questions to ask your midwife

When I was pregnant with Olive, I knew I wanted a very hands-off approach to maternity care and labor/delivery. For me, that meant using a Midwife! I absolutely believe in the Midwifery Model of Care. Now, I will say that not all Midwives are created equal. I work with a lot of clients who have similar wants to mine of having a natural birth and we talk a lot about providers in our area. One thing I’ve noticed is that some midwives have a more medical mindset (More similar to an OB) and hold less to the Midwifery model of care. There are pros and cons to all of these varying philosophies, but you want to know what you’re getting and that whoever you choose will uphold your desires and agree with the type of birth experience you’re wanting to achieve.

I’ve put together some great questions to ask your Midwife when interviewing various providers to help you get to the root of their beliefs and style of care. I hope you find these helpful!

Basic Questions in Determining if a Midwife is Right for You

  1. How long have you been practicing?  
  2. How many births have you attended?
  3. What percentage of women successfully have a natural birth under your care?
  4. What are your credentials?
  5. What is your practice like—are you in practice solo or with other midwives?
  6. What usually happens at prenatal appointments? How many? When? How long are they?
  7. Do you recommend ultrasounds? When? How many?
  8. Are you available by phone or email for questions?
  9. Do you have any concerns about big babies being birthed naturally?
  10. Do you work with specific OBs? Do you have a good rapport with OBs at the hospital?  How does the hospital view you and your practice?
  11. What is your overall philosophy on pregnancy, delivery, and birth?
  12. What do you feel your role is as a midwife?
  13. Where do you attend deliveries? Birth center? Home? Hospital?
  14. What percentage of moms end up with a C-section?
  15. What screenings and tests do you recommend?
  16. Have you ever worked with gestational diabetes? What is the process?
  17. What are your views on nutrition and exercise during pregnancy?  Do you offer resources?
  18. What if I test positive for Group B Strep?
  19. If I become “high risk” what is the process? When would I have to transfer to an OB?

Labor and Delivery Questions When Choosing a Midwife

  1. At what point in labor do you prefer to get involved? When would I call you?
  2. What is your view on VBACs?  What is your success rate?
  3. Potential birth emergencies—what are they and how would you handle each one? Tell me some situations you have dealt with (Hemorrhaging, partial placenta delivery, shoulder dystocia, nuchal cord or limb).
  4. Are you equipped in neonatal resuscitation? How often do you refresh your training in this area? Tell me some experiences.  
  5. What equipment do you bring with you to a delivery?
  6. If my baby is breech before delivery, what would you recommend we try? If it does not turn, would you still deliver?  Have you had experience with this—both successful turning and breech delivery?
  7. In labor do you routinely perform vaginal checks?
  8. Are there birth tubs in each room in the birth center? What if one is not available when I’m in labor?
  9. Is a water birth available? If not, am I able to push in the tub at all?
  10. In what situation would an episiotomy be performed?
  11. If a labor stalls, what is the process?
  12. If my water breaks, is there a time limit to when I need to deliver by?
  13. In the event that I go past my due date, what is your philosophy and what would be the process?
  14. How do you feel about delayed cord clamping?
  15. Can my husband catch the baby? Can I catch my own baby?
  16. Are you comfortable working alongside a doula? Do you have particular doulas you recommend?
  17. Can I eat and drink during labor? What positions are available during labor? While pushing?

Having a team around you that you 100% trust is crucial for having the birth experience you want. Unforeseen circumstances may arise during your pregnancy or birth and it’s great to have the peace of mind that when they do, you know exactly what to expect from your care provider.