What questions should you ask your home birth midwife?

One of the single most important decisions that you will make regarding your pregnancy is your choice of a care provider. The choices that you make about your pregnancy, including the setting and provider for your maternity care, could be considered the first parenting decisions that you as new parents are able to make. A good care provider will offer you evidence based maternity care, offering education and shared decision making, providing the healthiest start for you and for your baby. Being able to work together and mesh as a team is very important in creating a positive and joyful birth environment, and simply having enough time to get to know each other is essential to building the trust that every mother deserves in her care for pregnancy and birth. Pay close attention to how your prospective care provider speaks with you and interacts with you as you work to determine whether an individual midwife is a good fit.

Aside from the importance of having a compassionate care provider who shares your excitement in welcoming a new child to your family, in the event of complications your care provider’s skill, experience and education are the safeguard in place for your health and the health of your baby. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure that you feel secure in your midwife’s skills, education and judgment. We hope that these questions will be an useful tool in determining whether a particular home birth midwife is a good fit for you and your family during the childbearing year.

Please feel free to print this form and take it with you to your free consultation with Local Care Midwifery, PLLC or to use when interviewing any midwife about the care you need during the childbearing year. Congratulations and blessings on your birth!

Education and Experience

  • How many births have you attended as a primary attendant?
  • How much total experience do you have in birth work, and in what roles?
  • Are you licensed to practice in this state? If not, why not? How does your licensing status impact your practice and what happens in the event of transfer?
  • Are you certified in neonatal resuscitation? What other certifications do you hold?
  • To what professional organizations do you belong?
  • Do you carry personal malpractice coverage for your home birth practice?
  • How much time do you allocate to continuing your education? Tell me about the last continuing education program you participated in.
  • How do you participate in the education of the new midwives? Do you take on apprentices and/or give training workshops?
  • Please describe your personal involvement in improving maternity care on the local, state, or national level (if applicable.)

Philosophy of Care and Practice Guidelines

  • Please describe your overall approach to labor and birth.
  • What makes a woman and family appropriate for home birth?
  • What are some specific conditions which would make home birth too risky for a woman and family? Please explain.
  • What are specific conditions which can arise in labor that would require transfer of care to a hospital setting? Please explain.
  • With what hospital based providers do you have a collaborative relationship with to facilitate transfer of care if that is necessary?
  • How does my care change if we discover that I am having twins (or more)? What is the local standard of care? If your care would differ from the local standard of care, please explain how and why it differs.
  • How does my care change if we discover that my baby is breech at term? What is the local standard of care for breech birth? If your care would differ from the local standard of care, please explain how and why it differs.
  • How does my care change if I have had previous uterine surgery or cesarean birth? What is the local standard of care for mothers seeking VBAC? If your care would differ from the local standard of care, please explain how and why it differs.
  • What are your protocols and treatment options for RH negative women?
  • What are your protocols and treatment options for Group B Strep?

Practice Profile

  • What is your c-section rate? Transfer rate? Emergency transfer rate? Have you experienced any poor outcomes as a home birth provider? If so, please explain.
  • How many births do you commit to attending per month? Explain how you chose this limit and why.
  • How many times in the last year have you missed a birth? Please list any reasons why you might not be present for a birth.
  • What is your back up plan in place if you are unable to attend a birth?
  • How much time do you normally spend with a family for a birth? In the immediate postpartum period?
  • What medical supplies do you have with you when attending a birth?
  • Does this practice accept insurance? Is billing performed in house or do you have a billing agency? Is there someone I can talk to about my insurance coverage for home birth care?
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