Ask the Internets: midwife edition

So, Internets!

Friend of mine is knocked up with her first babe. She’s interviewing homebirth midwives and wants to know…

I’ve pretty much decided i’d like to do a natural birth, at home if possible, so what kinds of questions are good for midwives? i don’t know where to start!

What say you?

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10 thoughts on “Ask the Internets: midwife edition

  1. What do you carry with you in case of hemorrhage?
    Can you administer saline via IV?
    Have you given birth yourself?
    What is your transfer rate?
    How long will you work with me if I am “post-dates”? What is your criteria?

    Those are all important things to know, based on my positive and negative birthing experiences.

    Also, I would consider the experience of the midwife. The older/more experience both with midwifery and with life, the better, IME. Also, some people need tough love and other people don’t. Good to know what you respond to under stress.

  2. Since she’s a first time mom, ask them about their experience with natural remedies for pregnancy discomforts, and nutrition for optimal fetal development. Ask about their transfer rate. Ask them what their policy is regarding being checked late in the pregnancy. Some places charge an extra fee if they have to send an assistant to tell if you’re really in labor. Ask if they have physician backup, not just a hospital they take you to if you have to transfer, but a physician who actually works with them and will provide continuity of care. Ask if you can meet with this physician for a “get acquainted” visit during your pregnancy so if you do transfer, they won’t be a total stranger. My personal preference is for backup to be at a non-teaching hospital because teaching hospitals have a higher infection rate, but my own personal experience gives me that bias. YMMV.

  3. Ooh. So many. First, congrats to your friend! Ok. Training background. Philosophy of birth and midwifery. Scope of practice (i.e. parameters for transfer, etc.) Stats for transfer of care. If transfered, does midwife remain as well for support? Backup provisions (other midwife). Second attendant provisions, do you have to pay more to have a second? Licensed or not? Hospital or birth center rights as well? Doctor support/backup? What their prenatal and postpartum care entails. Trained and current in neonatal resuscitation? What equipment does she bring to a birth? Waterbirth experience/supported? Get to know hers (and your) comfort level on how hands-off she may be or not. Hmmm, what else?

    • i guess i should add that the only thing i would really want is an in-person feeling of comfort around her/ him. and they have to be waiting outside the house the whole time. they can clean up.

      • Tabitha I know. That’s what I want out of a midwife, to sit in her car and knit. Wellll, she can crochet or cross-stitch if she wants.

  4. ask her birth philosophy. if she has one in particular, she’ll give it. if she is more open to what the client wants she will turn the question back around on her. which answer is better depends on the person asking!

    your friend she be point bank about what she wants in a midwife and ask the midwife is this is within her scope of practice. I don’t believe in beating around the bush b/c that ho hurt feelings and unhappy birth experiences start – which very vague ideas of what a midwife/doula or client wants.

  5. First of all she needs to figure out what she wants. Does she want a mother figure, a friend, or someone who sits quietly and only intervenes if the mother asks her to do something.

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