Crying It Out

Many mothers have a polarizing reaction to these three words. It is easy to get cocky with one’s own success or ideas and we often want to thrust these standards onto other women.  Women who have had success with the crying-it-out method may think that it is worth it to put in the work (by work, I mean crawling into the fetal position, praying baby would just give it up and go to sleep) and may even look down on mothers who aren’t “strong” enough to make these tough decisions. Other mothers who practice more of a baby-led approach may think that letting a baby cry it out is straight up cruel and border-line abusive.  I am definitely a believer in letting a baby cry-it-out. But as I have grown and matured (hopefully!) and have been humbled by my four very different children. I now have a more understanding attitude toward baby-led moms and have even modified my crying-it-out method.

I don’t always like to weigh in on controversial topics because I don’t want other mothers to feel uncomfortable or offended by my parental decisions. Honestly, I don’t like other people to give their opinions on my personal decisions so I usually keep them under wraps for the most part. It’s no one else’s business, after all. Just by proclaiming what your position is on any topic with babies/kids can leave other mothers feeling judged or guilty as if they have done something wrong or they judge you for what you do. We all want what is best for our kids. We don’t have to emphatically defend what choices we have made like they are on trial. After all, we are all very different and our children are all very different so our parenting choices naturally vary. I wish I could just turn off the part in my brain that wants to place everyone in neat, explainable little boxes. Like if you are pro-home-birth, then you must think that doctors are evil and your kids probably co-sleep with you.  Not true. Or if you happily get an epidural to avoid labor pain, you must also love giving your kids high fructose corn syrup and refer to the sharpie scribblings on your living room wall as your kids’ “art”.  Also not true. Most people rarely fit into one all-encompassing category.

This post is all about the success I have had with letting a baby cry-it-out, what principles I follow, and times when I have had to adjust my expectations for different babies or different circumstances. Though this post is pro-crying-it-out, I want to be clear that it is aimed toward new moms who want to know that they will actually sleep again and also for moms who are struggling with night owl children and are desperate to find a solution. If you don’t let your baby cry-it-out and its working for you and your family, by no means feel that I am trying to convince you to rock the boat and do things my way. If you are offended already or are gearing up to be because you hate the practice of letting a baby cry-it-out, stick with me for a little longer!

What is crying-it-out? Letting a baby cry-it-out basically means to lay a baby down in their bed while they are still awake so they can learn to fall asleep on their own without being rocked to sleep, patted, or any other soothing action from a parent. Whether they lay in the bed while starring at the ceiling, scream their lungs out, or play, they have to learn how to fall asleep on their own. The idea is that they learn how to self-sooth.

What does it mean to “self-sooth”? When a baby self-soothes, they learn how to fall asleep on their own without a parent being present. Whether they cuddle a particular blanket, listen to a sound machine, suck their thumb, or let their leg drop on the bed making a soothing thumping sound (like my sweet Delly), learning how to fall asleep by themselves has huge advantages for the babies and the parents. Not only does it take some of the pressure off of me (I may have the time to rock a baby to sleep when I have one. But if I have three other kids running around, something has to give) but it also helps the baby to get the sleep they need without having to wait for me.  If I let my kids pick out their own food, I am sure it wouldn’t make for a nutritional diet (I could also apply this to my husband). In the same way, why would I let a baby choose their sleep patterns? They need our direction even in this basic need. I am not leaving them to fend for themselves. I am just teaching them a valuable skill so everyone gets the sleep that we all desperately need.

