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.