each of which is connected to a clinic. In the theoretical part of the school, you will be taught obstetrics and anatomy, among other things, while the practical part is mainly carried out in the clinic, for example in the delivery room. During this time, you will have to adapt to a shift system, so that your working and sleeping hours will be constantly changing and you may find it difficult to meet your friends regularly. Your training ends with the state examination, which consists of an oral, written and practical part.
What do you do as a midwife after training?
Before a birth, you will be available to advise the pregnant woman and prepare her for the birth with all possible measures. This includes ultrasound scans and help with pregnancy. As you probably know, the midwives are also there during the birth and support the woman in this difficult situation. They carry out the birth independently, without a doctor, and then take care of the mother and child. In the days that follow, you will be available to them as a contact person, monitor them and provide follow-up, documentation and support. In all these tasks you should not lack a good dose of care, responsibility, empathy and psychological resilience. As a midwife, you are also responsible for documenting the processes of each birth and also, in part, for cleaning the room afterwards.
But you should also always keep in mind that besides the beautiful moments, there can be very difficult moments as a midwife. If the child or the mother is ill or dies, you also have to learn how to deal with this kind of situation.
A few other activities are carried out by the family midwife who takes care of families with medical and/or social risk factors. This can be, for example, underage mothers or families with addiction problems, for whom you are a midwife beyond the usual period of care.
Another possibility is working as a freelance midwife, where you visit women and families at home and carry out tasks similar to those of the hospital employee. After further training, you can also take on leadership roles, manage and teach future midwives and maternity assistants.