When an expectant mama is new to this whole realm she is often confused about who to ask for advice, how to interview a midwife and what to ask. I have been there myself and it was a sheer stroke of luck that I found an amazing midwife with my first interview. If I had been in the position of having to interview a few different ones, it might have been trickier. There are questions you should definitely know the answers to, there are things you should be observing, all of this comes with experience but I am going to attempt to take some of the mystery out of it.
First and foremost you need to identify your own philosophy on birth. Do you want someone who takes control while you ride shotgun and tells you what to do and how to do it? This is typically the stance of most OB/GYN professionals so you may be perfectly comfortable seeking out an OB who practices with midwives in a birthing center type of environment.
Do you want a midwife who walks alongside you offering suggestions but allowing you to hold the reins?
Do you want a very hands off midwife or one who is more hands on?
Do you want a midwife who performs physical exams (I am not referring to your belly girls) or one who does not?
Do you want a midwife who welcomes the assistant of a doula, or one who works alone?
There are so many things to consider so the first step might be brainstorming what your perfect birth would look like for you and then ensuring that you discuss that when you are interviewing a midwife.
Once you have located a midwife (or a few) to interview pay close attention to how she makes you feel.
Do you feel warm and safe in her presence?
Is this the kind of person you could imagine being friends with?
How does she respond to your other family members and what kind of a sense do they get about her?
You also need to be asking what her hospital transfer rate is and what types of situations she feels would necessitate a transfer.
In addition, there are some pretty standard things that most midwives avoid you need to think about how you feel about them also. This might include things like onset of labor prior to 37 weeks, certain high risk factors for your health (I’m old, that’s a “risk factor” in typical OB practices, but that is not what I am referring to). Multiple prior C- sections, etc.
Cost is of course also a factor you should be asking about as well as post natal care. In addition to these questions, you will have some of your own to ask, I even pulled together a quick printable sheet you can use to really help stay organized. Use it to record notes, feelings and interview a few midwives before you settle on the one you want to attend your birth.
Where do you find these midwives? Start with a Google search of Midwives in....(whatever state you live in). Look on facebook, there are HUGE homebirth groups you can join with members all over the US and abroad. I like this one on facebook called "Homebirth & Waterbirth." ask around and ask moms why they liked a particular midwife.
Now that you are well versed in what to ask, go get organized and start interviewing. Want a great resource to use? I've pulled together a great interview sheet for you to use, it is totally free for you to print when you subscribe to blog updates (you know all the crunchy mama stuff). This is a 3 page printable with space for notes and midwife specific information. Simply use a binder, hole punch and you are organized! For a copy of the free printable just sign up here:
CHOICES IN CHILDBIRTH,
5 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF A NATURAL CHILDBIRTH
5 REASONS TO CHOOSE A MIDWIFE OVER A TRADITIONAL OB