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65 Questions to Ask a Midwife Before Hiring Her

Are you wondering what questions to ask a midwife in that first consultation? These 65 “interview” questions will help you know that you’ve covered your bases so that you’re confident in choosing the midwife that will be the best fit for you.

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So you’ve decided to hire a midwife instead of an OBGYN. That’s exciting!

Now it’s time to find the right midwife for you. First, do a quick google search to find a list of midwives in your area. Also make sure to ask around and get some recommendations from people you trust.

Once that’s one, the next step is to schedule some consultations and do some interviews.

The goal in these consultations is to get a feel for who each midwife is and how she’ll care for you and your baby. Labor and birth are intense and personal, so it’s important that you find a midwife you are comfortable with and that you can trust completely.

Now let’s be real. Even if you were to ask each midwife you interview every single question on this list, you still wouldn’t have a perfect idea of how they’d handle every possible situation. So go through this list beforehand and choose the questions you feel are most important and just ask those.

Chances are a lot of the rest will come up anyways.

And then after you’ve interviewed all of your potential midwives, pray and trust your feelings to know which to pick. That’s the surest guide you’ve got.

Questions to Ask a Midwife

As you ask these questions, pay attention to not only the answers but how the conversation goes and how it feels to you and your spouse or partner.

Do you feel like the midwife really listened to you? Did she address your concerns well or did she give vague, impersonal answers? Did you get along well and understand each other?

Like I said, how you feel is your greatest indicator of what will be the right choice for you. Follow that.

And with that said, here they are: 65 of the best questions you can ask a midwife in a first-time interview.

Qualifications and Experience

  1. Why did you become a midwife?
  2. How long have you been a midwife? And how many births have you attended?
  3. In what kinds of settings have you practiced (hospital, home, birth centers)?
  4. What kind of training did you receive to become a midwife? Are you certified and/or licensed?
  5. Do you have experience working with clients like me (culture, race, ethnicity, family structure, religion, health concerns, trauma, etc.)?
  6. What is your experience with VBAC?
  7. What is your experience with breech births?
  8. What is your experience with twin births?
  9. Have you had clients with gestational diabetes? How do you handle it?

Philosophy and Practice

  1. Do you practice as a solo midwife or in a team? How does that work?
  2. What is your philosophy regarding pregnancy and birth and your role in it?
  3. What is your philosophy on nutrition during pregnancy?
    1. Weight gain?
    2. Exercise?
    3. Prenatal and other supplements?
  4. What is your philosophy on induction?
  5. What is your philosophy on doula support during labor?
  6. Do you offer childbirth classes? Or is there one you recommend?
  7. What factors would risk me out of your practice? Are you able to help me prevent these?
  8. What will happen if I go past my estimated due date? How far past 40 weeks can I be and still give birth under your care?
  9. Do you have any concerns about big babies being birthed naturally?
  10. What is your hospital transfer rate?
  11. In the event I had to be transferred to a hospital, what would be the process?
  12. What is your protocol for non-emergency transfers to the hospital? Are there any non-emergencies your clients often transfer for?
  13. How do you handle slow, stalled, or prolonged labor?
  14. What is your experience with/opinion on herbs, homeopathy, and alternative medicine as pregnancy and labor support?

Labor and Birth

  1. Do you have a birth kit for purchase? If not, will you work with me to assemble one?
  2. Do you have any preferences regarding how many people attend the birth?
  3. What will happen if my water breaks before labor starts? How long can I wait for labor to begin on its own?
  4. At what point during my labor will you come to my home? When should I call you?
  5. What tools do you use to monitor the baby during labor and after their birth?
  6. Do you facilitate water births? If so, do you supply the birth pool?
  7. Do you prefer to keep your hands off the perineum during crowning and birth? Or do you prefer to do massage/warm compresses?
  8. How do you handle a cord around the neck, if that happens?
  9. If you are unable to attend my birth for any reason, who will attend in your place?
  10. What happens in the case where two of your clients are laboring simultaneously?
  11. What equipment do you bring to the birth?
  12. What supplies will I need to have ready for the birth?
  13. What medications and tools do you have available in case I need them (oxygen, Pitocin, tools for suturing, etc.)?
  14. Under what circumstances, if any, do you perform episiotomies?
  15. What are your policies and practices when it comes to cervical checks during labor?
  16. How do you feel about eating and drinking during labor?
  17. If I must have a preterm hospital birth or hospital birth for any other reason, will you be there?
  18. Would you be comfortable with me having a photographer at my birth?

Postpartum

  1. What are your routine newborn procedures immediately following the birth (skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, newborn exam, vitamin K shot, eye ointment, heel poke blood test, vaccinations, bathing, etc)?
  2. How much time do you allow for the delivery of the placenta?
  3. Do you offer placenta encapsulation?
  4. What level of perineal tearing do you suture? Do you transfer to the hospital for any particular levels of tearing?
  5. How do you handle postpartum hemorrhaging if it happens?
  6. Are you trained in infant resuscitation?
  7. How long will you and/or your support team stay with mom and baby after the birth?
  8. Do you offer breastfeeding support? For how long? In what format?
  9. What is your policy on circumcision? Do you perform the procedure if desired?
  10. What postpartum care do you offer?
  11. What newborn care do you provide?
  12. Do you offer newborn testing? Do you require it?
  13. How do you handle postpartum depression screening and support?
  14. Do you recommend a specific pediatrician in the area?

Appointments, Communication, and Cost

  1. What will prenatal appointments be like (urine tests, blood pressure and heart rate, finger pricks to check iron levels, education, etc.)?
  2. What are your policies and practices when it comes to cervical checks at prenatal appointments?
  3. Do you require ultrasounds during pregnancy?
  4. Do you provide nutritional support during pregnancy?
  5. What kind of labs/screenings do you do during pregnancy (blood work, gestational diabetes testing, Group B strep testing, etc)?
  6. How do you communicate with your clients (available 24/7 or limited hours, texting, calls, etc.)?
  7. How do you maintain client medical records – electronically and/or written?
  8. How much do you charge for services? What’s included (prenatal visits, postnatal visits/newborn care, etc)?
  9. Any extra costs we should know about (birth kit, birth pool, newborn test fees, birth certificate, etc)?
  10. Do you accept insurance?

If you have specific concerns or questions beyond what’s on this list, you should ask about those too. Pay special attention to how well (or poorly) each midwife responds to something that is obviously important or concerning to you.

Conclusion

After asking (some of) these 65 questions, you’ll have a good idea of who a midwife is, how she views birth, and how you’ll experience pregnancy and birth with her. Use that information, and trust how you feel, to make your choice…

…because how you give birth matters, and this is your first choice on that path. 

Until next time,

Allison

P.S. Still haven’t decided if you for sure want to hire a midwife? Check out Midwife or OBGYN: Which is Right For Me? (15 Questions to Help You Decide) to figure out if a midwife is a good fit for you.

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