Here are some of the questions I’d ask a prospective midwife:
•What are her credentials? Why did she choose this CPM, CNM, or DEM over the another credential?
•Is she licensed in her jurisdiction? If not, why?
•How long has she been practicing, and how many births has she attended in her career?
•How many clients does she take on per month?
•Who does she hire for backup if she has more than one birth happening at a time?
•Does she take time off call?
•Does she work with students or apprentices? If so, what is their role in your care?
•Are her neonatal resuscitation (NRP) and basic life support (BLS/CPR) certifications current? Same question for any students and apprentices who she might work with.
•Does she have a friendly relationship with a backup physician, and what are her recommendations for seeing a physician during your pregnancy?
•Does she bill for insurance? How often is insurance billing successful?
•Does she carry malpractice insurance? Why or why not?
•What are her indications for referring or transferring a client’s care? Are these standards consistent with local (legal) protocols? If not, why has she chosen this protocol? (Examples might include attending multiple or breech birth in a jurisdiction which doesn’t allow it)
•What is the rate of transfer of care in her practice? What is the rate of transport from a birth? What is the rate of emergency transport? Of the women who are transported, what is the c-section v. vaginal birth rate?
•Has she ever had legal or disciplinary action against her as a midwife? If so, what was the circumstance and outcome?
•Does she do water birth?
This is all I can think of for now. I think it’s a long enough list
I don’t think that most of these questions have right or wrong answers particularly, they will just shed light on each midwife’s philosophy about practice. I would avoid anyone who is not current in NRP and BLS. If you find someone who has had disciplinary action or an investigation, you’ll probably want to do a little more research to find out more about the situation and make sure that it was an isolated incident.