Thursday, November 1, 2012

Questions To Ask Your Midwife or Care Provider

So, you're having a baby? Congratulations! This can be an exciting, yet overwhelming time, especially if this is your first baby!

Often, first time mama's wonder what questions they should ask their care provider. There were several things that were very important to us when we interviewed midwives. We knew we wanted a home birth, but we also wanted to know what our possibilities were within a home birth and we wanted to get to know our midwife a little more than, "Hi, are you available to deliver our baby?" 

Here's a list of things we asked, some of them may work for you, some of them may not, thats ok, use them as a base to inspire questions that are specific to your family's needs. If you're unfamiliar with any of the terms used, please do some research on your own and learn more about the procedures.

1. What is your birth philosophy?

2. Are there any circumstances (physical, emotional and / or spiritual) that would make you decide not to take a pregnant woman as your client?

3. Briefly describe the types of births you are most and least experienced with.

4. What positions are you comfortable catching in? Birth stool? Hands and Knees? Squatting? Standing? Water?

5. Do you deliver breach babies?

6. What would you suggest if a baby is transverse (breach) toward the last few weeks of the pregnancy?

7. Do you require your clients to have ultrasounds done? if so, is this included in your services?

8. What is the style of your practice (laid back, hands on, managing)?

9. At what point in labor do you normally arrive?

10. What do you do in the event of complications during labor? When would you transfer a patient?

11. If a client is transfered to a hospital, do you stay with them or turn them over to a doctor on staff? 

12. Do you ever do episiotomies? If yes, when, why and how often?

13. How are post-dates (post 42 weeks) handled in your practice?

14. Do you ever encourage induction by pharmaceutical, herbal, AROM (rupture of the waters) or other natural means? If yes, please describe.

15. How long have you been a midwife?

16. How many babies have you delivered?

17. Do you have a partner or assistant?

18. Who would attend our birth if you were ill, had an emergency or are at another birth?

19. If we pay for your services up front, do you offer a discount? If so, what would that price be?

20. What are your religious beliefs, if any?

21. What can we expect at a prenatal visit?

22.a. What routine tests are utilized during the pregnancy? such as, but not limited to:

CBC (complete blood count, measures the potential for anemia)?
Blood type?
Antibody screen?
Hep B and RPR screen?
Rubella screen?
Pelvic exam?
Pap smear?
Group B Strep (GBS bacteria)?
Nuchal Translucency Screening (down syndrome testing)?
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)?
Amniocentesis (genetics testing)?
Gestational Diabetes, glucose test?
Other tests (please list)?

22.b. What happens if we decline these tests?

22.c. In your opinion are any of these test unnecessary?

23. What routine herbs or supplements do you like your patients to take during pregnancy?

24. If a client was a vegetarian during the pregnancy do you recommend any additional supplements?

25. How do you feel about placenta encapsulation? Do you offer this service? If not, would you recommend someone who does placenta encapsulation?

26. What are your thoughts on the RhoGAM shot? Do you administer this? If so when is it typically done? How do you feel about waiting up to 72 hours after the baby is born to administer the RhoGAM shot?

27. I experienced anemia (iron deficiency) in the 3rd trimester of my first pregnancy, what 
would you recommend to prevent anemia from occurring in this pregnancy?

I would also recommend these 10 questions from Mother Friendly, if your baby will be born in a hospital or birth center.

And, as they have information on choosing a place to give birth, care providers, c-sections, VBAC, The Rights of the Childbearing Woman and lots more.

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