Does “crying it out” actually work? My short answer is “yes”.  But of course, its not a practice that stands on it’s own. It must be coupled with a few other principles. Its not a matter of just letting a baby cry until they fall asleep with no other thoughts as to why they may be crying. It needs to be planned out and have a routine in mind for which to aim your efforts. Having a bedtime ritual can still happen (and I would say that it should) all the while still teaching your baby to self-sooth. A routine of bath time, followed by a book, and a sweet cuddle with a lullaby is a great way to prepare your baby for sleep. But when the ritual is done, the baby goes to bed even if still awake. This alleviates the parent of the responsibility of jumping through hoops to get the kid to fall asleep. It also allows the parent to leave the room upright like a normal human instead of sneaking around the floor like a ninja snake (honestly, we’ve all been there. Am I right?). But life doesn’t always go like clockwork so be prepared for circumstances that can throw your baby off of the routine. When in a different environment like being at the in-laws house for instance, parents need to adjust their expectations.

The other day, a new friend of mine (we were still feeling each other out on where we  land in parenting choices) expressed that she was having some difficulty knowing when her baby was hungry or sleepy and therefore was feeding baby when she cried only to have her fall asleep quickly into the feeding.  She also mentioned that she missed having time to sit with her husband in the evening without having a baby in her arms. I poked around with a few questions, wondering if she wanted advice or just someone to empathize with her situation. Like I said, I usually keep a tight lip on my opinions unless someone asks for advice or a direct question of what I do. Somehow, she made it clear that she was open to suggestions. I gave her a few tips that I have found that worked for my kids and I recommended a book to her, Oh Becoming Baby Wise (Okay, if you hate this book and now want to stop reading, hang with me a bit more!) After reading the book and putting it into practice, she has told me that now her baby sleeps so well and everything is working like clockwork (as much as things ever do).

Because I have seen how passing on advice can really have a positive impact on another family, I have decided to break my usual silence regarding sleeping training (another scary phrase) to share with you what I have learned and what has worked for my family and myself.

I have found incredible comfort and ease of mind with this book. But it is most certainly a guide and not to be followed to a tee (which, I believe it says in the first chapter). If you think your baby is hungry, that is the best reason to break routine and feed your baby. I relied on this book a great deal with my first and have had amazing results. But when my second born came along, I realized that though Baby Wise still gives great advice and a great routine to aim for, I needed to adjust my expectations and my method a bit.

The main things I have gleaned from this book are:

1). Make sure baby gets full feedings and doesn’t fall asleep while eating. This should start from day one. The whole BW method works on a cycle of 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours long with the time starting at the beginning of a feeding (length varies on the age of the baby). Full feedings helps you as a mother know that your child is really full and that he/she can go the rest of the 2 1/2 – 3 hour cycle until next feeding. It is a huge comfort knowing that your baby isn’t upset because of hunger. Also, by keeping them awake during the feeding, it helps to ensure you don’t become a human pacifier that your baby relies on to fall asleep, if you are breast feeding. I had a newborn that decided to use me as a human pacifier and I was too sleep deprived to realize how long the feeding had been (three hours). Let me just say, sticking your nipple in a light socket may be less painful than nursing with sore nips. Its not worth it.

2). Follow a Feed/Wake/Sleep pattern: When it is time to feed the baby, wake them up (if the baby seems really sleepy, I will wait another 30 min) and feed them. Then let the baby have awake time even if it is only 5-10 minutes when they are just a few weeks old. When the baby shows signs of sleepiness or there is only 1 1/2 hours left of the cycle (I always want them to get at least an hour and half nap before the 3 hour cycle is up), lay baby down even when awake. Newborns usually go right to sleep. I practice this 3 hour cycle with babies that are older than 2 weeks old.

3). Be mindful of times of growth spurts and changes that may effect the routine. Babies are hungrier when going through a growth spurt, so feed them sooner or for longer. Also, as the baby develops, sometimes they start waking from their naps after only 45 minutes. This can be frustrating when you are used to the routine working. But babies are constantly changing. My rule is if they wake up crying, they are either super hungry or still tired. Most of the time, it has proven to be the latter. So back down they go until they wake up happy or if it is time for the next feeding.

