Over the past few decades, the role of midwives during childbirth has become more widely used. Women are opting out of the typical OBGYN and going for a midwife—their softer, more natural approach is something many women are interested in attaining during childbirth. Midwives are versatile, but mainly becoming a strong choice for women interested in a home childbirth experience. The ability to completely control the environment and truly bask in everything that makes childbirth amazing is what draws women to home childbirth—and thus a midwife.
When picking out a midwife, there’s a lot that needs to be covered. We’re putting our lives in the hands of this woman. We’re putting the life of our unborn baby in this woman’s hands. We have no necessity to go with the first woman we meet with—in fact, we shouldn’t at all. If there was ever a moment to shop around, this is the moment to do so. It’s important that the midwife we choose be “the one” and there’s no shame in taking the time to make sure she is. The easiest way to determine whether she is or not is to simply talk to her—write down the questions we have for her and then ask them. If the answers aren’t the right ones, there’s no shame in walking away.
20 What Is Your Education And Training?
It is the most obvious question we can ask—and probably one of the most important ones. We want to know where our midwife received her education and her training from. There is nothing wrong with asking. We have a right to know, as per Babble. Our baby’s and our lives depend on her knowledge. If we feel her education is not solid enough, it’s okay for us to look elsewhere. If we want someone who comes from a better educational background that’s okay, too. We are spending nine months or more with this woman, so we have to be comfortable.
19 What Reasons Would You Transfer Me?
In the throes of labor, we won’t be paying full attention to the things going on around us. We’re also not going to be able to offer much input on what direction we want if something goes wrong. A plan of attack is the best thing we can have—and it’s important that we know what would have to go wrong for our midwife to transfer us from home to a hospital, according to Babble. What is she willing to work through? Are we comfortable with these choices? It may be a procedural answer and we may have to accept it. If we have doubts, we can always talk to another midwife.
18 Where Would I Go If A Transfer Was Needed?
If we’re choosing a midwife so we can have a comfortable at-home birth, we have to be prepared that something could go wrong. Birth is unpredictable. Birth means that our natural-as-possible plan could turn into an emergency C-section because the baby is in distress. If something like that happened and we had to be transferred, Babble says we should know ahead where we’d go. It’s our job to research the best hospital in the area just in case. When it comes down to it, we need to find a midwife who is willing to work with the hospital of our choice. There’s nothing wrong with making that call.
17 How Do You Handle Cultural Differences?
We live in a multi-cultural world, which can affect our personal preferences during pregnancy. No two women are going to approach everything the same. Some of those approaches are going to be drastically outside of “societal norms,” according to Babble. If we’re in that boat, it’s something we need to know the midwife will manage. Will she push everything to go as she wants? Or is she willing to mold our experience as we want it? This is a make-it-or-break-it question—and something we need to trust our instincts on. If we’re not comfortable with our midwife because she isn’t comfortable with our culture, then it’s not a good match.
16 Do You Have A Relationship With A Physician If Needed?
Every woman wants to believe she has her pregnancy in the bag. Sometimes it’s the only thought that gets us through the night. However, we’re human. We have to remind ourselves that sometimes things will be out of control—and sometimes they can be life-threatening. Midwives are fantastic, but there are some things they can’t do that a physician can. We need to know that a physician is an option, per Babble. We want to be able to rely on our midwife, but if she knows a doctor that would be ideal. This is a personal issue. We have to weigh the value of it when we’re determining if she is a fit.
15 What Prenatal Vitamin Should I Take?
Prenatal vitamins are essential while pregnant and a huge thing if we plan to breastfeed. They have essential nutrients to keep us healthy and assist with baby’s growth. The Bump says it’s important we be taking the ones that are right for us. With so many brands and slightly varied ingredients, it’s easy to get the choice wrong. Our midwife should be able to tell us what we’re looking for in a prenatal vitamin—or prescribe a special one if needed. With prenatal vitamins being the building blocks to our pregnancy—this is a no waiver situation. If something doesn’t feel right about her response, it’s our job to find the right answer.
14 What Medicines And Remedies Are Safe?
Everything that goes into our bodies from the moment we’re pregnant is important. It’s vital we monitor our intake because it passes from us and to our baby, per The Bump. Unfortunately, sometimes the symptoms of pregnancy are just unbearable. Incontinence, joint pain, trouble sleeping—they’re all things we can expect and then some. They’re also typical symptoms we can cure with over-the-counter medication—if we’re not pregnant. It’s a critical conversation that sets us up for the rest of our pregnancy. Our midwife has to know the answer to this. If there’s any hesitation when she answers—we owe it to our baby to walk away. The risk is far too high.
13 What Habits Do I Need To Stop?
Many people do not realize that some of their daily habits could hurt their baby. We hear old wives’ tales about things we need to stop or start in order to make baby healthy. This can vary from coloring our hair to painting our nails. Our midwife should be able to tell us what is healthy and what is not, per The Bump. They should also be able to offer safe alternatives. If they cannot, they may not be as knowledgeable as we need. To make sure we stop our habits that could hurt the baby, we should seek another midwife.
12 What Symptoms Should I Expect?
It seems like a dummy question. From the very first month we’re pregnant, we’re going to start feeling symptoms. We can talk to our mothers, friends, and we’ll read the stories about what we can expect to experience. It’s unnerving when we go through these symptoms. It’s a nice reprieve to know that our healthcare professional is on the same page when it comes to handling them, per The Bump. It may be a lengthy part of the conversation, but we have no shame in asking our midwife what we can expect during pregnancy. After all, we are paying her. If it’s a question she brushes aside without being willing to discuss it, we deserve that conversation.
