Midwives are nurses who specialize in the care of maternity patients and the delivery of babies. In the past, midwives worked largely under the supervision of gynaecologists, but the country's shortage of qualified medical personnel has resulted in a move towards greater independence and authority in the case of healthy pregnancies and problem-free deliveries.

Midwives deliver babies and provide antenatal and postnatal advice, care and support to women, their babies, their partners and families. They work as part of a team of professional and medical staff that includes doctors, social workers and health visitors.  They refer patients to gynaecologists when problems in pregnancy are diagnosed. If complications arise during delivery, midwives have to administer stipulated emergency measures and arrange for immediate attention by a gynaecologist.

Midwives examine and monitor patients during pregnancy and advise them in respect of diet and health practices. They carry out screening tests, take patient samples, pulses, temperatures and blood pressures.  They provide information, emotional support and reassurance to women and their partners.  They might conduct initial examinations of maternity patients who have just been admitted into a maternity ward. They stay with patients during labour to reassure them, monitor them, assist them and administer medication. They monitor the foetus during labour, assist with the delivery of the baby, conduct postpartum examinations and are involved in the general treatment of mothers and babies.  They have to help parents to cope with miscarriage, termination, stillbrith and neonatal death. Other tasks are writing records, assessing care requirements or writing care plans, and training student midwives.

Midwives call on mothers after delivery to conduct examinations and instruct them on how to care for themselves and their new babies.

Skills that midwives need are the ability to deal with emotionally charged situations, excellent teamworking skills, interpersonal and communication skills, strong observational skills and an interest in the process of pregnancy and birth.


  • state and private hospitals

  • clinics and nursing homes

  • private practice as a nurse specialising in midwifery

Getting Started

  • do voluntary work for a health care facility

  • try to obtain part-time or voluntary work at a hospital or other health care facility

  • do first aid courses with such organisations as St John’s Ambulance

  • make an appointment to speak to a midwife about this type of career


Abot College of Health Sciences and Technology, Adventist University of Central Africa, Africa University, Aga Khan University, Aga Khan University (Tanzania), Alliance International University, Anglican University College of Technology, Bamalete Lutheran School of Nursing, Bimaks College of Business and Health Sciences, Bishop Stuart Universities, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences, Chuka University, Deborah Retief Memorial School of Nursing/Institute of Health Sciences/ Kanye Seventh Day Adventist College of Nursing, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Egerton University, Embu University College, Empilweni Education, Garden City University College, Gideon Roberts University, Great Lakes University of Kisumu, Healthnicon SA, Hubert Kairuki Memorial University, Kabarak University, Kenya Methodist University, Kenyatta University, Kibogora Polytechnic, Life Healthcare Group, Lira University, Lusaka Apex Medical University, Makerere University, Malawi College of Health Sciences, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Mediclinic, Moi University, Mount Kenya University, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Muni University, Mzuzu University, National University of Lesotho, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, North-West University, Pwani University College, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Eastern Kenya University, Texila American University, Tshwane University of Technology, Uganda Christian University, Umma University, University of Botswana, University of Eastern Africa Baraton, University of Fort Hare, University of Johannesburg, University of Kabianga, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Limpopo, University of Nairobi, University of Namibia, University of Pretoria, University of Rwanda, University of Swaziland, University of the Witwatersrand, Uzima University College, Victoria University, Walter Sisulu University, Welwitchia Health Training Centre, Zimbabwe Open University

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