4). Like in all things, consistency is the key.  You can’t be super diligent every other day and expect to have good results. Your baby needs to know what to expect and you need to know what to expect from your baby. This will comfort the baby and help every day to have a peaceful flow. Guessing games as to why your baby is upset is one of the hardest things during the first year of a baby’s life because they can’t tell you what they need. It also helps when you don’t drag your kid to a million places every day. Traffic, long conversations, and little hold ups can throw your routine off and then the baby is either passed their point of hunger or tiredness. Establishing a strong routine will show you at what times getting out is do-able and where you can be flexible as the baby grows. Consistency, people! Its worth it a million times over.

**Side note: Sticking to a 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hour schedule may seem restricting, but it doesn’t last forever. And the benefits of full nights of sleep, and predictable days far out weighs the few months of small windows of time to do outings and other activities.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Keeping an opened mind/ just because something worked for baby #1, doesn’t mean it will work for every baby:  My mom always says that if something isn’t working for everyone, it just isn’t working. This is so true. If you have a baby that refuses to sleep through the night, and mom basically never sleeps because of it, this isn’t working. If you have a baby crying it out every night, well passed the usual three to five day period of breaking a habit or starting a routine, then something isn’t working. If dad has to sleep in a different room because all the children have to sleep with mom, this isn’t working either. Anyone can muscle through for a certain period of time, but it can’t be the norm or it will cause too much stress on one individual and the whole family suffers. Its okay to admit something isn’t working. Every time I tell my husband that I am frustrated because such-n-such kid never/always does such-n-such, he asks what I have done to try to fix the problem. I think about it and usually the answer is I try the same thing over and over again with no change and I expect different results. Over-the-top-eyeroll. You would think I would have learned this lesson by now.

My second, Delano can create a habit after just one time of giving in to him. If I patted his bottom one time to help him go to sleep, he wanted it every time. He is 3 years old now, and if he is sick or something, and I lay next to him in bed to help him go to sleep, he will demand it the next three nights, usually. Also, when I let Del cry it out as a baby, he was much more determined to stay awake and wail than my first. We had a few long cries with Jenkins, but nothing like with Delano. I had to adjust.

So though I strongly believe in letting a baby cry it out, I have a new guideline that I have taken much comfort in. While I sleep train, I let my babies cry for 5 excruciating minutes. I go in and take about 1 minute to comfort them, make sure they don’t need a diaper change or feeding, and make sure nothing could possibly be hurting them (Mommas, you know how when your baby cries, and you get fixated on one thought like a strand of your hair is wrapped around their toe? Or a neighbor’s pet rattle snake must be biting the baby) When all is well, I lay the baby back down for another 5 minute crying session. I do this until the baby falls asleep or until the time is up for their next feeding. I can listen to my baby cry for this 5 minute period without becoming completely undone. I remind myself that they need sleep as much as they need food. Rest for a baby is so important, just as it is for all humans.

Even though I have four very different kids with four very different sleep habits, I can say (with humility) that having a routine to aim for and teaching my infants good sleep habits has been a tremendous reward for all of us. My kids all sleep 9-12 hours a night (and have since they were between 8 weeks and three months old) and have taken two hour (sometimes longer) naps twice a day when 6month to 1 year, and at least a 2 hour afternoon nap from 1 year to 3 years old (Pammy is 18 months old but going strong!)

Photo by Cris Saur on Unsplash

With every kid, I have wandered away from sleep training only to realize that my world is falling apart with an unpredictable baby and lack of sleep. As soon as I fight to break bad habits and get the new one on a schedule, I see how nice life can be with four kids who all sleep well.  I am a better mom when I am well rested and my kids get the benefit of their own sleep plus they get to wake up to a sweet, well rested mom.

A Birth Story: Perfectly Pink

Our next birth story comes from my precious sister-in-law, Claire, as she recounts the birth of her second child. When I starting dating my husband, I had no idea that the family I would one day marry into would soon become my closest friends. Claire has been a precious friend to me and it has been so amazing watching her become the sweetest mother to her girls. What a blessing it is to have friends and go through all of life’s adventures together.

Get ready for a nail biter! Enjoy!


