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Midwifery

What it means to be a midwife

The term 'midwife' means 'with woman'. As a midwife, you will be helping parents and families at one of the most crucial times of their lives, supporting the woman during pregnancy, childbirth and the post-natal period. Midwives play a vital role in promoting and maintaining health facilitating normal childbirth and helping women make informed choices about their care. The midwife uses midwifery skills to provide care that is individual to each woman and recognises the woman's ownership of her birth experience. The midwife is the key professional providing continuity of care and promoting choice and control to women in pregnancy and birth, and to women and their babies following birth. The core concepts of the midwifery profession are of:

  • Normality - childbirth is viewed as a normal event in the life cycle, a normal healthy event
  • Woman-centred - the focus of midwifery practice is pregnant women and their families and delivering care woman-centred maternity services.
  • Respect: midwifery care is delivered in a manner that respects the uniqueness and dignity of each person regardless of culture or religion.
  • Partnership - partnership between the woman and the midwife is fundamental to midwifery practice. It is based on mutual trust, support and collaboration, which facilitates informed choice and decision-making and the empowerment of both the woman and the midwife.
  • Client first - decisions about an individual midwife's scope of practice should always be made with the woman's and her family's best interests foremost and in the interest of promoting and maintaining best quality maternity services for women and their families.
  • Evidence based - midwifery practice is based on the best available evidence.
  • Advocacy - midwifery practice involves advocacy for the individual woman and her family.

How do I become a Midwife?

There are two routes to becoming a midwife in the University of Dublin, Trinity College:

  • A four year Bachelor in Science (Midwifery) with eligibility to register on the Midwives Division of the Nurses Register maintained by An Bord Altranais (Irish Nursing Board)
  • A eighteen month Higher Diploma in Midwifery with eligibility to register on the Midwives Division of the Nurses Register maintained by An Bord Altranais (Irish Nursing Board).

The Philosophy of Midwifery Education and Practice The School of Nursing and Midwifery Trinity College

The University of Dublin has a clear philosophy concerning women, their babies and their families; the nature of midwifery care; the profession of midwifery; the provision of midwifery education; and the conduct of research in maternity care and women’s health. We are dedicated to excellence in practice, education and research.

Each woman journeying through pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period draws from her individual life experiences. Social and cultural contexts influence the woman’s unique perceptions of, and expectations in relation to having a baby and becoming a mother. Having a baby is a life-changing experience for the woman and her family and care should be holistic, taking account of the social nature of this significant event. Midwives are ideally positioned to empower women to have more control in the decision making process regarding their health and lifestyle choices. Women and their families need and deserve sensitive care from all health care professionals. This involves developing a reciprocal and equitable relationship in order to foster a partnership based on mutual trust and respect.

The profession of midwifery is concerned with protecting and promoting the normality of childbirth for women. However, all women, including women with complex needs, are entitled to and can benefit from midwifery care. We commit to supporting midwives in offering and providing responsive care, where the development of an equitable partnership with the woman and her family is central. This is inclusive of the woman or her family’s ethnic, cultural, religious, socioeconomic background or sexual orientation. We uphold the autonomous role of the midwifery profession and recognise that midwifery care is most effectively and efficiently provided through collaboration with women and our multidisciplinary colleagues in the health care team.

Midwifery education focuses on developing all aspects of the curriculum to achieve the goal of empowering women and their families through their relationship with midwives. Consequently, midwifery education programmes aim to inspire and support midwives to fulfil the scope of midwifery practice.

We are involved in the support and conduct of research within the areas of midwifery, maternity care and women’s health with an emphasis on evaluating clinical and educational interventions, exploring women’s experiences of care, developing models of decision making for women and midwives whilst pursuing a research agenda that remains socially relevant. We endeavour to ensure that all research is collaborative and inclusive, involving women, their families and our practice-based colleagues.

In order to realise this philosophy, strong links and genuine partnership exist among all stakeholders. The collaboration, co-operation and partnership that exists among the institutions is reflected in the design of a dynamic programme that has a shared vision. The midwifery programmes are delivered with linked maternity care hospitals, the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin and the Rotunda Hospital Dublin.

Open Day

Please check the TCD Admissions website for information on the next scheduled Open Day. We will have presenttions on mdwifery on that day here at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, 24 D'Olier Street. Please come along and visit us, the midwifery team will be very happy to talk with you and answer any queries about midwifery as a career choice for you.

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Last updated 29 February 2012 by nursing.midwifery@tcd.ie (Email).