So, you’re going to have a baby! This is a deep and personal adventure. You need a support team to help you and your baby stay safe and make this adventure special. A midwife could be a key person to help you. They can offer you care that fits your needs during your pregnancy, when you give birth, and after your baby is born.
If you’re thinking about this, I have put together a list of important questions you might want to ask a midwife to make sure they match what you’re looking for. Let’s get started!
Role and Experiences
- How long have you been working as a midwife?
- Why did you choose to become a midwife?
- Can you share an overview of your training and qualifications?
- What is your philosophy toward childbirth?
- How many births have you attended?
- Do you work independently or as part of a team?
- What is your experience with high-risk pregnancies?
- Are you certified in neonatal resuscitation?
- Do you assist with water births?
- What is your role during the labor and birth process?
- Can you handle emergencies during childbirth?
- How do you handle situations when medical intervention is required?
- What postpartum services do you offer?
- Can you provide breastfeeding support and guidance?
- Have you ever had a patient require a hospital transfer?
- How often do you attend ongoing training courses or professional development workshops?
- How do you ensure the safety of the mother and baby during labor and delivery?
- Can you provide references from previous clients?
- Have you ever had any malpractice claims brought against you?
- How often will our prenatal visits be scheduled?
- What routine tests are done during pregnancy?
- Do you offer prenatal education or resources?
- What tips do you have for managing morning sickness?
- Can you help create a birth plan?
- Can you assist with nutrition and exercise advice during pregnancy?
- Do you provide advice on managing common pregnancy discomforts?
- How are you available between appointments if I have questions or concerns?
- Do you offer prenatal vitamins or supplements?
- Can you help with advice on different birthing positions?
- What are your thoughts on natural versus medicated births?
- Do you offer home visits?
- What strategies do you suggest for pain management during labor?
- How do you handle overdue pregnancies?
- What’s your experience with breech birth?
- How do you manage if the baby is in distress during labor?
- Will you assist with initial baby care and newborn checks?
- How do you ensure the mother’s comfort and emotional well-being throughout the pregnancy?
- Are you familiar with hypnobirthing or other relaxation techniques?
- Can you provide resources for childbirth preparation classes?
- How involved are you during labor?
- What is your epidural policy?
- Do you have a relationship with a specific hospital or doctor?
- How do you handle complications during birth?
- What kind of birthing equipment do you provide?
- How do you handle infant resuscitation?
- If a C-section becomes necessary, who will be attending to me at the hospital?
- How would you manage prolonged labor?
- What interventions are you qualified to carry out, if necessary?
- How do you support me in achieving my desired birth plan?
- How do you assist during the pushing phase?
- Will you help with immediate post-birth tasks like cutting the cord and delivering the placenta?
- Can you provide care in different birthing environments (hospital, birthing center, home)?
- How do you feel about the use of birthing pools?
- Do you encourage skin-to-skin contact straight after birth?
- How do you manage if the baby’s shoulder gets stuck during birth?
- Will you support me if I want a lotus birth?
- What’s your experience with twins or multiple births?
- How do you feel about water-breaking practices?
- How soon after birth do you visit to check on me and the baby?
- What postnatal care do you provide for newborns?
- What postnatal care do you provide for the mother?
- Will you help establish breastfeeding?
- How long do you provide postpartum care?
- How often will you visit me postnatally?
- How can I reach you if I have concerns after the birth?
- What newborn care instructions and support do you provide?
- How do you handle postpartum depression or anxiety?
- What is your perspective on infant sleep practices?
- Can you advise on infant feeding and introducing solids?
- What signs of postnatal complications should I watch for?
- Do you provide resources for local postnatal support?
- Can you guide me about post-delivery healing and care?
- How can I care for my newborn’s umbilical cord?
- Do you support families in making decisions about newborn procedures, such as blood tests and vaccination?
- How do you help maintain the mother’s psychological well-being after childbirth?
- Do you provide lactation consultations or referrals?
- Do you have recommendations for postpartum physical therapy?
- Will you assist with the paperwork for the baby’s birth certificate?