Reese Elizabeth was born on May 28th, around 10:00 in the morning weighing 8 lbs. 4 oz. Her entrance into this world was memorable to say the least. After my first baby girl, Mary Claire, came into this world naturally with the help of a nurse, doula, and doctor at the hospital, I knew that we were ready to give a home birth a try. Mary Claire’s birth was pretty standard in many ways. She was born on her due date after eighteen hours of labor that began very slowly and steadily progressed until I pushed her into this world. Knowing what I’ve read about second births, I was anticipating my labor with Reese to be a little shorter, and I was also banking on easier and faster pushing! I looked forward to laboring and delivering in the water with the help of my amazing midwife, Cori. I should have known that all my plans and expectations would take a different route, because that is the nature of labor and birth, after all.

The night before Reese was born, I was going on four days past my due date. I had been experiencing lots of cramping and Braxton Hicks, and I was DONE. I cried to my husband, Cody, that I couldn’t bear another day. Reese must have felt my frustration, because around 5:00 am the next morning, I awoke to some intense cramping. It felt very much like period cramps, but they were strong enough to prevent me from going back to sleep. So, I decided to park it on the couch and see what came of it. My twin sister, Caroline, who was also full-term pregnant, noticed my early morning social media activity and texted me to see why I was up. She was also awake due to pregnancy discomforts, so we lamented together.
 
Around 5:30, I felt the first contraction. In that moment, it was undeniable that my time had come. Caroline suggested that I time my contractions. While I did this, I decided that since there was surely several hours of early labor ahead of me, I would put on a calming movie. I started Pride and Prejudice, of course, and waited for the contractions to roll in. They were all over the map in distance between them, but lasted about 45-60 seconds. I noted to myself that they were fairly more noticeable than my previous labor had begun. 7:00 AM rolled around, and I could hear Mary Claire starting to stir. I went and woke Cody to tell him the news that labor had begun. He knew what to do! We started the day with Mary Claire like normal. Cody drove to Einstein Bagels, an apparent labor tradition in the making, to buy me a hearty breakfast to prepare me for the task ahead. I ate my breakfast sandwich and decided to get in the bath to relax. My midwife had been alerted already, and she suggested I relax as well.
 
As I attempted to relax in the bath, it became clear to me that I was, indeed, not relaxed! This bath was not doing the job I expected it to do. My mind was already giving way to fear of the pain. So I began to repeat a mantra I saved onto my phone so that I would remember it in the hours to come. “I am stronger than my contractions, because they are a part of me.” This bath was over. I needed to get dressed and comfortable. That meant hunkering down in bed. Cody was set with the task of tending to Mary Claire as we waited for my mother to arrive. Therefore, the majority of this time was spent alone, listening to my body, concentrating through contractions, and trying to force myself to change positions. Cody would check on me and ask if I wanted him to call the midwife. Since it had only been about three hours since the labor began, I hesitated to call her. It was ‘too soon’ in my experience. Plus, the contractions continued to be varied in length and frequency. In spite of this, they continued to intensify. I was repeating my mantra and focusing hard through each one. Every movement or change of position incited a contraction. I found myself longing for a respite, so I laid back down in bed and parked it there. My mother had finally arrived, so Cody was able to check on me and stay with me. I was still hesitating to make the call, so he made the decision for me and told Cori she should head over. When he informed me that she was twenty minutes away, I estimated about how many more contractions I would have to do without her before she arrived. I was not encouraged! He then asked me if he should fill up the tub. THE TUB. Ugh, all this hard laboring, and I didn’t even think to use the biggest tool I had.
 
