CONSULTATION QUESTIONS FOR PROSPECTIVE MIDWIVES 

The following questions won’t be covered in one interview, but you should know the following about your attendant prior to giving birth.  A good indication of the well-regarded midwife may be her affiliation with state and national organizations, and a printed offering of an “Informed Choice Agreement”, a statement of her background and statistics.  This reduces confusion or misunderstanding later.  Try to circle the most pressing concerns or questions you have now, for the initial interview. 

Is the midwife nationally certified through NARM as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)?  If not, what is the reason she has chosen not to do so?  Is she active in the GA Midwifery Association (GMA)?  Does she participate in regular peer review with the local midwives? 
 

I.     TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE

     - What training have you had? Continuing Ed? CPR? Neonatal Resuscitation?

    - How much of it was hospital experience, home experience?

    - How long have you been attending births as primary midwife?

    - How many births have you attended as a primary midwife (without
      supervision)?

    - How many births do you attend per month?

    - How many clients required C-sections, episiotomies, suturing?

    - What is the advantage of a homebirth? 

    - What are the disadvantages of homebirth?

 

II.     COMPLICATIONS AND EMERGENCIES

     - What complications and emergencies have you seen and how were they

       handled? (i.e. postmaturity, prolonged labor, fetal distress, breech,

       bleeding)

    - What circumstances/conditions would rule out your attendance?

    - What complications/emergencies have you or can you handle?

    - Under what circumstances do you transfer to a hospital?

    - What percentage of clients have cesareans in your practice?

 

III.  BACKUP

     - Who is your midwife backup if you are unavailable?

    - What is her experience?

    - Who is your consult physician in case of hospital transfer?

    - What hospitals are used?

    - Can you accompany the couple through the hospital birth?

    - Do you have a family doctor/pediatrician or recommend one?

     

IV.    EQUIPMENT AND PROCEDURES

     A.  Prenatal:

       - Do you do prenatal care?  What is your schedule for visits?

       - What is included in prenatal care?  (Should include lab work, urine

          checks, blood pressure, fetal heart tones)

       - What nutrition counseling do you provide?

       - What are your feelings about birth preparation classes?

       - Do you visit the home at any time before the birth? 

    B.  During Labor and Birth:

       - When do you want to be called once labor has begun?

       - When do you come to the home once labor has begun?

       - What equipment do you bring and what must we provide?

       - What emergency equipment do you provide?

       - How do you view the father’s role?

       - What is your role during labor? birth?

       - How do you feel about sibling participation in birth?

       - What non-drug measures do you suggest for pain relief?

       - How often do you listen to the baby’s hear in labor?

       - What is fetal distress in your opinion?

       - What do you consider prolonged labor/birth pushing?

       - Do you have preferences for labor/ birth positions? 

       - How do you feel about water birth?  Have you attended any?

       - What measures do you take to prevent tearing?

       - How often do the fathers actually help “catch the baby”?

 
   C.    After Delivery

       - Do you check for tears? (vaginal, urethral, rectal)

       - Do you have local anesthetic & suturing equipment for this repair to

          be done without going to the hospital?

       - How do you prevent/treat excessive postpartum bleeding?

       - How do you handle the baby immediately after birth?

       - How long do you stay after the birth?  What do you check at this time?

       - What is your schedule for follow-up care?

       - Do you do the newborn screening tests? (required by the state)

       - What is your philosophy regarding circumcision?

       - How is the filing of the birth certificate handled?

       - Do you routinely give me a copy of all my records after the birth?

 

V.     FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS 

       - How much do you charge for your services?

       - What services are not included in this fee?

       - Do insurance plans cover your fee?  Do you accept direct payment?

       - When do you want the full fee paid?

 

VI.    ATTITUDE AND COMMUNICATION 

       - Determine willingness to:

          be open to communicate now and in labor/birth;

          explain things;

          help you see the consequences of your choices;

          let you make your own decisions.