Midwifery at the NMC

Midwives support thousands of women and families each year. They provide professional support and guidance for women throughout their pregnancy and after the baby is born.

Midwives are the lead professionals at all straightforward births, whether a mother chooses to have her baby at home, in a birth centre or at the hospital. Midwives provide direct care for newborn babies and support mothers with early parenting and infant feeding including skilled breastfeeding advice and motivational support.

We regulate the UK’s 42,000 midwives to ensure standards are being met to protect women, babies and families. We work closely with midwives and mothers to define the standards student midwives need to meet before they join the profession, enabling them to deliver safe and effective care. We work with other organisations to develop guidance and help shape the future of the profession.

The Code sets out the standards of practice and behaviour we expect of all registered midwives. It was updated in 2015 to reflect the changing environment in which both nurses and midwives work.

Recently, we have worked with midwives to deliver big changes to the way they’re regulated. We’re now working with midwives, mothers and their families to develop new standards of proficiency for registered midwives to make sure they are prepared for the challenges that will face them in their careers.

We can’t do all of this work on our own. We are proud to be advised by some of the most influential and respected people working in midwifery today. These leaders sit on the NMC’s Midwifery Panel. The Midwifery Panel, established in 2015, gives us the high-level advice we need on some of the key issues facing the profession. Panel members include the Chief Nursing Officers from the four countries of the UK, representatives from our Council, the Royal College of Midwives and other senior figures.

From this dedicated midwifery hub, you can find out more about the changes to midwifery regulation, our work to develop new standards of proficiency and the work of the Midwifery Panel.

Donna Ockenden speaks about her role as Senior Midwifery Adviser to the NMC

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