11 What Are My Food Restrictions? Liquid Restrictions?
The famous pregnancy cravings. We’ve heard the stories of crazy to mildly silly—anything from pickles with ice cream to 3:00 a.m. tacos. During pregnancy, it seems as if nothing is off limits. However, what we’re allowed to eat and drink is completely different. The Bump says there are safe things and unsafe things for us to ingest. We owe it to our baby to follow that diet. In doing so, it’s vital that our midwife is up front with us. If she can’t give it to us, maybe she’s not the right midwife for us. We need upfront answers instead of free reign to eat whatever our hearts desire.
10 Do I Have Any Physical Restrictions?
We like to think that pregnancy is going to fit into our everyday routine. The fact of the matter is—it won’t. Our whole lives are about to change and we have to learn to adapt. The changes to our body could mean physical limitations—especially if we’re high-risk, per The Bump. We may find that our exercise is limited. Going into those nine months, we need to know what to expect. It’s the job of our midwife to be able to lay it all out. If she doesn’t know or if she’s uncertain—perhaps she’s not the one. Our gut will tell us that we need a second opinion.
9 Where Can I Go While I Am Pregnant?
Many of us have a love for traveling. While some airlines will not let us fly after a certain point in our pregnancy, we may still get that traveling itch. According to The Bump, we may be limited to where we can travel—if we can travel at all— and how we should prepare for such treks across the globe. Some places may have illnesses running rampant, making it so we should not put ourselves at risk. Our midwife should know where we should not go and what precautions we should take if we do travel. If the midwife does not seem knowledgeable or knocks this all together, we should dump her. Life does not stop with pregnancy.
8 How Many Sizes Should I Go Up?
It's the dreaded question that we all really want to avoid but it’s inevitable. We know we’re going to gain weight and some of us hope it’s all just in our belly where the baby is per The Bump. We have to be kind to ourselves since it might not be that way. We have to realize that we should attempt to keep our weight gain in a healthy zone. Circumstances do happen, and we may end up gaining more. Our midwife should be able to calculate the weight and rate we should gain for a healthy pregnancy. If not, we really need to find a new one.
7 What Would Cause You To Induce?
As we put together our birth plan, we picture exactly how we want the entire experience to go. Unfortunately, there’s going to be a lot that we can’t plan for. Some of those aspects can be terrifying to think about. We need to stop and ask what could happen. For example, what would have to happen for our midwife to want to induce our labor? It’s an important question and needs an answer and a plan of attack in case it happens, per Keeper of the Home. If the midwife’s answer is fishy, we should walk away. In the chaos of labor, this isn’t something we want to be worrying about.
6 How Is The Baby Monitored During Labor?
This is the question that we find ourselves asking while figuring out our labor plan. We know that we’re going to be doing our best to remain as unstressed as possible during labor. As our bodies go through this transition, we are going to want to know that our baby is okay, per Keeper of the House. There are options for monitoring the baby’s heartbeat during labor. It comes down to what you are comfortable with. Low-risk pregnancies use a fetal doppler monitor while high-risk pregnancies use constant monitoring. As we ask our midwife, we have to keep in mind what it is that we want.
5 What Are Pain Management Options?
When we think of childbirth, our mind goes straight to the pain. We recall the scenes we’ve seen in the movies of women screaming in labor. We’ve been warned about how badly the contractions will hurt—especially later in labor. That’s nothing compared to the physicality of pushing our baby out. We have probably been weighing our pain management options since we found out we were pregnant, per Keeper of the House. It comes down to preference. If we want pain medication to get us through and the midwife says she doesn’t work with them—she’s not for us. We use our best judgment when it comes to how we handle the pain.
4 When Is My Baby Due?
This is one of those do or die moments when we’re talking to our midwives. It’s the foundation of our entire pregnancy—when are we due? We will plan every single little detail around this date—from decorating to packing the hospital bag. From blood tests to missed cycles to ultrasounds, the midwife is going to be able to give you an estimated due date, per The Bump. We want and need this number. If the midwife hems and haws her way through this question and can’t give you a response, dump her. We deserve someone who is on top of their game when it comes to our baby.
3 What Date Is Considered Our Post-Date?
Many pregnancies last for about forty weeks. This helps us anticipate when our baby will be in our arms and in this world. However, some pregnancies go well beyond the forty weeks. According to Keeper of the House, it is imperative to ask a potential midwife about what they consider to be a post-date. Humans are designed to carry babies longer than forty weeks, but it often makes medical professionals anxious. This post-date is generally when a midwife will want us induced. If the midwife will not budge on the date or will not discuss this, it is time to dump them!
2 What Will Labor Be Like?
Labor is a different experience for every woman. We often hear what to expect based on what women we know went through, but it depends on our healthcare professional. We should ask our midwife what labor will be like, as per Keeper of the House. This will tell us how often we will get checked on, what we will be allowed to do during our labor, and a variety of other factors. If the midwife is not willing to discuss this, we should talk to other midwives. We will want to know if we can rest during labor or play music. Many of us fear the unexpected and do not need the extra stress.
1 What Will You Do For Us After The Birth?
After our new baby is here, we may not be thinking long term. That is why it is important to ask our midwife what she will do for us after we give birth. According to Babble, some midwives provide extra services for us and our newborn squishes for a certain length of time after delivery. Other midwives stop at that point, and we need to bring our baby to a pediatrician for further care. Depending on our views on post-natal care, the midwife’s answer could make or break our relationship with them. If they do not want to discuss this in advance, dump them and find someone that will give a clear answer.