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How much experience should a midwife have?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My dh and I just found out that we're expecting our second child and we've decided to have a homebirth with a midwife. We're in the process of interviewing several right now. How much experience (years? births?) should a midwife have? What would you be comfortable with? This is just one of many things we're using as criteria but I'm curious. Thanks!
post #2 of 12
I tried to answer your question in my head, but realized it would depend for me on why I was having her come to the birth. What role(s) do you see her playing? For some roles, I'd actually prefer someone newer and for some roles, I'd want someone more experienced and tested in certain ways.

You may find that if you are interviewing a particularly junior midwife, when you ask, that she generally has a senior midwife at her births.
post #3 of 12
In my situation I found it more important to inquire about what situations the midwife has personally handled. I mean for me I am diabetic so I have to be especially concerned about shoulder dystocia, so I wanted a midwife who could reassure me that she had dealt with that experience numerous times.

My midwife has been to over 500 births, and has a ton of experence with emergency situations. Though I also had to find someone who was compassionate and who I thought would work well with DH and I. We were thinking about UC so we want someone who is more going to be there to give suggestions and not intrude.

Good luck...but I can tell you when you meet the right person you will know.
post #4 of 12
For me, it wasn't really how much experience, but what she had experience with. Breech? Twins? Premature births? Transfers? How did she handle these things? Stuff like that. I was, personally, more interested in her transfer rate, and for what she transfered, than almost anything else. She came highly recomended, which was THE most important factor to me. Nothing can replace hearing about her from a dozen other people in detail. Stats and stories together is how we chose a midwife. Well, that and I knewI'd love her because of what I'd heard, so I made sure she was the first one my DH met. I left the decision really up to him since he was the one apprehensive about homebirth. He loved her, and the decision was made

Namaste, Tara
mama to Doodle (7), Butterfly (2), and Rythm (due at home 1/06)
post #5 of 12
Honestly experience wasn't a big factor for me.

post #6 of 12
I agree with others...depends on what YOU personally are looking for. Experience in different situations....newer info...up to date on new medical research, etc.

The lady we are going with has done over 500 births in 10 years and has a 4% transfer rate, lots of VBACs, and breech babies. That's important to me cause I'll be doing an HBAC. DD was breech and we had planned a hospital waterbirth with her and we were forced to do a c.

post #7 of 12
Experience wasn't my top priority. I looked for someone who I felt would let me be in charge, who shared my philosophies about pregnancy and birth, and who I trusted. I had two MWs because we moved out of state halfway through my pregnancy. The first one had attended 200+ births and the second had attended 1000+ births; I felt that they were equally qualified to be my MW.
post #8 of 12
For our first hb, the only mw we could find had only 25 births, but they were very laid back(which is what I was looking for) and not interfering. I knew I could birth by myself, just needed someone to catch the baby. As a matter of fact, i wanted the WIFE(husband wife team) to catch(didn't want a man down there, didn't care if he was in the room) and she had never caught a baby before. She told me she had never caught before, and I said that's OK. I am sure you will do fine. And she did. My daughter is now 24 years old!
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input ladies, you've given me a lot to consider!
post #10 of 12
I would totally be comfortable with a midwife just starting out on her own (because she's usually had TONS of experience before starting) or having several years of experience. I think that there are benefits to both. I think you can get a wide variety including newbies who are usually really driven and excited and dedicated, and really experienced midwives who are not as into things as much as they used to be, more impatient, and have strong biases based on their experience. Not always, but something to think about .
post #11 of 12
My mw has been on her own only a couple years which is fine with me. She had an HBAC herself which is one reason I wanted to have her.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well we picked a midwife who's only been on her own about a year and a half but who we are very confident in. Thanks for giving me the confidence to pick the right midwife for our situation.
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