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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>I am on the hunt for a midwife, but don't know what I should ask at the initial screening/interview.  My #1 was born at a freestanding birthcenter, but there were many midwives and assistances, so I never got to really "know" any of them well except for the assistant who did most of my appointments (lots of screw ups with the sceduals and I only saw a midwife at my last appoitment. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anyway... we want a homebirth this time and I found several MWs that could work for us.  What are some questions that I should be asking?  They all have pretty intensive websites with their training and such, but what other types of questions should I be asking?  Thanks for the help!!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Heather</p>
 

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<p>I have used one midwife for all my hospital births (here in Austria a midwife is standard during a birth). When I first met her I just pretty much looked for personal compatibility. One thing I was not particularly happy about was that during Jake's birth my mw was on vacation because he came 14 days earlier and I ended up with a midwife I did not particularly like.</p>
<p>So I would want to meet her partner and her back up ob/gyn. I would also ask for her involvement in the birth: will she be open to any position you prefer? Does she use any pain meds in case you need them (with my youngest a bit of pain killers took the edge off and finally allowed me to have a birth sitting on a birth chair (before I was always so weak in my legs from the pain, all I could do was lie down). How does she handle food/drink? </p>
<p>HTH!</p>
 

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<p>Here's a list off the top of my head (can you tell I've done this before <img alt="orngtongue.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif"> !)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>How early will she deliver? Most won't before 37 weeks.</p>
<p>How late will she deliver? Most won't after 42-43 weeks.</p>
<p>What prenatal testing does she recommend and why?</p>
<p>What types of emergency medical supplies does she carry? (oxygen, pitocin, ect...)</p>
<p>What does she do to help prevent tearing? (compresses, olive oil, ect..)</p>
<p>In what specific circumstances would she recommend a hospital transfer?</p>
<p>What do her fees include and what are you expected to provide on your own?</p>
<p>Ask to speak with 1 or 2 of her past clients in order to get a feel for her personal 'style'</p>
<p>How much intervention does she do during labor?  How often does she listen to FHT, take BP, etc...</p>
<p>What happens if you have twins?  Or the baby is breech?</p>
<p>What kind of birth and emergency training will she provide for DH and whatever support person you have before the birth?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I could really keep going on here but my DS just woke up!  But I think that's a good start.  Happy interviewing and CONGRATS!!!!!</p>
 

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<p>If you transfer, does she come with you to the hospital?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>How many births has she attended?  Has she had any babies die?  What were the circumstances?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>If she for some reason is unavailable to be at your birth, who provides back-up and would be at your birth?  (You can use this question to get out which local midwives are respected by the other local midwives -- and the local midwives usually know which other midwives are more competent than others, so if they all choose a particular midwife to back them up, that's a good sign.)</p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>Not questions, but how many midwives was "many"?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm curious because my #1 was born in a hospital with a group of 10-12 midwives and that was definitely too many.  #2 was born at home with a group of 2 midwives and that was acceptable to me.  Well, with #3 the group of 2 midwives has expanded to be a group of 4 midwives and I'm wondering if that might be too many.  How does one figure that out before the birth?</p>
 

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The questions you ask are individual to each person... When i was interviewing, i went through maybe half a dozen old threads on the subject and compiled a 2-page list of questions. I didnt ask all of them because not all of them were crucial to me.<br><br>
One of the most crucial questions for me specifically was what testing they require. Some mws have a list, some have 1 or 2, and some had none. I insisted upon discussing the GTT w every mw i interviewed. Some of them "required" their moms to take it. For some it was optional. The MW i chose had info on it in her packet, but all testing was at mom's discretion.<br><br>
I mostly spent interviews chatting w the mws. I wanted someone i could be comfortable with. The very first mw i interviewed i knew would never work. She was obviously fat-phobic and her attitude towards me was just enough "off" that i cut the interview short. It was also really important that i have a mw who didnt dismiss my voice, one who would listen to what i said. Particularly one who could accept that i am familiar w my body and it's needs. While the mw i chose was not terribly familiar w PCOS, she was perfectly happy to discuss w me research, drugs, diet, etc, all the things i had spent years learning about. She did not hold me to preconceived notions, and treated me as an individual. And in the end actually learned quite a bit about it from me.<br><br>
My point ultimately being that you need to decide what subjects are crucial that your mw and you see eye2eye on and which are optional and go from there.
 

