I had a whole list of questions last time when I started with an OB/GYN, but this time I'm not sure what to ask, since we've decided on a homebirth with a midwife. What questions would you ask a midwife in the initial interview?
No answers, just wanted to say I'm excited for you! Besides, my questions would probably be different from yours, since I'd be worried about getting another fat-phobic midwife (can I NOT recommend a midwife for you? no, that's wrong... but she's flaked out on people IN birth, so... you can PM me if you don't already know who).
Usually, what are your fees, how involved are you usually, do you have a problem if I go postdates, what tests do you routinely run, etc.
If you have any specific concerns (complications from prior pg, scared of labor pain, whatever) mention it, and see how they respond, and how their response makes you feel.
I had a lot of questions to ask potential mw's with ds2, and both sets answered everything just fine. The determining factor was this: I was *terrified* of being induced again, because I was (am) sure that it led to complications with ds1's birth. One mw said something like "pitocin doesn't cause hemorrhaging. If it did, everyone who had pit would hemorrhage." The other mw said something like "It's possible it contributed, and it's also possible it didn't" and went on to say that she'd read that it can be a risk factor in hemorraging, but we can't really know if it was a factor in ds1's birth. Guess which one I went with, and I was SUPER happy with my decision, and am using the same mw team again.
Oh, I'd really want to know how soon they will come to you when you're in labor, and how they work the "on call" issue. Also, if any prenatal tests are "required."
eta- This thread might help :)
I would ask about lab work. Some midwives actually do their own, some require you to go to a hospital or lab for it.
I'd also ask how many, if any, ob/gyn visits are required. In our state law requires you have to see an ob/gyn in the first trimester and the 8th month. Nice loss of control of your medical decisions, huh!
I'd ask about emergency transfer procedures. In addition, question about her own methods of dealing with excessive bleeding or newborn abnormalities.
Pain management, but duh that's a given.
I asked a lot of questions. I carried a notebook around writing things down to ask the midwives. These are some things you might want to ask about.
lab work, tests, sonograms, doppler, etc
the midwives' experience (how many births attended? transfer rates? maternal/infant mortality rates?)
water birth, lotus birth, placental encapsulation
other moms due around my due date?
how clean/big does my house need to be
pets or children at the birth or home visits
belly casting, rebozo work, other ceremonial work
birth kit, tub rental, birth stool, other supplies
tips for morning sickness
I also asked a lot of just nosy personal questions, to try to see if this would be someone I could be comfortable and secure with. I asked about the midwives' own children's births, where they went to school and worked, why they became midwives. I also asked a bunch of questions about how they would act/react in response to my own wishes, like, "If I yelled at you rudely, would you be OK with that, or would you be offended?" and, "If we make this plan for massage and then I don't want you touching me, will that bother you?"
They seemed to appreciate my frank honesty and we actually hit it off great.
Great compilation of questions, but the biggest one for me is about how involved she needs to be with the actual birth. I like to be left alone mostly (with dh) and I don't want someone checking FHT's every 15-30 minutes. I also don't want someone standing over me or under me or coaching me while I'm pushing/crowning. Dh wants to catch the baby and we want alone time right after the birth as well. Many CNM's and some (usually less experienced) CPM's will not be okay with these requests. Even though it may be hard to predict how you want your birth to go so early on, it's even harder to switch midwives in your third tri b/c you just realized your ideas for birth do not match up. Not that you can't, but it's obviously not desirable and causes a lot of stress (I did this with my second at 37 weeks).
I found this article about spotting a good/bad midwife helpful, and modeled some of my questions on it. I have another round of midwife interviewing to do after I move in May, so I will definitely incorporate ideas from this thread--thanks people!