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65 Questions to Ask a Midwife

Are you wondering what questions to ask a midwife, both the first time you meet and at prenatal appointments? I’ve got you, friend. This list of 65 questions will help you know that you’ve chosen a midwife who can truly take care of you and your baby and who is a good 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 done, the next step is to schedule some consultations and do some interviews.

BUT HOLD UP: Don’t just jump in and ask all 65 of these questions. That is not the point of this list.

Likewise, the goal in first-time consultations with midwives is NOT to ask as many questions as possible or to try to understand how a midwife will handle all possible situations.

The goal is to get a feel for whether or not the midwife is someone you can TRUST.

Because that’s what matters… can you trust this person to take care of you and your baby during one of the most life-altering, sacred moments you’ll ever experience?

If the answer to that is yes, that’s all you need to know.

Well, at least at first.

How to Use This List

If you haven’t hired a midwife yet, you can use this list to help you in those initial consultations. Rather than asking all 65, though, I recommend you go through the list beforehand and choose a few that stand out to you and just ask those.

And then just pay attention to how you feel as you chat and as you leave. If you walk away feeling like that midwife was someone you’d want to go back to over and over throughout the next several months, that’s a good sign.

On the other hand, if you’ve already hired a midwife, you can still use this list!

As you read through the list, notice the questions that you don’t understand. If the question is about something you’ve never heard of, take that question to your next prenatal appointment and ask your midwife to tell you about it!

That is one of the best ways to utilize the time you have in prenatal appointments. A midwife is a wealth of information – take advantage of that!

Questions to Ask a Midwife

Now, let’s get to the part you’ve been waiting for. Without further ado, here are 65 of the best questions you can ask a midwife.

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. Are you certified and/or licensed? What kind of training did you receive to become a midwife?
  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? Preeclampsia? How do you handle it?

Philosophy and Practice

  1. Do you practice as a solo midwife, with a partner, or in a team? How does that work?
  2. How would you feel if I wanted dual care with you and an OBGYN?
  3. What do you see as your role in pregnancy and birth?
  4. What is your philosophy on nutrition during pregnancy?
    • Prenatal and other supplements?
    • Exercise?
    • Weight gain?
  5. When would you recommend induction?
  6. How would you feel about me having a doula during labor?
  7. Do you offer childbirth classes? Or is there one you recommend?
  8. What factors would risk me out of your care? Are you able to help me prevent these?
  9. 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?
  10. Do you have any concerns about big babies being birthed naturally?
  11. What is your hospital transfer rate?
  12. In the event I had to be transferred to a hospital, what would be the process? Would you go with me?
  13. What is your protocol for non-emergency transfers to the hospital? Are there any non-emergencies your clients often transfer for?
  14. How do you handle slow, stalled, or prolonged labor?
  15. 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 preferences regarding how many people attend the birth? What about kids and pets being there?
  3. What is your protocol if my water breaks before labor starts? How long are you comfortable waiting for labor to begin?
  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. How do you typically manage the pushing stage of labor? Is there a position you suggest for pushing?
  8. Do you prefer to keep your hands off the perineum during crowning and birth? Or do you prefer to do massage/warm compresses?
  9. How do you handle a cord around the neck, if that happens?
  10. If you are unable to attend my birth for any reason, who will attend in your place? 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. 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, Apgar test, vitamin K shot, eye ointment, Hep B vaccine, bathing, etc)?
  2. Do you offer newborn testing (hearing, heart, and blood tests)? Do you require it?
  3. How much time do you allow for the birth of the placenta before intervening?
  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 newborn resuscitation? What will that be like if my baby needs it?
  7. Are you experienced in managing shoulder dystocia? What will we do if it happens?
  8. How long will you and/or your support team stay with mom and baby after the birth?
  9. Do you offer breastfeeding support? For how long? In what format?
  10. Do you perform circumcision if desired?
  11. What postpartum care do you offer? Do you provide postpartum depression screening and support?
  12. What newborn care do you provide?
  13. Do you recommend a specific pediatrician in the area?
  14. Do you offer placenta encapsulation?

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 recommend ultrasounds during pregnancy?
  4. Do you provide nutritional support during pregnancy?
  5. What kind of labs and testing 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 your 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

Midwife vs OBGYN: Which is Right For Me?

Still trying to decide between a midwife and an OBGYN? Not sure what difference it will really make? You need my FREE ebook…

Midwife vs OBGYN: Which is Right For Me?

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READ MORE:

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Midwife (You’re Gonna Want a Midwife)

How Much Do Midwives Cost?

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