Before Hiring a Midwife

by Anai Rhoads

Before you hire a midwife, be sure to interview several carefully. Take your time reviewing their history, call up their references, have a list of questions handy, research the legal issues in your state and ask the midwife for proof of her certification.

Be sure the midwife's personality is suitable for you, that his or her qualifications are equal or more to that asked by the State, and that the midwife agrees with your views on important matters such as vaccines, hospitalization, and circumcision.

Create a birth plan prior to meeting with a midwife and be open to his or her suggestions. Ask that the midwife sign your birth plan as well as a contract that specifies your needs and his or her responsibilities.

Note: Since most midwives don't offer a form or contract, they are under no obligation to see you through your pregnancy, which can leave you without a midwife in the 23rd hour of pregnancy.

Finally, before hiring a midwife, check his or her status on the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) by doing a full search.

Things to ask a Potential Midwife

- Which accredited midwifery education program did you graduate from?
- Certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives?
- Licensed by the state?
- Have you worked as a doula?
- How long in practice?
- Do you work in-home? Hospital? Center?
- How many births have you attended?
- How many births have you assisted?
- How many births have you delivered yourself?
- How many babies do you deliver per month?
- How long will each visit be?
- Available for questions via phone or e-mail?
- Your emergency numbers?
- Who will take your place?
- At which hospitals are you registered?
- Which prenatal tests do you provide?
- Do use natural medicine?
- Can I use natural or traditional medicine?
- Will you teach childbirth?
- If not, which do you recommend?
- Can you review my birth plan?
- Will you transport me to the hospital?
- Will you meet me at the hospital?
- Which labour stage do you begin helping?
- If asked, would you stay from the beginning?
- What are your views on epidurals and c-sections?
- Would you stay if I required a c-section?
- How many episiotomies have you performed?
- Do you have access to anesthesiologists for pain relief?
- Your views on vaginal births after cesarean?
- Can I stay with my baby after delivery? If so, how long?
- Will you enforce my birth plan?
- What are your views on neonatal tests?
- What are your views on Vitamin K?
- What are your views on vaccines?
- How many visits will we have after the birth?
- Will you teach me how to breastfeed?
- Will you be available via phone/e-mail for postpartum questions?

©2006 Anai Rhoads Ford. Reproduction must be authorized in writing by author only. Altering, redistributing, or selling this material is strictly prohibited. Permission to republish granted by Anai Rhoads.

Comments

Anai compiled a great checklist to print out and go over with potential midwives. This is perhaps THE most important event in your life. You definitely want to have someone you trust and are comfortable with to share it!