30 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Homebirth Midwife

30 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Homebirth Midwife

 

Having a homebirth can be a nerve-wracking experience when trying to plan it out. It can be even more stressful when trying to find a midwife to assist in your homebirth.

The main thing to keep in mind is that this is your birth experience. If the midwife has a different philosophy than you, or is going to make you do things you’re just not comfortable with, look for a different midwife.

I lucked out with my midwife. She was the first, and only, midwife I interviewed. She and I immediately clicked. A few of my friends had delivered their babies with her and recommended her, so I set up an interview.

She agreed with my philosophies on pregnancy and birth. I made it very clear that I wanted no interventions unless absolutely necessary. I didn’t want any ultrasounds, Doppler usage, or any sort of tech used to monitor my baby. I was going to trust my instincts, my body and my midwife’s exams.

I delivered a very healthy baby girl, at home, in water. I labored with her for only 2 hours and had zero complications. My midwife watched as my husband assisted in delivering our baby girl – which is what we wanted. We wanted our midwife to be our backup in case something happened, but otherwise, we wanted to have an unassisted birth.

For those of you who are trying to come up with interview questions for your midwife, here is a list of questions I had prepared for interviewing my prospective midwife.

1. What sort of training have you had? (Lay midwives are often very qualified, if not more qualified than state-certified midwives, but you should still as each and every midwife what sort of education, whether direct training or through a school, she has had.)

2. How long have you been practicing?

3. How many births have you attended?

4. Do you have a backup midwife or OB/GYN?

5. Are you comfortable with women going past their due dates?

6. How comfortable are you with delivering breech babies and/or multiples?

7. What are your philosophies on birth, labor, and delivery?

8. What are your philosophies on Dopplers/ultrasounds?

9. What is your philosophy on eating and drinking during labor?

10. Are you comfortable with water births? How many have you attended?

11. Do you use a Doppler at all during pregnancy or labor?

12. What prenatal tests/exams do you recommend doing?

13. Do you have hospital privileges, if so, where?

14. Do you believe in a “hands off” approach during labor and delivery?

15. Do you perform vaginal exams?

16. Will you provide breastfeeding support?

17. Do you cut the cord immediately, or wait until it has finished pulsing?

18. What is your opinion on hatting babies (putting a baby hat on the infant soon after birth)?

19. Do you know how to prepare a placenta for encapsulation or for raw consumption?

20. Are you comfortable with working with a doula if I choose to hire one?

21. How do you feel about inducing labor?

22. How many of your clients have had complications that required hospital care?

23. How many of your clients have ended up with c-sections?

24. How do you feel about episiotomies?

25. How do you feel about rupturing the membranes?

26. If I do require hospital care, will you stay with me?

27. Will I be separated from my baby after my home birth?

28. How do you feel about my family being present during the labor and delivery?

29. How much do you charge and can I set up a payment plan with you?

30. How many visits will I have with you before and after my baby is born?

Obviously these questions are patterned specifically for the birth plan that I had. You can change or omit these questions, depending on your own birth plan.

Just remember to find a well-educated midwife that is willing to work with you. If she’s not comfortable with some of your questions and philosophies, chances are, she’s not a proper fit for you.

 

What are some questions that you plan on asking your midwife? 

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5 thoughts on “30 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Homebirth Midwife

  1. I’m big on the breech question. I’ve seen the worst, and I’ve seen what a good professional does.

    I would go further on the c-section question, too. Why were they necessary? Because sometimes, they most definitely are.

    I would also ask about a 20 week ultrasound. Having had a baby with a neural tube defect who could have been killed by a vaginal birth (and I had seven vaginal births, he’s my only ceasar), that ultrasound allowed us to be prepared, have the appropriate staff to care for him, and it gave him the chance he needed to be the healthy 3 year old he is now.

    I’m a big believer in doing everything as naturally as possible. But sometimes people forget that anatomy scan isn’t about determining gender. It’s about identifying issues that can be prepared for, and can save a baby’s life.

    I thought I’d know if something were wrong with my baby. But for mothers I know who are like me, none of us had any idea.

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  2. I am so lucky to live in Ontario, Canada, and midwives are covered by health care (so free!) and we can choose to have one instead of an OBGYN. You are lucky to find a midwife at all here as they are so in demand so questioning one and finding another you prefer is pretty rare. They all have hospital privileges too here which is amazing. With my first I wanted an at-home water birth but had complications come up before labour requiring me to be monitored in hospital, but just before Christmas I had my second as an at-home water birth and it was an amazing experience! They all believe in delayed cord clamping, delayed bath, skin to skin for the first hour or two after birth, Pitocin to help deliver placenta, 20 week ultrasound, breastfeeding support, etc. They work with you and what you are comfortable with though. Mine also recommended a doula, I LOVE midwives and doulas and wish every woman had access to them if they so choose.

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