He began to fill the tub, and as he did, I reached transition. I could no longer concentrate through the contractions as they lasted 1.5 minutes and had become so strong that no thought could enter or linger in my mind. All I could do was moan through them, something that helped me immensely in my labor with Mary Claire. It was currently the only tool I had. After about four or five really tough contractions, my water broke. I instantly became “Type A” Claire and rolled out of bed,  so that the mattress wouldn’t ruin. It’s amazing how you can go from completely thoughtless to intensely concerned about a potential mess. OY. I thought to myself, I better go to the toilet to contain the fluid. As I waddled over and sat down, I had the most intense contraction of all. I lost complete control of the moment and grabbed the walls and screamed in pain. Cody was by my side instantly, but had become slightly undone. As the contraction subsided, I dropped a bombshell on Cody. I told him I felt like I needed to push! Cody was officially undone. “What do I do?” he screamed! I pulled myself together between the contractions and told him to help me to the tub. By this time, the midwife was on speaker phone giving me instructions to get horizontal and NOT to push as she madly sped down the highway to our house. I couldn’t deny that I was scared. I wanted my midwife there. I didn’t want Reese to come yet. I had no idea what was going to happen.
New family of four with sweet midwife holding the newest addition.
In the midst of my fear, I continued to listen to and trust my body. I tried my hardest not to push, but I looked down to see the top of Reese’s head. I couldn’t be inactive. I sat down in the water, and gave one big push. After her head was delivered, I stood up, and then Cody came to my aid to help deliver her, even though he had not one iota of knowledge about what to do. I hesitate to include this next comment in my story, because it definitely wasn’t a part of the vision I had for this birth. But it’s honest, and therefore, deserves to be shared. Somewhere in the midst of her delivery, I shouted “Get her out of me!” I chuckle at it now, because I longed to have that calm, quiet strength I see so many women display during birth. I guess my strength is more vocal…Regardless, she quickly came out, and the relief was instant, but also was my need to hold her. He handed her to me, and I sat down in the water to check her out. She was perfectly pink, her mouth was clear, and she had a strong cry. Instantly, I saw how beautiful she was, and I knew we were going to be okay. It was over! I was in shock. My mind was swirling with the events that just occurred and the fact that I was actually holding my baby in my arms with no midwife in sight. Just my shell-shocked husband who managed to keep calm enough to deliver his baby!
 
Proud dad.

Cody went to unlock the door for the midwife and to informed my mother, to her disbelief, that Reese was here! In all, she had been there for twenty minutes before Reese was born! After about five minutes, the student midwife arrived. She immediately assessed Reese and determined she looked great! Cori arrive a couple minutes after that. The whole team got to work taking care of me and Reese. What a wild and fast ride. We snuggled Reese in bed all day, retold the story to each other over and over, and continued to sit in the disbelief yet also in the knowledge that God is good and the birth was perfect. Next time, I plan to trust myself instead of any clock to determine when the midwife should arrive. Cody has enjoyed the accolades and teasing as people call him Dr. Cody at work. Reese turned out to be the most chill baby on the planet, somehow defying the fast and furious entrance she made into this world. The pain of childbirth is entirely eclipsed by the miracle of letting your body do what it was created to do. The moments immediately following birth when I have brought my baby to my chest, am soaking in their existence and instant connection as their mother, those are the most powerful moments of my life so far. Nothing can compare to it. I’ll forever be thankful to God that I am able to carry and deliver life.

~Claire


Thanks so much for reading! To catch up on the other birth stories, check out The Honest Truth page. Surely I am not the only one who can not get enough stories about how precious babies enter this world! There is truly nothing like it. Happy Friday and God bless!

10 Favorites for Pregnancy

First pregnancy. Blissful ignorance in those eyes.
First pregnancy. Blissful ignorance in those eyes.

Being that I am well into my fourth pregnancy, I thought I would share some of my favorite things for pregnancy. I am definitely a creature of habit and partake in the same foods, activities (for the most part), rituals, and reading material each time around.

1. Raspberry leaf tea: This is good for anyone with a uterus, whether it contains a baby or not. I only drink one cup a day. I have used both tea bags and loose leaf tea. The tea bags can be pricey but are more convenient because you can just toss the bags in the trash when you are done steeping them. The loose leaf is great if you are serious about drinking a cup a day because you can get a lot for super cheap but you do need your own tea strainer.

