Narrator: Midwifery is the oldest profession about helping women and their families understand what's happening and what the process is and what it's like to be a parent so that they're able to embrace the whole experience in a much different way to if they're unknowing about these things.

Sarah: So he's lying sort of, a bit... he's longitudinal, so he's lying up like that.

Candice: My name's Candice, I have 2 children already, both girls. It is so wonderful to have someone that can be with you through the whole thing and get to know you personally. When it comes to labour, it's a pretty personal thing.

Narrator: The process of labour is highly predictable, the timing's not highly predictable, but the actual stages and where a woman moves from, to knowing that she's about to give birth and how she does that - that's highly predictable.

Mother: Petani is my first child, so I didn't really know what to expect. Asha was excellent, was good to have her, my partner and my mum to help me through everything.

Asha: All the skills we learn here, especially using SimMum, I feel so much more prepared. Really get a feel for what it's going to be like for a placement in the ward.

Narrator: Contemporary delivery is a combination of all the good things that come out of the long history of women being with women in labour, and embrace what we have with modern technology and scientific testing.

I think Southern Cross (University) is really well equipped to be able to give students a really good experience, and simulate it to be the most natural way it can look and be.

I've seen over 3000 births, and every one is still a miracle.

Midwifery is a woman-centred ancient practice of attending women during their childbearing experiences. Midwifery is founded on respect for women and on a strong belief in the value of women's work of bearing and rearing each generation.

Midwifery considers women in pregnancy, during childbirth and early parenting to be undertaking healthy processes that are profound and precious events in each woman's life. These events are also seen as inherently important to society as a whole. Contemporary midwifery is becoming a community-based, primary health care discipline that embraces the judicious use of scientific knowledge to assist the woman to make the best choice for herself and her baby.

The role of the midwife is to be responsible for the care of women, babies and their families during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, labour, birth and the early infancy period. Midwives provide direct clinical care and support for healthy women and babies. Midwives work collaboratively with doctors and other members of the health care team when there are risks or complications. Midwives work in birth centres, maternity units of hospitals, in community settings and in private practice which may include home births.

There is currently a shortage of graduate midwives, particularly in regional and rural Australia where the shortages are acute. There are good job prospects for midwives in metropolitan and regional settings. Midwives wishing to work in remote areas or small rural settings should consider becoming nurses as well as midwives.

Our Bachelor of Midwifery prepares graduates for entry into professional midwifery practice and is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Graduates can work in any state of Australia and in New Zealand. Employment as a midwife in other countries is possible, however further country-specific advice should be sought. Midwives, with further study, can also become midwifery educators, managers or researchers.

Enquire now  (RPL) Guide - Prior learning recognised

 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife logo

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. This year we are joining the WHO in celebrating the Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020, by sharing the stories and successes of the Southern Cross nursing and midwifery community.

Graduate story

Portrait of Tobie Buckley

"When you're a midwife you see miracles everyday..."

Read more of Tobie's story