I will admit, I didn’t ask my midwife too many poignant questions when I was interviewing her. It was love at first sight, and I was still blissfully unaware of all the unexpected situations that can arise in even a healthy low risk pregnancy.
Luckily, everything turned out beautifully. We couldn’t have been more happy with our decision to have a home birth and with our wonderful midwife as our care provider.Looking back on my experience and those of many other women who have shared their stories with me, this is the list of questions I should have asked my midwife when I interviewed her.
Some of these I did ask during the interview. Some we asked in later prenatal appointments. Some came up when we were trying to explain our home birth decision to family. All of these are important, and the answers can help clue you into whether a particular midwife or obstetrician will be able to support you through a successful natural birth. Unforeseen circumstances may arise during your pregnancy or birth. It’s great to have the peace of mind that when they do, you know exactly what to expect from your care provider.
Questions to Ask Your Midwife or OB
2. How many births have you attended?
3. What percentage of women successfully have a natural birth under your care?
4. What percentage of women need to transfer to the hospital (if planning a home birth or birth center birth)? What is the typical reason?
5. What percentage of moms end up with a C-section?
6. What percentage of moms end up with an epidural?
7. What percentage of babies are transferred to NICU?
8. What is the mortality rate for moms? For babies?
9. Do you have hospital privileges? At what hospitals?
10. If you have children, what were your birth experiences like?
11. How many midwives or obstetricians are on the team? Who are your assistants? Will I get to meet all of them? What is their experience? Can I be sure that you will attend my birth?
12. Do you deliver breech babies naturally? VBACs? Twins?
13. How many births do you attend per month?
Pregnancy & Prenatal Care
20. What type of gestational diabetes testing do you typically use?
21. Do you recommend ultrasounds? When? How many?
23. What happens if I go past my due date? How late can I be and still birth under your care (if a midwife)?
28. Do you routinely use an IV or hep-lock?
29. Are there birth tubs in each room in the birth center? What if one is not available when I’m in labor?
30. Is a water birth available? If not, am I able to push in the tub at all?
31. How long do you recommend I stay in the water at one time? Do I need to get out for monitoring?
34. How long can I labor without induction?
41. What positions are available during labor? While pushing?
Postpartum & Newborn Care
The right answers
What was your experience interviewing care providers? What were the most important questions to ask your midwife or OB?