How to become a Midwife

There are a number of options in order to train to be a Midwife, depending on what area of Midwifery you wish to specialise in. This article will focus on those who wish to become a Midwife working independently and offers a brief guide to becoming a midwife. Please contact the educational institutions for details as courses and qualifications may change without information being updated here.

There are a number of different educations routes, all of which can lead to running your own Midwifery Practice. In short, the main routes are:

  • University Degree Program
  • Technical Degree Program
  • Private colleges
  • Direct Entry Midwifery
  • Traditional or Apprentice-based programs

University Option

This normally involves a 4 Years of Full Time study at the University of the Western Cape (or other Universities around South Africa). This is a Nursing Degree which includes Midwifery as well as specialties such as Theatre, ICU, Psychiatric, Pediatric. On completion you will be a Registered Nurse and Midwife with SANC.

Once the 4 year degree is completed, and additional two years Post Graduate Study in Advanced Midwifery is needed in order to register a private practice in Midwifery.

Technical Degree

This type of Degree is offered by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). It is 4 years in duration and, once qualified, you will be a Registered Nurse and Midwife with SANC.

On successful completion of this course you can apply to do Post Graduate study in Advanced Midwifery in order to register your private midwifery practice.

Private Colleges

Many of the large hospital groups, such as MediClinic, Life Healthcare and Netcare have their own colleges which offer training.

Two years training to become an Enrolled Nurse (or Staff Nurse) who is able to assist at births, or work under the guidance of a Registered Nurse or Midwife. Two additional years training to become a Registered Nurse which gives access to Post Graduate Study in Advanced Midwifery.

Not all colleges include Midwifery as part of their training as Enrolled and/or Registered Nurses so it is important to see exactly what the individual courses cover.

Direct Entry Midwifery

There is currently no SANC registered direct entry midwifery which is a course that focuses purely on nursing as it is related to Midwifery and allows immediate specialisation in this area.

Traditional Midwives

Africa has a rich history of traditional healers who often take on the role of Midwife in rural communities. Traditional Healers are registered with the Traditional Healers Organisation.