Better Health Channel


A midwife is a health professional specially trained to care for women during their pregnancy, labour and after they give birth. They help with breastfeeding and care for newborn babies for anywhere up to 6 weeks after birth.

Midwives work in shifts, so you will probably see several during your labour and hospital stay.

Midwifery group practice is where a small team of midwives care for you during your pregnancy, labour, birth and after the birth.

Services provided

  • Supervise, care for and advise pregnant women during pregnancy
  • Provide support during labour and birth, including information on pain relief and breastfeeding
  • Book tests and scans and make other medical appointments
  • Care for women and their babies after the birth
  • Obtain specialist assistance when needed
  • Carry out some emergency measures in the absence of a specialist.


You need a referral from a doctor to see a midwife at a pregnancy care clinic in a hospital.

How to access

Contact the Australian College of MidwivesExternal Link to find a midwife near you.


The cost of midwifery services at pregnancy care clinics vary depending on the provider. Contact the hospital before you attend if you would like more information about cost.

Midwifery services may be partly or fully covered by MedicareExternal Link .

Private midwivesExternal Link are also available. Ask your GP (doctor) for a recommendation. Costs will vary.

Whether you choose to deliver your baby in the private or public system, a private midwife will need to have a prior arrangement with the hospital to be able to attend the birth.



Conventional healthcare


Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)


A midwife must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Minimum qualifications

The minimum education requirement for a midwife is a Bachelor of Midwifery or Bachelor of Nursing followed by a Graduate Diploma or Master of Midwifery.


  • Write down a list of questions to ask the midwife while you’re there.
  • If you want to use a private midwife, be sure to check their qualifications, experience and costs.


At your first visit a midwife will discuss your health background, your pregnancy and any concerns you may have. They will also discuss your preferred model of care.