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Interviewing midwifes for my first homebirth!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

I am so excited that I might have the homebirth I have always wanted. However, with that being said, I have no idea where to start.

 

What exactly do I say to the midwifes at my different "interviews"?

Also, since I have been communicating with most of them via emails, how do I explain that I went with another..when I do decide.

 

What are valuable questions?

 

Any advice appreciated!

 

Thanks

post #2 of 9

How exciting!  I started with the questions that Ina May Gaskin suggests in her book "A Guide to Childbirth."  But the kind of questions that you ask should reflect the issues that you care most about.  So sitting down and jotting down what those issues are is most important.  For example, you want to make sure your midwife jives with your philosophy of childbirth.  I made a list of the things that I cared about the most.  I wanted to know about:

 

1. What are her stats of induction?

2. Has she ever delivered breached babies?

3.  What is  her protocol for emergencies?

4.  Is she OK with me rejecting all testing and shots?

5.  What follow-up visits does she provide?

6.  Does she provide breastfeeding support?

7.  Will she work with a payment plan based on our low income?

8.  Does she use pools without chemical leaching?

9.  Is she OK with me having no sonnogramming or doppler?

10.  How does she feel about episiotomy?

11.  Is she OK with the fact that I don't want to be weighed?

12.  Is she OK with the fact that I want to catch my own baby?

13.  Does she provide placenta encapsulation?

14.  What does she carry in her bag to the delivery?

15.  What do I have the right to refuse?

16.  Does she allow eating and drinking during labor?

17.  What does she feel is a "too long" time to labor?

18.  What are her methods of induction?

19.  How long can I pass my due date before we must sonnogram?

 

 

These are the only questions that come to mind right now.  There are many more, I'm sure.  But, knowing your  own vision can be helpful.smile.gif

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Wonderful advice. Thank you so much. I loaned my Ina May book to a friend, and apparently I need to get it back.

 

post #4 of 9

I also asked each MW I interviewed why she became a midwife. It was a great way to kind of get to know each of their philosophies. :)

post #5 of 9

I found it most helpful to have a list of questions I wanted the answers to, but then also to ask open-ended questions.  Rather than asking for each specific detail of their practice, ask what their birth philosophy is.  Ask how a typical birth might go with them.  Ask the broader questions, and let them talk.  Ask about their favorite birth, or their scariest birth.  You'll get answers to a lot of your questions, and also get a better feel for the MWs. 

 

For me, a lot of the questions above were moot.  Around here nobody cuts episiotomies, none of the MWs rely on doppler or sonogram, nobody has a problem with mama catching her own baby if she can, etc.  For me the big questions I had to have answers to were what their requirements were for testing, and whether I could avoid the GTT and the GBS screening.  I've interviewed over a dozen MWs between 3 pgs and only 1 ever expressed that she required the testing. 

 

Mostly I recommend that mamas listen to their bodies during these interviews.  Are you comfortable and relaxed with this woman?  Are you tense and feeling distracted by something she's doing?  Are you feeling uncomfortable in her presence?  Are you feeling like you could ask/tell her anything, or are you wondering how much is safe to tell?  Can you make/maintain eye contact?  These are very important clues to whether or not you can work well together.  Don't hire a MW you're not totally comfortable with.  Don't hire one that you couldn't tell anything, or ask anything.  It is no reflection on you or on her if your personalities don't work well together.  I've interviewed partners where I felt completely comfortable with 1 of the MWs and not at all with the other.  That's not a good fit. 

 

With DS I hired an older MW, one who had a bit of a grandmotherly feel to her.  And then I discovered that I couldn't stand up to her because of my own authority issues.  So this time around I hired someone closer to my own age.  Someone who is still an authority figure, but not someone I would have difficulty standing up to just because of her age/experience.  So be aware of your own personality issues also. 

 

If you are concerned about breech or twins, ask the question.  If they will attend it, ask about their experience with it (you don't want an inexperienced MW for either one).  Around here there are maybe 2 MWs who will attend a breech, and we have a LOT of MWs around here.  It's just so rare anymore that most will never see it.  But many MWs will volunteer info about turning breech babies with this question, and that's also important. 

 

Ask about referrals.  Is she comfortable working with other professionals?  My MW with DS didn't give me a referral to a chiro or an IBCLC when she should have.  This time I got a list of them upfront from this MW (her standard practice).  Not being able/willing to work with other professionals or refer to others who may be able to help you better is a big red flag to me.  No one person can do it all. 

 

Ask about labor support.  Around here that is not the role of the MW.  If you need labor support, you have to hire a doula or find a friend to do it.  I didn't know that with DS, and that was an important detail.  I was in labor 5 days, and the MWs only showed up for the last 20-ish hours of it.  And my DH was not much help by that point.  I *really* needed a doula, so this time I'll have one. 

 

If you have insurance, ask if she works with insurance.  All the MWs I interviewed will bill the insurance company through a billing service after the fact.  But you're still responsible for the $$ up front.  Around here none of them will pursue the insurance company, that's on you.  But they're more than happy to do the paperwork.  I also got a list of questions to call and ask the insurance company so I could know what to expect. 

 

HTH

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

 

Mostly I recommend that mamas listen to their bodies during these interviews.  Are you comfortable and relaxed with this woman?  Are you tense and feeling distracted by something she's doing?  Are you feeling uncomfortable in her presence?  Are you feeling like you could ask/tell her anything, or are you wondering how much is safe to tell?  Can you make/maintain eye contact?  These are very important clues to whether or not you can work well together.  Don't hire a MW you're not totally comfortable with.  Don't hire one that you couldn't tell anything, or ask anything.  It is no reflection on you or on her if your personalities don't work well together.  I've interviewed partners where I felt completely comfortable with 1 of the MWs and not at all with the other.  That's not a good fit. 

 

Sage advice Cristeen. I totally agree. Thank you!

post #7 of 9
post #8 of 9

Lots of great advice already posted here. Good luck! I'm prepping for my 2nd homebirth. It's the greatest gift. Enjoy and trust your body and your baby.

post #9 of 9

I thought I would also add perhaps as well as the questions to get her to give a general outline of a "normal" birth.

Is it just a case of giving her a heads up and doing your own thing then her coming around when things heat up?

Just a general outline of how it "normally" happens with her..

 

:) I am stealing all these ideas- Just got my first ever BFP this afternoon and planning a home birth!

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