Questions to Ask a Midwife
- What are you death rates? Include stillbirth before labor, stillbirths during labor, infant deaths, and maternal.
- What are your permanent injury rates? Include moms and babies?
- What are complications rates? How many women end up with an obstetrician? How many for pain, exhaustionand failure to progress, how many for medical complications?
- Who is your backing doctor? Can I talk to her?
- Have you ever dealt with a major bleed?
- Have you ever inserted an IV after a major bleed has begun? What would you do in such an instance if you could not get it in?
- If my baby needed a c-section to save her life how much longer would that take than if I had an obstetrician?
- What is your background, training, and experience?
- How many births have you attended as the primary caregiver since the completion of your training?
- Why did you become a midwife? Do you encourage family/father participation?
- What are your expectations of me regarding self-care in pregnancy?
- Do you use a beeper? If not, how do I reach you? Are you on call 24 hours a day?
- Do you have a limit on the number of births you attend per month?
- What would happen if you had 2 births occur at once? Have you ever missed a birth?
- Do you work with a partner or assistants? (Note: A good midwife tries to work with a partner and/or assistants so that a double emergency where both the mother and baby need special care is not a problem).
- Do you provide postpartum visits in the early days after birth? How many? How long do you provide postpartum care?
- What equipment do you normally use at births? How many times have you actually used them? What medications and equipment do you have for emergencies? What is your training in those?
- Are you certified in CPR? What complications have you seen and handled? How would you handle complications such as hemorrhage, cord around the babys neck, baby not breathing spontaneously?
- Do you have adequate medical backup? Do you rely on a particular doctor or hospital? Can I choose my own physician?
- What medical complications require transport to the hospital? Will you be able to continue labor support should I need to go to the hospital?
- Do you do vaginal birth after cesarean at home? If so, what is your outcome ratio? What are the risks of doing so?
- What is your fee and what services does it include? Which fees are separate (ask about prenatal care, lab work, newborn assessment, breastfeeding support, postpartum care, and birth control counseling)? What about payment plans? (Note: It would also be a good idea to research basic hospital charges such as normal and cesarean birth.)
- Do you accept reimbursements from insurance companies? Which ones?
- What other costs might I encounter? (Note: In the case of transport to the hospital, physician and hospital fees will ordinarily be additional.)