I'm calling midwives today. There are really only 2 homebirth midwives here for me to choose from but I'd like to meet with them both and see who I click with. (Though I seem to have a bias already for the one who quoted Odent on her website )
So... What do I ask them on the phone? At the first meeting? I'm worried I'll be like a deer in the headlights and forget all my questions when I call or meet with them.
I'm hoping to meet with them around 7/8 weeks (I'll be 5 weeks tomorrow) and then make a choice by 12 weeks. Is that reasonable or should I be choosing someone before 12 weeks?
Hillary (22) Justin (25)
We're expecting our first precious sprout in April 2012 And planning a homebirth!
Many HBMW's don't start seeing clients until 14-16 weeks so your time frame is certainly realistic!
On the phone, you should first ask if they have availability for your EDD (some do fill up that crazy fast or plan vacations far in advance), whether they cover your geographic area and if they work with your insurance.
When you meet them you obviously want to feel out if you click or not but you also want to make sure you get information like what their assistant fee is (this gets forgotten SO SO often until the very end of pregnancy then comes as an expensive shock), birth kit fee/where to get it, pool purchase or rental if you think you may want one, ultrasound referrals/bloodwork, etc. There's also details of working out a payment plan if your insurance isn't expected to cover 100%.
Feel out your dream birth and see how each midwife responds. Ask specifically about any complications you feel you may be at risk for or are paranoid about and what they do when it happens.
Other big considerations include how many clients they take each month across how large of a geographic area they serve/what happens if they wind up with another client in labor at the same time as you a few hours away. Their transfer rate and relationships with any hospitals are also important; do they (or their assistant) accompany you as a doula or are you on your own? If you're comfortable with homebirthing twins or a breech you may also want to inquire about her experience in those areas.
Also be sure to ask each MW about any rumors you've heard about their practice! I heard some nasty rumors about my last MW (from MDC of all places if you'll believe it) that turned out to be completely untrue, but I wouldn't have known if I hadn't asked her directly.
Well that was kind of my list having BTDT and not asked a lot of those things that wound up being very important to us. I hope it helps and you find the perfect midwife!
I drew from this for my midwife interview:
I modified the questions to fit my concerns, condensed/eliminated some of them (some of them you can find out by researching the requirements for your particular state, etc.) I really hate to ask the 'tough' questions, that's just my personality (have you ever been named in a lawsuit, etc.) but my midwife said she appreciated that I did ask those things. Sometimes, it's no so much the answers that matter but how they react to the question and how openly they provide the information, you know?
It was also important to me that the midwife's office hours meshed with my schedule, which isn't open for appointments every day of the week.
Good luck with your interviews and I hope you find a great midwife!
Unschooling mama alongside DH (05/01) to DD (5/05). Expecting #2 spring 2012!