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One health occupation that is not known to many is midwifery. Midwives work in conjunction with obstetricians/gynecologists to give health care services to women and their newborns. In the past, midwives were the older women from the community. Today, however, programs are being offered for those who want to practice this type of profession.

Their duties consist of obtaining medical history, performing physical assessment, ordering laboratory examinations, giving prescriptions, providing consultations, and instructing women to engage in activities that will promote good health and reduce risks (Smith, M.D., Ph.D).

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There are schools offering midwifery program for those who are interested. Although it seems like a simple profession, it should not be taken lightly because it primarily deals with pregnancy and giving birth. An individual can practice the profession in two ways: one, as a nurse-midwife, and two, as a direct-entry midwife.

A nurse-midwife requires the individual to become a registered nurse first before being certified as a midwife. Direct-entry midwives are those who entered the profession through learning and training other than the formal nursing education.

Women that are giving birth at home are their focus. To become a certified, most midwives “have at lease a bachelor’s degree and may have a master’s or doctoral degree, have completed both nursing and midwifery training, have passed national and state licensing exams, licensed in every state, and may work in conjunction with doctors (KidsHealth).”

Midwives are available in every state and almost all countries worldwide. It is advisable that women who are looking for this type of health care look up a midwife who is certified because choosing who to take care of your health, in general, as well as your baby’s health is important.

The salary that a midwife can receive depends on his or her experience and the years that he or she had been practicing the profession. Starting salary can be anywhere between $35,000 and $40,000 annually, with the average income between $41,500 and $52,000 per year (AllNursingSchools).

Becoming a midwife is increasing in popularity these days, with schools, institutes, and universities offering the program. Although becoming a nurse is preferred by most people, there are still some who are interested in pursuing the profession.

Women giving birth require special needs, which can be given by midwives because they specialize in childbirth and women’s pregnancy. It also helps that they are women who can understand other women too.  It is common that nurses and doctors are preferred over midwives but there are still those mothers-to-be who choose to give birth with a midwife because they want to deliver their babies at home.

When giving birth, the mother should not be worried because midwives are trained to notice signs of trouble before, during, and after childbirth. But as a precaution, mothers should be responsible enough to find out certain information regarding their chosen midwife before giving birth. This information should include if the midwife is certified, where he or she received their training, or what they can do when something goes wrong.

There are numerous health occupations out there that are not generally familiar to all but midwifery should be given importance because the profession can become obsolete, especially when nursing schools apply midwifery to their nursing programs, thus eliminating the need to study midwifery alone.

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