Considerations About Your Midwifery Shadowing

May 20, 2016


Not to put a lot of pressure on you, but choosing your career is one of the most important decisions of your life. Working at a job you don’t enjoy or one that is not right match can make you miserable. That’s why it’s so important to try to find something you enjoy and care about.

If you’re considering a career as a midwife, one of the most important things you can do is get involved in midwifery shadowing programs before you invest years of training and a lot of money.

What’s involved in shadowing programs?

Shadowing programs offer an organized experience observing and watching the work of a midwife. Although you can try to volunteer at your local hospital in the labor and delivery unit, you’re unlikely to get the same degree of experience as you would in shadowing programs.

One great thing about shadowing programs is they do the legwork for you. Programs are set up in a way to give you a broad look at the day to day activities of a midwife.

Although programs can vary, you may be assigned to a small group where you’ll spend time watching midwives in action. You might be observing in large hospitals and clinics. You may have the chance to learn about a variety of different midwife specialties.

What to Expect

You won’t be delivering babies during your shadowing experience. But you will have the chance to see different midwives at work. For example, you may get the opportunity to observe a midwife providing prenatal care, delivering a baby or educating a new mom on baby care. The number of hours you’ll spend shadowing varies by program and your preferences.

Why Participate in Shadowing Programs?

You don’t have to have any direct patient experience to benefit from midwifery shadowing. Observing a midwife helps you gain a better understanding of the field and prepare you for your future studies. For instance, by observing a midwife in action, you’ll see what’s involved day to day. You’ll see the rewarding and interesting aspects of the job as well as the mundane and routine responsibilities.

When choosing any career, it’s a good idea to consider the pros and the cons. During your shadowing experience, you have the opportunity to ask questions and find out what the advantages and disadvantages of the job are.

Not only will shadowing a midwife help you see what’s involved with the job, it helps you decide if you have what it takes to do the work. Not everyone is cut out to be a midwife. It can be a fast paced and stressful career. It’s better to find out it’s not for you before you invest years of school and a lot of money.

Shadowing is also a great way to gain experience with patients. Even though you will not be providing direct patient care, you may be interacting with patients. You also get to watch your mentor communicating with patients in different situations, which can be educational.


Want to see how midwifery works across the globe? You might want to think about one of our midwifery shadowing placements in nine stunning destinations, from Poland to Tanzania.


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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.