Here are a couple articles I found: This one is pro-raspberry leaf tea but also shows some controversy. (Its good to always know both sides). This article is aimed at fertility issues but also lists traditional uses for the tea.raspberryblog

2. Stonyfield Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt: This is my ultimate favorite snack. I load it up with unsalted peanuts and a spoonful of whatever kind of jelly we have (no high fructose, of course) and giggle while I consume every bite of it. Delicious. My Walmart does not carry the Stonyfield with whole milk but my Brookshires does. Go Brookshires!

3. Eggs!: Through two of my pregnancies, we have had our own chickens to provide as many eggs as I could possibly consume. They are the perfect protein. I will eat anywhere from 3-6 a day. On days when I do not eat eggs, I feel weak and starving come lunch time. And my family suffers for my poor choice as well.

4. Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: All of my children thus far have been born naturally at home. But I don’t follow “The Bradely Way” necessarily. I have never been to a class and I have only skimmed the chapters in this book that actually go over the Bradley method. Breathing naturally during contractions versus La Maz breathing is a big thing. But I use this book mostly to mentally prepare myself for labor. It has a great, detailed description of every phase of labor and how labors can vary. I definitely recommend it to new mommas-to-be!

5. Dr. Christopher’s Birth Prep: This is kind of like raspberry leaf tea but has several other great things in these capsules. My midwives past and present have recommended I take this the last 6 weeks of pregnancy. Its a boost of minerals and helps your body gear up for labor. It is suppose to give you less intense and shorter labors. I have always taken it and my longest labor was eleven hours from the first feeling to the birth. My shortest labor was six hours from start to finish. I also consider labor to be so much easier than being pregnant. So I am guessing I don’t have super intense labors. I always notice much more Braxton Hick contractions when I start taking it. This is suppose to indicate that your uterus muscle is being exercised and strengthened thus aiding with easier labors. But I am also a fairly skeptical person and sometimes doubt if this does anything significant. I just don’t want to take the risk and find out by not taking it!

6. Walks around the neighborhood: It is important to get out and move when you are pregnant. But my walks are so much more than exercise. I have only started and finished a pregnancy at the same address once, and then we moved when he was nine days old.  My other pregnancies have included a move right in the middle somewhere. My walks give me a chance to think through the new changes coming while breathing in the outdoors. I take in all the details of our neighborhoods because I know I will be saying good bye to it soon.  As I think and pray for my little one on the way, I can give thanks to God for bringing us to this place in life. This is the first pregnancy that I am not anticipating a move anytime soon, which makes it all the sweeter.

7. A great show to binge watch: As much as eating right and getting good exercise are important during pregnancy, rest is equally a must.  I seem to always latch on to some show during my pregnancies that gets me to take a load off as I tvblog hammer through each episode (Thank you, Netflix). Shows like Pushing Daisies (it was so whimsical), Ally McBeal, Grey’s Anatomy (a little ashamed), Desperate Housewives (very ashamed), Call the Midwife, Survivor (always a good choice), Downton Abbey (went into labor right after the season finale!), anything that can make me cry, make me laugh, and make me forget about my nesting urges.

8. Maternity Fit Splint: This is actually a new one for me this time around. The Fit Splint is a band that wraps around my belly or just below it and Velcros in the back, giving me some much needed support as I carry this little one around. After four pregnancies back to back, my abs are pretty stretched out and separated. My midwife said that I need to be careful when sitting up from a laying down position. Apparently, the worse my abs separate, the chances of my little one getting cozy in a breech position is more likely. I have never done any exercises to repair my abs when I am not pregnant. This band makes me feel well supported when I am on my feet and is very adjustable. It also is helpful when exercising and can help lift a little one who sits on your bladder (win win). I have been very satisfied with the Fit Splint.