Emergency Procedures and Protocols
- Can you explain your protocols in case of a medical emergency during birth?
- What medical equipment do you bring with you for home births?
- How close should we be to a hospital when planning a home birth?
- What’s your plan if I need to be transferred to the hospital?
- What are indications during labor that a hospital transfer is needed?
- Do you carry oxygen and resuscitation equipment?
- How do you manage a hemorrhage situation?
- What training do you have in neonatal resuscitation?
- What would you do if there’s meconium in the amniotic fluid?
- How often do you deal with emergency situations?
- What’s your procedure in the case of a cord prolapse?
- How do you routinely handle the delivery of the placenta?
- What situation would make you start an IV during labor?
- What are your protocols for dealing with rashes or infections in newborns?
- What if the baby doesn’t cry immediately after birth?
- How prepared are you for unforeseen complications during a home birth?
- Have you encountered a situation where resuscitation of the baby was required?
- What would be the procedure if I experience a seizure during labor?
- How fast can you respond in the event of an emergency?
Philosophy and Approach to Childbirth
- Can you describe your philosophy toward childbirth?
- How do you view intervention during labor and birth?
- How do you help mothers achieve a natural childbirth if that’s their goal?
- What are your thoughts on pain management during labor?
- How do you feel about continuous fetal monitoring?
- How do you approach the issue of induction?
- How do you support mothers who want a medicated birth?
- What are your thoughts on episiotomies?
- How do you support the mother’s choice of birth position?
- Do you support the use of birthing pools and other alternative birth methods?
- How do you facilitate a supportive environment during labor and birth?
- How do you handle the fear and anxiety that can come with childbirth?
- What is your view on the role of the partner during labor and birth?
- How do you view the hospital setting for giving birth?
- How do you balance medical needs with birth plans and preferences?
- How do you empower your clients in their birth experience?
- How do you support the involvement of siblings in the birth process?
- What is your philosophy on the golden hour after birth?
- How do you envision a ‘perfect’ birth experience?
Availability and Schedule
- How many clients do you take per month?
- What is your backup plan if you are not available when I go into labor?
- Do you have any vacation time planned around my due date?
- What is your general availability for non-emergency calls or questions?
- Do you work with any partners or other midwives who may be involved in my care?
- What is your response time for phone calls or emails?
- Can you be present for a home birth?
- How many prenatal visits will be scheduled during the pregnancy?
- What are your regular office hours?
- How flexible are you with appointment times?
- What happens if my labour coincides with another client’s?
- Do I need to schedule appointments well in advance?
- How quickly can you get to my home or birthing place when labor starts?
- How long after a birth call do you typically arrive to support the mother?
- What sort of follow-up care do you provide after the birth?
- How often will you check in during the postpartum period?
- What’s your average time spent with a patient during each visit?
- Are there any periods when you are generally unavailable?
- What is your policy if I go over my due date?
- Can you attend birth at a birthing center/hospital, or just at home?
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a midwife do?
A midwife is a healthcare professional who supports and cares for women during pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum period. They often work in various settings including hospitals, birth centers, and home births, and they’re specifically trained to handle normal pregnancies and births.
Is a midwife a doctor?
No, a midwife is not a doctor. While midwives are highly trained in childbirth and women’s health, they don’t go through the same medical training as a doctor.
However, some midwives may have a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, indicating they have earned the highest level of training in nursing, but they are still not considered medical doctors.
What can a midwife not do?
The scope of what a midwife can and cannot do often depends on regulations in a specific location. In general, midwives may not be able to perform certain surgical procedures or attend high-risk births that require specific medical intervention.
However, in some places, midwives can prescribe certain medications and manage more complex situations than in others. Always check with your local health authorities or with specific midwives to understand what their practice includes.
Choosing a midwife is a significant decision, as it impacts not only your pregnancy journey but also your birthing experience and immediate postnatal care. These questions are designed to help you make an informed choice.
Remember that there are no right or wrong answers. Each midwife is unique, much like every birth and every mother. The key is to find a midwife whose answers resonate with your needs, preferences, and philosophy towards childbirth. Embrace this journey with confidence knowing you’ve covered all bases!
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