Here's a list of questions to help guide you through interviews and appointments with your OBGYN and/or Midwife for your birth:
How long have you been practicing midwifery?
How many births have you attended? Assisted? Primary midwife/OBGYN?
Why did you become a midwife/OBGYN?
What is your training, education and certification?
Are you connected to a natural birth/natural parenting community that I could join?
What is your preferred method of communication prenatally (phone, email, text)?
Do you work with doulas?
Do you work with birth photographers?
What will you do to reduce risk of tears or episiotomies?
Do you do routine episiotomies?
What equipment do you bring with you to a birth?
In the case of a homebirth; Are you trained in neonatal resuscitation?
How many births do you take on per month/year?
Are you planning any vacations, trips, major surgeries or other events that would interfere with your attendance at the birth?
Do you screen for gestational diabetes? Is there an extra cost associated with it? Do you allow your clients to eat a specific meal before the test, or do you ask them to drink Glucosa (a sweetened liquid containing 50g of glucose)?
Do you continue to see clients with gestational diabetes, or do you refer them to an obstetrics practice?
Do you have experience with turning babies?
At what point would I get ‘risked out’ of your practice, e.g. how many weeks ‘overdue’ would I go before you transferred my care to a doctor?
What is your opinion on Delayed Cord Cramping?
Who is your back-up pair of hands/midwifery assistant? When can I meet him/her?
What is your hospital transfer rate? What hospitals do you recommend to go to (if we have a choice)?
How do you handle emergencies or complications that develop during labor? Could you describe a particular emergency situation and how you handled it?
Do you deliver breech? Do you deliver all kinds of breech? Do you have training and experience in this kind of delivery? If not, do you have a midwife or OBGYN you would refer me to if the baby had not turned?
How often do you do vaginal checks once labor has started?
If applicable; I am an abuse survivor and this may affect my experience. Do you have training in counseling or other trauma-healing work?
What kind of postpartum care do you offer? Do you offer support with breastfeeding?
Do you do placenta encapsulation? Is there an extra charge?
Do you facilitate water birth?
What methods of pain management do you recommend?
My partner has x, y, z fears about home birth. How have you dealt with this in the past?
Have you had any loss (baby or mother)? Why and what happened?
How much do you charge, and by what date would the full amount be due?
Do you accept payment plans? What is your refund policy if we decide to switch care providers? Do you give me a partial refund if I have to or want to transfer out of your care?
How often do your clients succeed in having their health insurance provider reimburse them?
Do you perform the newborn screening test (PKU) or do I need to take my baby to a pediatrician for this?
Also, here are some questions to ask yourself and your partner after the first meeting:
Would you be friends with this person? Why/Why not?
Does either remind you of your mother? How do you feel about this?
Were you able to ask all the questions you wanted to? Why/Why not?
How did you feel about the birth when talking with them, compared to how you feel about it normally? More or less excited, more or less anxious?
Was the visit enjoyable?
If there were other family members present, what was their experience of the interaction?