9. Crunch Yoga Mama:  My old faithful work out video. The cheese is over-flowing in this video as you work out all the tight muscles and pregnancy worries. I am not a yoga fanatic and I can still do this video. Its perfect for pregnant women in any trimester. Some of the corny phrases make me cringe and laugh at the same time but it still is a good work out. If you want to try it, definitely look for the mom-to-be who tries to see if the camera is on her when she is suppose to be keeping her eyes shut! Hysterical.

10. My husband: This is one that I am NOT recommending to you because he is all mine, folks. I love this man. Through all the changes and moves we have been through, I am always at home with him. He is the most precious dad and is so creative when thinking of gifts and activities for the kids.  He is helpful and understanding of all my ups and downs. He is not the one to drop everything to run out and get me ice-cream or Wingstop, unless he really wants some as well. But he listens to all my irrational thoughts and dreams. He laughs with me when I am really needing a laugh. He laughs at me when

So young and so in love.
So young and so in love.

I am being silly, which helps me to not take myself so seriously. He loves me so well and I can feel it with everything he says and does. He is always excited and tearfully happy about each new life that comes into our home. He is my best friend and I wouldn’t want to raise kids with anyone else.

 

What are some of your favorite things during pregnancy??? Check out my other pregnancy related posts: Our First Home-birth and 10 Questions to Ask a Midwife.

God bless and thanks for reading!

 

 

 

10 Questions to Ask a Midwife

If you have decided to go the midwife route when having a baby instead of using the hospital, you may have a few questions.  The interview of a midwife is a great time to get some of these questions answered as well as give you a feel for how this midwife operates. Interview a few midwives in your area to help determine which one is right for you and your baby.

Our first home-birth

Our first picture of Jenkins.
Our first picture of Jenkins.

Every midwife I have interviewed has been very prepared to answer my many inquiries. But sometimes the process of interviewing a midwife can be intimidating, especially if it is uncharted waters for you and your spouse.  I think the three most important things to look for in a midwife are her experience, her confidence, and whether or not her personality or demeanor puts the mother at ease.  Most of the time, my midwives have answered most of my questions in their initial introduction of themselves. But I like to have a check list of questions before I go into the interview so that I won’t wonder later if I missed anything.

Here are the questions I ask in an interview:

  1. How long have you been a certified midwife?
  2. Do you have a birthing center or only do home-births?
  3. How many babies have you caught? (If you are about to be a mom, they don’t actually catch the baby like a football!).
  4. How many times have the mothers needed to be transported to the hospital?
  5. What were the circumstances of these cases? (I have heard my midwives say that the majority of the times they have transported a mother in labor to the hospital was because the mother asked to go to the hospital (either she was tired after a long labor or had self-doubt) and not because something went medically wrong. But I want a midwife who has a clear plan of action of getting to the hospital in either situation).
  6. If I need to go to the hospital, what would you do? Go by ambulance?
  7. If I am to have a home-birth, what extra things do I need to get ready at my home and purchase before the birth? ( My midwives have always had a folder full of all this information. But I put this question in this list because its good to know any additional costs up front  as well as to know what is required of you.)
  8. What is the clean up like and who is responsible for it? (If your husband or partner faints at the sight of blood or anything related then you may want to make sure the midwife is prepared to do a good portion of the cleaning. In my experience, there are so many absorbent pads and towels everywhere that everything stays pretty clean. Water births also seem to contain everything better as well. Midwives all have their own policies.
  9. What is the cost of home-birth vs using their birth-center? (If she has one)
  10. When do I need to have my bill paid in full? (If you don’t have insurance or the midwife you choose doesn’t take your insurance, many times they will give you a week to have the midwife fee paid.  Some I have had is by the 36 week of pregnancy)

Here are some interesting studies and general information on home-birth for you to peruse before interviewing midwives. It may prompt more questions or at least give you a little knowledge on what to expect.

Study of Home-birth Outcomes

What is a Midewife?

Benefits and Tips (This article has interesting info but seems to based on UK statistics.)

This is a kiddie pool that I have used for home water births. I love it. The bottom even inflates!

Also, check out  Our First Home-birth video.