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<p><br><br>
Meet all of them as soon as possible so that you know if there is someone you don't click with.   All of the homebirth midwives around here work, for the most part, on their own.  The hospital based midwife group I considered before deciding on a homebirth last time has, I think 9 midwives in it.  Way too many to have a personal experience.  I think 4 is probably okay, that is, if you get along with all of them. </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>jraohc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279931/what-do-i-ask-at-a-midwife-interview#post_16059383"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Not questions, but how many midwives was "many"?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm curious because my #1 was born in a hospital with a group of 10-12 midwives and that was definitely too many.  #2 was born at home with a group of 2 midwives and that was acceptable to me.  Well, with #3 the group of 2 midwives has expanded to be a group of 4 midwives and I'm wondering if that might be too many.  How does one figure that out before the birth?</p>
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<br><br>
 

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<p>I am feeling sad/upset because I just typed out a long post (and it was "better" than this one) and it was "eaten" and now my hubby and son are home and I feel like I'm rushed to recreate it.  But here goes ...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think tracymom1 had a great list.  To add to her list ...</p>
<p>* What reasons for transfer during labor?  Will she go to the hospital with you?</p>
<p>* What reasons for transfer of care before labor?  Will she still provide care or will you be done with her?  Will she still go to the hospital with you?</p>
<p>* Does she have specific OB backup or do you need to find your own?</p>
<p>* Are there specific hospital(s) she works with or is it your choice?</p>
<p>* What requirements does she have?  What tests does she require?  What protocols does she absolutely follow?</p>
<p>* What pediatric care will she provide (eye goop, vit k)?  Can you refuse?</p>
<p>* What requirements does she have regarding you getting pediatric care?  (my midwife required the pediatrician sign a form that she'd see the baby within 4 days or something like that)</p>
<p>* Does she have any birth classes?  Or recommend them or feel you'll get all the education you need from her?</p>
<p>* Are there any classes that are required?  (my midwives required a one night home birth class)</p>
<p>* Does she allow siblings at the birth (if you want #1 there)?</p>
<p>* Is your partner required to come to any appointments?</p>
<p>* Where will prenatal appointments be?  (your house, her house, her office?)</p>
<p>* Will you have any prenatal appoinments at your house?</p>
<p>* What postpartum care is provided?</p>
<p>* If you want a doula, how does she feel about your having a doula?  Personally, I wanted a doula and I intervied 6-8 midwives and had just one indicate that she was uncomfortable with a doula and that was important to me.  Most of the rest felt a doula was redundant, but I appreciated having a doula during the birth.</p>
<p>* Does she have an assistant?</p>
<p>     * Is the assistant just an assistant or an apprentice?</p>
<p>     * What is the role of the assistant?</p>
<p>     * When will you meet the assistant?</p>
<p>     * How many assistants and will you know who she's bringing to your birth?</p>
<p>* Does she regularly work with any other midwives?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>* When during labor will she come to your house?</p>
<p>* How long after birth will she stay?</p>
<p>* What sort of clean up will she do?</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Any specific concerns or questions you have?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>A great way to end:</p>
<p>* Any questions I didn't ask that people usually do ask?</p>
<p>and/or * Anything else you want to tell me?</p>
 

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<p>I found this great set of questions, I printed and took with me on my interviews.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.mothersownbirth.com/questions%20for%20midwives.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.mothersownbirth.com/questions%20for%20midwives.pdf</a></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Maiiven</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279931/what-do-i-ask-at-a-midwife-interview#post_16063681"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I found this great set of questions, I printed and took with me on my interviews.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.mothersownbirth.com/questions%20for%20midwives.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.mothersownbirth.com/questions%20for%20midwives.pdf</a></p>
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<br><br><p>Thank you for sharing this, Maiiven. This is a good find! I think we will probably be using these also. </p>
 

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<p>Oh, my gosh, this is so helpful!  I literally just got off the phone with a midwife I am considering hiring and we have an appt next week to interview.  I was just coming to the computer thinking "ok, so what do I ask her?"  PERFECT TIMING!!  Hahaha!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<p>Thank you all so much for these lists!!  I found a few midwives to call today and set up interviews.  I am so excited!!  I watched "The Business of Being Born" again last night and am so sure of my homebirth choice.  <span><img alt="nod.gif" height="15" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/nod.gif" width="15"></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Heather</p>
 
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