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Questions for Your Midwife/ OBGYN

Rachel O'Reilly

By Aaryn Leineke

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?