Finding a Midwife
Aren’t all midwives the same? No! They are different! While all midwives are trained in natural childbirth, their specific ways of practicing and protocols for their work might vary quite a bit. This can feel confusing while looking for your midwife. There is good news! You can meet with your potential providers before you try to decide who to choose for your prenatal care. So, what does an interview with a midwife look like? Let's learn about questions to ask.
What is the best way to interview the people you’re considering using for your prenatal care? Just like the midwives themselves, the interviews will vary quite a bit, but you’ll want to make sure you cover the topics that are most important to you. I’m going to give you some suggestions of things to talk about, but don’t hesitate to bring up anything that you want to include or avoid while you are giving birth
Before you start asking your list of questions, I think it’s a good idea to let the midwife tell you a little bit about herself and her practice. You might get a lot of your questions answered this way, but you’ll also discover what is important to her just by listening to what she talks about. Don't be afraid to build a friendly connection. Some midwives have a set list of topics they want to cover during an interview, but others may wait to let you lead the conversation. There isn’t a right or a wrong way for this conversation to go because, at the end of it all, you’re looking for someone knowledgeable, experienced, and who you feel you can trust to take excellent care of you and your baby.
Topics to bring up when you interview a midwife:
- Birth philosophy
- Prenatal care
- Care during labor
Let’s break down these topics individually, so that we can help you be prepared.
What are their general thoughts about birth? What do they believe makes a birth go better? You can ask for tips on how they help their clients have the birth they want.
What does prenatal care look like with her practice? How often can you see them and locations you can meet? Does her care include lab work and is it all required or optional? Don't forget to ask if there are any parts of prenatal care that you can’t receive within their practice.
What is the midwife’s preferred method of communication like email, text, or phone calls? It's important to ask how quickly will she respond to your questions and concerns. If there are limitations, do you need to bring your questions with you to your appointments?
Care during labor
Do they practice as a solo midwife or do they practice as a team? If they are a team, ask who will be included at your birth. What does their care look like during birth? How do they monitor you and your baby during labor? What are your options for movement, pain management, and medications? What will the midwife bring with and without her?
What does the immediate postpartum usually look like for her? How long will she be with you after the baby is born? When will she see you after the birth? When will she see you after the birth? Does she offer any other kind of postpartum support? Ask what other postpartum support she doesn’t provide.
Are there statistics that are relevant to you? Ask away. How many VBACs have they attended? How many breech births have they managed? What is their transfer rate? What is their episiotomy rate? What is their cesarean section rate? Do they work with a lot of first-time parents or mostly mothers who have given birth before?
Types of Questions to Ask
We know you have your "What ifs" List. A reminder it is okay to ask about all of the “what ifs” you’re concerned about. Feeling prepared is key so you can know what those situations could look like. Some possibilities to ask are:
- What if I transfer to the hospital?
- What if I bleed a lot?
- What if my baby needs help after the birth?
- What if I risk out of care?
- What if my water breaks before labor starts?
- What if I go past your estimated due date?
- What if I want pain relief?
- What if I want a waterbirth?
- What if I tear?
- What if my baby is breech?
- What if I have twins?
- What if my whole family wants to come?
- What if I go into labor when you have the flu?
- What if you are at another birth when I go into labor?
How Long is an Interview?
Most of the time, an interview with a midwife will take about 30 to 45 minutes. Therefore, you want to talk long enough to get your questions answered, but also be respectful of her time since interviews are usually free. The interview with your potential midwife should feel like a friendly conversation. You do not want to feel like you have to argue, advocate or persuade her to agree with what you want. This is your time to cover all your birth preferences and see how she feels about them. While none of us can predict birth, you want to know that as long as everything is going well, you can give birth the way you want to with your midwife.
Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.