Midwife comes from an old English word meaning “with woman,” and since women have been the traditional birth attendants throughout history, midwives have existed for as long as babies have been born. Have you decided to use a midwife for your maternal care and birthing process? A midwife will be the one working with you side by side throughout your pregnancy and birth. So what is the best route to take when finding a midwife?
You will want to choose someone that you can trust to help you feel confident and help carry out your plan to bring your baby into the world. Today midwives work in private offices, assist in home births and in-hospitals. With some research, finding a midwife whose experience seems most relevant to your situation and family needs should be easy. Calling or visiting the offices of the midwife you would like to work with and getting to know them and their practice would help you with finding a midwife that would be a good match for you and your family. So, what questions should you be asking to help your quest for finding a midwife?
Finding a Midwife : Essential Questions to Ask
- How Does your practice work?
- How many planned births do you accept per month? If you are not available when I go into labor, who is your backup?
- How long have you been a midwife? In what kind of settings have they practiced?
- Are you available via phone/text? Specific days/house you aren’t available?
- How often will I have appointments scheduled? What will happen during each appointment?
- Where do you attend deliveries? Birth Center? Home? Hospital?
- How soon after I start labor will you see me?
- Can my family be present during labor and birth?
- What do you typically recommend for pain management during labor?
- What is your policy when labor stalls or when dilation is slow? Are there time limits?
- What is your transfer rate during labor?
- What is your protocol for non-emergency transfers to the hospital? For emergency transfers?
- What is your postpartum care plan for me? Baby?
It is important that you discuss with the potential midwife your personal birth plan if you already have one made up. That way you will have an idea of how they will deal with any changes along the way. It can be very difficult emotionally when you have this idea of a birth plan that suddenly and unexpectedly gets changed due to circumstances beyond your control, so knowing their policies on high-risk pregnancies, emergency c-sections, and other unexpected events during pregnancy can lay the foundation for the “what-ifs”.
The relationship you have with your midwife can be the most amazing part of your pregnancy and birth. All the best with your search for finding a midwife! If you have any further questions pertaining to you finding a midwife, contact me and I’ll be glad to help!