Your midwife will be an integral part of your birth experience. You should not only feel confident in your midwife's experience and qualifications; you should also feel comfortable with her interpersonal style, bedside manner, and general personality. So when you are interviewing, be sure to always be aware of how you are feeling on a very personal and emotional level, about the person who could be guiding you through one of the most memorable experiences of your life.
For all the rest of it, we've put together a list of questions we think you'll find helpful. Read below.
Questions About Experience
How long has the midwife been in practice?
When and where did she receive training?
Does she have references?
What is her general philosophy concerning pregnancy and birth?
How many babies does she deliver per week/month/year?
What percentage of her patients does she deliver herself?
Which hospitals/birth centers does she have priveledges at?
Does she do homebirths?
How long have the others midwives been in practice?
Will I be seen by every practitioner with whom she rotates?
Do I have a choice about who I see?
Questions For Pregnancy
What things should I avoid?
What kinds of exercise are ok and which are possibly dangerous? Does she have specific recommendations concerning weight gain, exercise and diet?
How often will she see me during pregnancy?
What does a typical prenatal office visit consist of? (urine sample, weighing in, listening to heartbeat, etc)
How often does she do vaginal exams?
What is her recommendation/practice for the use of ultrasound?
Does she recommend certain pre-natal classes?
What is her definition of a high-risk pregnancy?
Questions About Labor and Delivery
What is her policy concerning artificially rupturing or stripping membranes?
Can I use a warm bath for pain relief in labor, even if my water has broken?
Does she do vaginal breech births?
Does she encourage VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)?
Does she do episiotomies?
Does she allow food and drink during labor?
How often does she do vaginal exams during labor?
How soon after I start labor will the doctor/midwife come to see me at home?
At what point in labor does she recommend coming to the birth center?
Does she have a set position they want me to birth my baby in?
Does she encourage women in labor to walk, squat or be in positions they find helpful during labor?
Is the partner allowed to catch the baby?
How long does she allow women to labor before starting interventions?
What is her policy on induction if I go beyond my due date?
What routine tests does she require?
What happens to the baby immediately after birth? How long does s/he wait to cut the cord and deliver the placenta?
Does she allow the partner to cut the cord if that is requested?
Can I breastfeed immediately after birth?
If the baby needs the immediate care of a pediatrician, how is this handled?
Can the family be allowed some bonding time before routine exams are given?
Is weighing done in the room?
What is used and when is eye care done, can it be delayed?
What is her view of circumcision?
What methods of natural pain relief does she encourage?
Questions About Alternative Birth Centers/Hospitals
Is there a one-room option in which I can labor, give birth and recover?
Is this room always staffed?
What are the features of the birthing room? (dim lights, CD player, tv, etc.)
Are water births done at the facility?
Can my partner and/or doula be with me at all times, including in the operating room, if I have a c-section?
How many other people can I have with me at all times? (a doula, friend, relative, etc).
Will my baby be with me at all times while I'm in the facility?
Is video taping allowed?
Is there a place for my partner to lay down or sleep somewhere during labor?
Can my partner spend the night in my room if he wishes to (after the birth)?
How soon after birth can/must I leave the facility?
Is there an age limit on visitors? Does that apply to my own children?
You can read more about midwives and search for reviews on local midwives at www.naturallyborn.net