Maternity support worker
In 2019, there were over 49,500 births in Scotland. Maternity teams are not only responsible for the births, but also the care, protection and health improvement of mothers and their newborn babies.
Working under the supervision of a midwife, maternity support workers have a range of responsibilities in supporting women in pregnancy and childbirth. This includes assisting midwives with straight forward labour and births.
Starting your career
Choosing subjects at school
To become a maternity support worker, you'll need a good level of education, including:
Work placement and volunteering
You may find it helpful to get some experience of working in healthcare by doing a work placement. There may also be opportunities to volunteer. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland.
A Foundation Apprenticeship could give you the skills, knowledge and work experience you need to start your career journey as a maternity support worker.
Find out more about the Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services and Healthcare.
Begin or continue learning the skills, knowledge and work experience you need to become a maternity support worker with a Modern Apprenticeship.
Learn more about the Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support.
All Healthcare Support modern apprentices study the three mandatory units of communication, health and safety, and learning development. For maternity support worker, you will then choose your remaining units from the clinical pathway options.
As a maternity support worker, you will help care for mothers, their babies and families before, during and after childbirth. You’ll provide information, reassurance and assistance to mothers and newborns, making sure they receive safe and high-quality maternity care. Maternity support workers do not make clinical judgements or decisions about mothers or their babies.
What you’ll do
- helping to deliver care plans
- educating parents
- supporting families in labour wards and maternity theatres
- helping with parenting classes
- taking blood samples
- preparing equipment
You may also have to cope with unpredictable or emergency situations.
You’ll need these skills:
Who you’ll work with
You could work with:
- healthcare support workers
You could work in:
- the community
- postnatal wards
- maternity theatres
- delivery suites
- midwifery-led units
- family homes
To work as a maternity support worker in NHSScotland, you’ll need to:
- complete occupational health checks
- join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme
Learning and development
You will receive induction training provided by the recruiting NHSScotland Board when you start, including:
- infection control
- breastfeeding support
- risk management
- child protection
- health and safety
You may be encouraged to work towards further education qualifications. This includes:
- SQA HNC Healthcare Practice
- Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) – Nursing or Nursing and Midwifery
Certification of Higher Education Maternity Care Assistant Programme
If you want to develop your skills and knowledge as a maternity support worker already working in a healthcare setting, you could take the Certificate of Higher Education Maternity Care Assistant Programme. The programme is based at the University of the West of Scotland.
Another useful website you can browse is Healthcare Support Worker Central. You’ll be provided with the tools to learn as well as information about support, funding and resources.
With experience, you could become a senior maternity support worker. This experience can be very helpful if you decide you want to go to university to study to become registered as a: