Maternity Support Worker

Maternity Support Workers (MSWs) help midwives to care for mothers, their babies and families before, during and after childbirth.

Working under the supervision of a midwife, MSWs help ensure the best level of maternity care is provided by following instructions and procedures. MSWs assist with straight forward labour and births, but must also be able to cope with unpredictable or emergency situations.

As part of a team, Maternity Support Workers (MSWs) may work in midwifery led units, delivery suites, post natal wards and within the community. MSWs provide information, guidance, reassurance and assistance to mothers and newborns, ensuring that they receive appropriate, safe and high quality maternity care.

MSWs must have excellent communication skills and be able to work with people with different backgrounds and lifestyles. Typical duties include:

  • helping to deliver care plans
  • educating parents
  • supporting families
  • helping with parenting classes
  • keeping records up to date
  • taking blood samples
  • preparing equipment

As a Maternity Support Worker, you will need to be:

  • physically fit
  • able to work in a team environment
  • confident
  • tactful
  • positive and enthusiastic
  • able to remain calm under pressure

Useful abilities include:

  • being patient and understanding
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • good problem solving skills
  • being compassionate and sensitive

To apply for a job as a Maternity Support Worker (Band 2), you are likely to need a good standard of general education, including English and Mathematics. The specific entry requirements will depend on the Agenda for Change band (2, 3 or 4) for the job.

The qualifications asked for will also vary depending on the requirements of the recruiting NHSScotland board. You are advised to contact each individual board to find out its specific requirements.

Experience of working with children and families is beneficial. This can be either or paid or voluntary work in a hospital or other healthcare setting. You may also require or be encouraged to work towards an SQA SVQ Level 2 or 3 Healthcare Support (Clinical). Find out more about these qualifications on the VQ Finder website.

When applying to become a MSW, you’ll need evidence of your good health and character, and background checks, such as the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme managed by Disclosure Scotland.



Modern Apprenticeships offer those aged over 16 paid employment with the opportunity to train for jobs at craft, technician and management level.

The Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support (clinical) at SCQF Level 6 and SCQF Level 7 is a framework for people interested in working in a clinical setting. For more information, about this Modern Apprenticeship framework, look at


Induction training will be provided by the recruiting NHSScotland board when you start. Additional training normally covers the following:

  • infection control
  • breast feeding support
  • risk management
  • child protection
  • health and safety

Working closely with midwives and experienced support workers, and by completing a supervised programme of training will allow you to develop your skills. You may also be encouraged to work towards further education qualifications, such as SQA HNC Healthcare or the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) – Nursing and Midwifery. With experience and further training, you could apply to become a registered midwife or nurse.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

The Nursing and Midwifery Council is the governing body for nurses and midwives, ensuring their knowledge and skills are up to date. The NMC website also contains information about registration, training and professional standards for nurses and midwives in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM)

The Royal College of Midwives is a professional organisation dedicated to midwifery. It provides work place support and advice, clinical guidance and information on learning and career development. Find out more on the RCM website.