How To Select A Midwife: Questions To Ask A Midwife?

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

Giving birth to a child is one of the most important phases of a woman’s life. Generally, you may choose any one of the two birthing options, namely home birth or giving birth at a healthcare unit or a hospital.

When you opt for the latter option, you may be given the services of professional experts and medical doctors. On the other hand, if you choose the former option or home birth, then you may need to select a midwife.

A midwife is a healthcare provider that may take care of your delivery at home or sometimes, even at the hospital. Choosing the home birth option provides you full control and independence in giving birth. Moreover, selecting the right midwife could even serve as a cherry on top of the cake in your home birthing option.

However, you need to be extremely cautious while choosing a midwife. This is because, in the absence of any professional doctor, it is the midwife who might help you during your delivery. Selecting the midwife is a personal decision that may be made by both you and your partner.

Choosing the right midwife can smoothen up the process of delivery because the right midwife might help to fabricate a calm aura while providing other medical services as well.

So before selecting the midwife you need to weigh your requirements along with the capabilities of the midwife. This is because you should select a midwife who might be able to balance your desires while you are undergoing labor.

At the same time, your number one priority may always be about the health and safety of you and your child. So there are a plethora of factors that might modify your selection process of the midwife.

To assist you in the process of selecting a midwife, this article provides a list of different questions that you might ask your midwife. When you receive the answers to these questions, you can know whether the midwife satisfies your requirements or not. So let us have a look at the different questions.

Besides some specific questions, there are certain standard questions then you may ask any healthcare provider who is involved in your delivery, no matter if he or she is a midwife or not.

These fundamental questions will help you to know more about the healthcare provider or the certified midwife and her experience. Besides these questions, there are even certain questions that you might ask specifically to your midwife to know whether she might be suitable for your needs or not. These questions could even help you to narrow down your search and select the right midwife.

  • From when have you been working as a midwife? What is your experience in this field? How many cases do you handle in a single month?

    This question could help you to know about the capabilities of your midwife by assessing her experience. However, assessing the experience of your midwife is also a quite subjective term.This is because sometimes there are midwives who might have been practicing this profession for a long time. However, they may have been involved in very fewer births. So this does not mean that they have enough experience to help you in your delivery process.

    On the other hand, sometimes some midwives might not be more experienced but may have worked in several home births. In this case, the latter option could be a better choice for you to select a midwife.

  • What was your sole reason for becoming a midwife?

    Generally, people may not enter the profession of midwifery only to earn good revenue or money. So you should always ask the reason behind pursuing this profession from your midwife. Different midwives have certain stories about how they faced problems during their first birth.

    Due to this, they might want to help other people. Learning about the major reason behind becoming a midwife could help you to know about the different values and goals of your midwife. This could even help you to connect with her mentally.

  • What are your qualifications? Did you undertake any specific training to become a midwife? If yes, then what was the duration of the training?

    Knowing about the technical skills and qualifications of your midwife could help you to get an idea about her knowledge in this field. Moreover, this can also serve as the credibility of the midwife and you could know whether she can support you with the different aspects of delivery and with all the technical problems or not.

    There are different methods through which one can become a midwife. So you may know more about these methods. Some of these methods include apprenticeship training, self-study method, formal degree or Academic education method, or an experience-focused methodology.

    Learning about the strength and weaknesses of each of these methods may help you to make a better decision. Once you know the qualifications of your midwife, you can know whether she would be able to satisfy your requirements.

  • What will be the total cost of the care? What all is included in the cost of the care? Will any portion of the cost be refunded in case I am transferred to the hospital during the birth?

    Asking all such questions will help you to form a vivid picture of the cost. Moreover, once you know about the cost of the midwife, you can consider whether it aligns with your budget or not.  Hence, asking about the cost of the midwife is one of the most crucial questions that could help you to decide whether you will select the midwife or not.

    Besides asking about the cost, you could also ask if any part of the cost is refundable or not. This will evade any problems in the future regarding the cost.

  • Do you work as a midwife in a team or alone?

    There are different methods of working as a midwife. Generally, some of the midwives might use a qualified assistant with them. On the other hand, sometimes there might even be two or more midwives at a single birth. So before selecting your midwife, you might ask her whether she will work alone or will have another midwife or an assistant or a midwife team with her.

    Knowing the answer to this question can be crucial during your delivery. This is because, sometimes, the midwife might be occupied in some chores like handling your labor while you may need another qualified person to support you as well. So in such situations, you need to know about the backup healthcare provider.

  • Other Important Questions

    1. What is your philosophy behind using different tools and equipment during the labor process?
    2. What is the success rate of your cesarean section?
    3. What are the different procedures that you follow immediately after Childbirth?
    4. What is the best-preferred method of childbirth- normal delivery or cesarean section?
    5. Can a midwife administer pain medications during labor?
    6. How can I avoid an episiotomy during birth?
    7. What kinds of preparations can I take for breastfeeding while I’m still pregnant?
    8. Can a midwife do my well-woman care?

How To Select A Midwife?

A midwife is a healthcare provider that could help to deliver your baby through the womb and take care of all other emergent situations that arise during pregnancy. Due to this, it may become crucial to carefully select a midwife. However, before selecting the midwife, you should know the different types of midwives. Knowing the different types of midwives might help you to analyze which type will help to satisfy your requirements.

One of the most common types of midwife is a licensed practical midwife. Such a healthcare provider has undergone formal certifications, training and courses. Generally different states require the midwives to amass a board certification. To get the board certification, the midwife may need to pass medical examinations and certifications that relate to several questions on different topics.

A licensed and practical midwife also has a four-year undergraduate degree. This degree could serve as a credible option for the midwife. However, before selecting the midwife, you should also decide the area of birth.

The area of birth refers to the location where you might be willing to give birth to your child. It might be either your home or a hospital or a healthcare unit. So if you are willing to give birth in a healthcare unit or hospital, then you may make sure that the midwife has the experience and knows about all the different equipment and how to work in a hospital.

Besides this, it is also very crucial to first interview the midwife before selecting her. When you interview the midwife, you can know about her hard or technical and soft skills. Knowing about the hard or Technical skills might help you to analyze whether the midwife has enough experience and practical knowledge in this field or not.

On the other hand, understanding the soft skills of the midwife could help you to know how the midwife could react in emergent situations and whether she will be able to maintain an aura of calmness during birth or not.

Conclusion On How To Select A Midwife

In the end, it is always your personal decision to choose a midwife. Each midwife may have different characteristics and unique elements. Some of the midwives might even provide you prenatal care and discuss with you the different elements related to birth.

Moreover, another crucial aspect to discuss with the midwife is her expenses. The expenses or costs of the midwife should be a reflection of her experience and capabilities in the field. You should select the midwife only if her cost aligns with your budget and requirements.

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